3 Common Summer Drainage Issues & How to Prevent Them
Ah, Summer….warm breezes, hot sun and long, lazy evenings. The summer months are an excellent time for family vacations, home improvement projects or for simply relaxing and enjoying the warm weather. So while your summer is packed full with activities like these, it is important to remember those often out of sight, out of mind areas of your home that may be at risk during these hot months or that may require a double checking to ensure your summer remains fun and stress-free, like you intend it to.
While your drainage and sewer system is probably the last thing that comes to mind, oftentimes homeowners don’t realize that these systems have their own set of risks and issues that are likely to develop more often in the summer. Below are some common summertime sewer and drain problems as well as some tips to help you correct and prevent them.
Summertime is the perfect time to break out the grill and host the perfect summer barbecue with friends and family. While it’s a great time to relax with great company, it also leads to a higher likelihood of garbage disposal problems. Why is this, you ask? With so much extra food being prepared, there is an increased risk of too much of the wrong items being put down your disposal.
So what foods should you keep in mind to never put down your disposal this summer? Below is a list of the worst offenders:
- Keep the steak and chicken bones out of the disposal. Bones tend to continually spin around your disposal blades and even if they do make it down the disposal, they definitely won’t make it through your drain pipes. Make Fido happy instead and throw him that steak bone, surely he will appreciate it!
- Certain fruits and vegetables. Those potatoes you’re pealing for your potato salad or the celery you’re adding to it? What about all of those eaten ears of corn or watermelon rinds? Don’t put any of these down your disposal! Celery strings tend to tangle around your blades, potatoes can cause a soupy mess in your disposal and hard pits or rinds just won’t ever grind up. None of these bodes well for your disposal.
- Too much remaining pasta salad? Keep it out of your disposal. Pasta tends to swell up when exposed to water, even after it is fully cooked. Dumping it down the disposal increases the likelihood of it swelling and clogging the trap or causing a clog further down the line.
- Grease and oil. Never dump grease or oil down your disposal. Just because it’s a liquid form when you dump it doesn’t mean it will stay that way. Grease and oil tend to harden up in your pipes, causing clogs that can lead to major issues.
Sewer Line Backups
While the warm summer weather is great for spending time outdoors, it also means the constant threat of those warm Midwest summer thunderstorms. And with those storms comes rain – sometimes lots of it! Lots of rain can overwhelm home sewer systems and cause backups. Tree roots also cause problems during the summer months as they can find their way into your pipes through the smallest cracks, seeking out the water in your pipes. The result is a blockage that only a professional can effectively remove.
Having the kids off of school for the summer usually means more visitors in the form of friends and family. These increased visitors could see your toilets getting a bit more use during those hazy summer days. While this generally isn’t a cause for concern, it can turn into one if those extra visitors aren’t aware of just what can – and cannot – be flushed down the toilet. Many times, clogs can be taken care of simply with a plunger, however, continual flushing of anything other than toilet paper – baby wipes, paper towels, napkins or feminine hygiene products, to name a few – will certainly lead to backups that only a professional can clear.