Drainage problems can happen on residential, commercial, and agricultural properties at any time of year. But during summer, there are a few drainage issues that tend to be more prevalent than others. Luckily, these issues, which we detailed in our blog, 5 Common Summer Drainage Problems, are largely preventable with a few simple yet highly effective tips and tricks.
Let’s take a look at what you can do to prevent common summer drainage problems from negatively impacting your home or business.
How to Prevent Household Drain Clogs
In the drain cleaning industry, the summer season is notorious for its near-endless stream of phone calls for household drain clogs. Kids are home; the weather is perfect for entertaining, and more often than not, items that don’t belong in drains somehow end up traveling into household plumbing systems. Fortunately, preventing this particular summer drainage problem is super simple: Stop putting stuff down your drains that can clog them up!
If you’re unsure what does and doesn’t belong in your drains, here’s a brief rundown of what you should know:
● Unless you have a garbage disposal, food scraps never belong in your kitchen drains.
● Even if you have a disposal, fats and oils never belong in your kitchen drains.
● Food waste and oils do not belong in your toilet drain.
● Trash, paper towels, cotton swabs, Qtips, wipes, diapers, and cat litter NEVER belong in your toilet drain.
● Hair does not belong in your bathroom sink or shower drains.
Generally speaking, the only things that belong in your household drains are liquids (not oily liquids), human waste, and toilet paper. To keep your drains flowing freely, heed these tips:
● To prevent body-care and hair care product residue from building up on the interior of shower/tub drains, flush those drains with boiling water periodically.
● Use hair traps in shower and bathtub drains and clean them out regularly.
● Men, if you shave over the bathroom sink, avoid rinsing hair clippings down the drain. Wipe them out with a paper towel or toilet paper instead.
● Schedule maintenance drain cleaning at regular intervals to ensure your pipes remain free of residue buildup and debris that can contribute to slow drains and blockages.
Tips for Preventing Rain-Related Sewer Line Backups
There’s nothing you can do to prevent heavy precipitation during summer storms. Fortunately, there is something you can do to prevent water from backing up through floor drains when heavy rains hit: Have your plumber install check valves. These valves allow water to flow into your floor drains but won’t allow liquid to travel back up through the pipes.
Unfortunately, if you’re on city water and don’t have a septic system, there’s not much you can do to prevent rain-related backups from occurring. If you find yourself dealing with backed-up water in your home or business during or after a storm, you’ll likely need to wait for the water to recede because the city system is overwhelmed.
When the backed-up liquid eventually drains, it may be a good idea to schedule a drain camera inspection to ensure dirty or partially clogged pipes weren’t part of the problem. If they were, scheduling a professional drain cleaning appointment will help prevent the problem from reoccurring in the future.
If you’ve never had your drains professionally cleaned, here’s what you can expect during a typical drain cleaning appointment.
Preventing Tree Root Sewer Blockages
It’s unfortunate, but tree roots can and often do grow into and through underground sewer lines. And when that happens, they can cause serious leaks, slow drainage, or complete sewer line blockages. If you own a home or business that features several large trees on the property, you may be at a higher risk of experiencing this drainage problem since large trees have robust root networks.
Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to help stop tree roots from intruding on your main sewer line and causing serious drainage issues. Here are your options:
● Schedule a drain camera inspection with a pro who can evaluate the health of the sewer line and detect any at-risk areas that need attention or repairs.
● Call your local public works department or 811 (the national “Call Before You Dig” number) to locate your main sewer line and determine if nearby roots may present a threat.
● Install an underground barrier made of wood or metal that runs vertically along the sewer line to prevent roots from growing into the pipe. Make sure the barrier is six to 12 inches beneath the ground.
● Spread root-growth-inhibiting chemicals, such as potassium hydroxide or copper sulfate, near the sewer line to discourage roots from growing in the area. Apply at 30- to 60-day intervals during growth season for the best protection.
Preventing Foundation Damage Caused Agricultural Drains
If you have agricultural drains near your property or French-style drains on your property, make sure they remain free of debris to prevent flooding that can cause foundation damage. If you’re unsure how to clean these drains, it’s best to hire a professional who specializes in ag drain cleaning.
A pro can alert you to any issues with the drain, including signs of improper installation, that may encourage backups and flooding. And knowing what’s going on with your drain can allow you to address any problems promptly, so you can prevent water-related damage to your home, property, or business.
How to Prevent Flooding in Basements and Crawl Spaces
If your home or business has a basement or crawl space, chances are it has a sump pump that’s designed to pump subsurface water away from the foundation. If it doesn’t, installing a sump pump is your best bet for preventing weather-related flooding in the lowest level of your home or building.
And once you have a sump pump, or if you already do, performing routine sump pump inspections, tests, and maintenance is the best way to prevent flooding caused by a damaged or nonfunctional sump pump. If you’re like most people, you don’t often think about the sump pump in your home or business, but it’s something you must tend to seasonally to ensure it works as it should.
For more helpful info, check out FEMA’s guide on protecting your home from future flooding.
Get a Free Drain Cleaning Estimate in the Twin Cities
Whether you own a residential, commercial, or agricultural property, contact Drain Blaster Bill’s Sewer & Drain Cleaning if you find yourself facing any type of drainage problem this summer. We specialize in residential drain cleaning, main line sewer cleaning, septic cleaning, commercial water jetting, and agricultural drain cleaning for property owners throughout the greater Minneapolis/St. Paul metro. If you need 24/7 emergency service, we’ve got you covered, and we also offer same-day drain cleaning appointments for your convenience.
To learn more about our services or get a free drain cleaning estimate, call our Stillwater, MN office today at 763-913-8719 or contact us online, and we’ll get in touch promptly.