How to prevent drain blockages
Blocked drains- they are smelly, messy and so stressful to deal with. The first sunny weekend in the spring can literally go down the drain while you wait around for someone to clear them. No one wants to miss on the long-waited sun, while calling and waiting on a drainage expert.
The good news is you can prevent your drains from blocking by following these six easy steps:
1) Do not ever think about putting oils/fats down your drain, even if you rinse it with hot water afterwards. They will just end up cooling further down in your pipes, causing harder to reach blockages. It’s simple- just dispose of any oil or fat in the bin. Or even better- seal it in a container that isn’t recyclable. A good idea is to pop any solidifying oils in the fridge until they’re hard then dispose of them in the waste bin.
Another great way to recycle your oils with a high smoke point is to filter them. You can do that using a fine sleeve or a coffee filter; canola oil and vegetable oil are the best ones to re-use. Although olive oil is a great healthy alternative when used for the first time, we wouldn’t advise you to use it for deep fat frying. Because it has a low smoke point, it can taste funny if over-heated.
2) A table spoon of bicarbonate of soda popped down the sink once a week can help clear blockages. Don’t forget to follow it with hot water though! This method is more environmentally friendly than caustic soda or bleach, and if that’s not a good enough reason already- it helps to neutralise odours.
3) Did you know hair is one of the biggest causes for drain blockages? Use a plug cover to catch hair and other debris, which will otherwise get knotted inside the drains. Long hair can stick to the drains, catching more and more hair, eventually leading to smelly and dense blockages.
If you were blessed with thick and/or long hair you should make a habit of checking your shower and bath plugs weekly for built up hair. There are also cheap devices you can buy, which will help you get forming blockages out of the drain. A hair-catcher which hangs on a chain through your drains is a great investment, which will only cost you a few pennies on eBay or Amazon.
Using harsh chemicals is always an option as well, but in the spirit of going green we recommend you the cheaper eco-friendly version.
4) During autumn, and at the end of winter, the combination of leaves, debris, rain and wind can be fatal for your outside drains and gutters. Make sure to take some additional precautions at these times of the year:
Clear your gutters as soon as you notice the seasons are changing so the inevitable rain can easily flow away. There are also brushes, which prevent blockages- they look a bit like hedgehogs and are super environmentally-friendly. Just type “gutter brushes” in your search engine.
If a gutter brush is not an option, it’s up to you to clear out the leaves and rubbish piling in your drains and gutters. Do this every two weeks to avoid blockages and build up; you can also use any rotting leaves for compost.
5) To eliminate the smell from drain blockages, pour vinegar and bicarb down the drain. Wait for half an hour and pour hot (but not boiling) water down the outside drains as well. It will help to dissolve and clear any minor blockages.
6) Once the season is over- all the leaves have fallen, the rain and the wind have calmed down- clean your drains and gutters and it should all be fine until the next season change.
Of course, if you ended up with a blocked drain after all, don’t hesitate to give us a call. Your Care Club membership means you’re protected for the whole year.