Like anything else in your home, drains will need to be cleaned on a regular basis to ensure that they work at peak efficiency. Engaging in routine drain maintenance may help to prevent damage to pipes that can result in sewage, water or other spills. It may also help to prevent partial or full blockages that could cause dirty or contaminated water to flow back into a tub or sink. Fortunately, there are many signs that your home could use a thorough drain cleaning.
1. Drains Are Running Slower Than Usual
Over time, your drains may become filled with sediment, sludge and other debris that inhibits the flow of water through your home. The first sign of trouble is the fact that sinks or tubs are draining slower than they should. When a drain is clean and free of foreign objects, water should flow through them instantly. However, when there is sediment, sludge or other material inside of them, there is less space for water to flow through.
At first, you may notice that water takes a split second longer to drain when the faucet is on full blast. Then, you may notice that the water takes a few seconds to fully drain after the faucet is turned off. Eventually, it may take several minutes for any tangible amount of water in the sink or tub to drain away.
Generally speaking, it’s easier and less expensive to clean out a drain at the first sign that something is wrong. At Davis & Green in Richmond, we can clean and repair drains as well as inspect them for leaks or other signs of damage.
You may be able to determine the approximate location of a clog by noting how long it takes before water starts to come back up. If water starts to come back up immediately after you turn on the faucet, it generally means that the clog is located higher up in the drain. However, if water is allowed to flow for a few seconds before backflow occurs, it means that the issue is likely located farther down in the pipe.
In many cases, issues higher up in a pipe are easier to fix because it may not be necessary to take the pipe apart or use specialized equipment to gain access to it. When a clog occurs lower in a pipe, it may require a longer snake, a camera or other special steps to eliminate properly.
2. A Sink or Tub Is Fully Blocked
There are several possible reasons why a sink or tub may be fully blocked. In some cases, it is due to hair, shampoo or grease that has been allowed to flow down the drain. A clogged drain may also be caused by a nearby tree or plant root that has grown into it since the last time a thorough cleaning was done.
If you don’t have the clog taken care of, you could experience a number of consequences such as showering or bathing in a tub full of dirty water. You may also notice hair, sediment or other nasty debris floating back into your tub or sink.
Even if you don’t bathe, wash dishes or clean your clothes in this water, exposure to it could still result in serious health issues if it is mixed with sewage or other dangerous materials. It’s also important to consider that even a small amount of standing water could cause damage to floors, ceilings or interior walls.
3. Your House Is Starting to Smell Bad
Organic material that is allowed to decompose in your drains will create a pungent odor that may be carried throughout your house. However, the smell will typically be the most offensive in the basement, attic or other parts of the house that tend to have the least amount of ventilation. You may also notice it near a sink or tub after the water has been allowed to run.
In addition to organic material, a foul odor may be a sign that mold or mildew is growing in the drains or in close proximity to them. Mold tends to grow best in dark and moist environments such as the ones that are often found in basements or attics. Consistent exposure to this material may result in breathing and other health issues even if you were healthy prior to the exposure.
Another issue to consider is that mold and mildew can grow inside walls and other areas that you can’t see. Therefore, it may be necessary to rip out drywall, insulation or other components to take care of a serious issue. Although cleaning your drains may not be enough to prevent mold growth from occurring, it can be an effective way to minimize the risk of that happening. In some cases, mold growth can occur just 24 to 48 hours after a surface has been exposed to any tangible amount of water or excess moisture of any kind.
Foul odors coming from the drain can cause other, unforeseen problems. The waste inside of a poorly maintained drain may be appealing to drain flies or other pests who are looking for an easy source of food and water. If insects or rodents get into your home, they may wreak further havoc on wires, insulation or other items that may already be weakened by exposure to water.
4. The Drains Are Making Gurgling Noises
If a drain is making gurgling noises, it is likely because air is not able to flow through it properly. This is a sign that there is a buildup of debris or a foreign object stuck inside of it that you should have removed as quickly as possible. If air is not allowed to flow through a pipe, it is not capable of moving water or sewage through it in a consistent fashion, which can lead to backups or other issues.
5. It Has Been a While Since the Drains Have Been Cleaned
Ideally, you will have your home’s main line cleaned every two years to keep it free of sediment and other types of buildup. The sink, tub and other drains should be cleaned annually to ensure that they remain in good working condition. Routine drain cleanings may be included as part of an overall home service package. Allowing our team to do routine cleanings may also give us an opportunity to spot pipe damage before it causes a leak or other costly issues.
If you are in need of drain cleaning services in Richmond, VA and surrounding areas, contact Davis & Green today! In addition to drain cleaning and repair, we can also help you with heating system maintenance as well as cooling system installation and repair. Additionally, we can help with whole home rewiring projects or address any other electrical issues that your home might have. Our technicians can even set up your EV charging station. We also perform work on large construction issues. Give us a call to find out more.