Seasonal drain maintenance helps prepare your plumbing system for drastic changes in weather and temperature. This preventative maintenance helps reduce the likelihood of plumbing problems developing without your knowledge. Neglecting maintenance can result in smaller setbacks escalating into expensive plumbing emergencies.
While the change of seasons naturally prompts many homeowners to check their air conditioner or furnace, overlooked drains can lead to problems throughout the home. These issues can range from leaky faucets to property damage like structural compromise and ruptured pipes. By following the best drain care practices from the start, you can ensure that your system functions at its optimal level regardless of the time of year.
Why Is Seasonal Drain Maintenance Important?
When seasonal changes occur, many homeowners focus on more visible maintenance tasks like painting walls or mowing the lawn. However, your drains are among the most frequently used structures in your household. The quality and efficiency of your home plumbing system can often depend on regular care of your drains. To remain safe, you can add a drain inspection to your existing household maintenance checks or schedule a quarterly a drain cleaning with a professional. This seasonal maintenance is important because it helps prevent clogs and slow drainage, eliminates foul odors, reduces the risk of water damage, and helps improve the lifespan of your plumbing.
Prevention of Clogs and Slow Drains
One of the top reasons for scheduling consistent care is to prevent clogs and slow drains. When debris accumulates in your drainage system, the buildup causes the water to flow slowly or cease flowing altogether. Items like hair and soap scum in the bathroom or grease, coffee grounds, and tough vegetable skins in the kitchen can all cause unpleasant buildup. Attempting to remove the debris yourself with toxic commercial drain cleaners can erode your pipes and contaminate your property’s groundwater supply. Instead of trying to clean things up with corrosive chemicals, always contact a professional plumber to remove blockage from your drains.
Eliminate Foul Odors
Foul odors can also result from poorly maintained drains. Over time, debris or mold stuck in drains can produce a bad smell. If you find that a faint, lingering stench permeates your kitchens or bathrooms, a clogged drain is often the culprit. Fortunately, a professional plumber can clean your drains and grates. This can help keep the area odor-free and also eliminate health risks associated with stagnant water.
Reduce the Risk of Water Damage
Without proper maintenance, your drain system can break down and result in overflow of sinks, toilets, and other fixtures. This overflow can cause moisture damage to surrounding areas like walls and flooring. Sometimes pipes can rupture within walls, creating structural water damage that you will not be able to see until it is too late. Plumbing companies have the equipment to access drain components that are normally hidden behind walls, thereby preventing costly breakdowns in the future.
Improve the Lifespan of Plumbing
According to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (NACHI), well-maintained drains have an extensive life expectancy. This lifespan can last for decades regardless of the original materials used. For example, PVC can last 50 years, copper drains can last 80 years, and materials like galvanized steel or iron can last even 100 years. If a homeowner fails to keep up with routine maintenance, however, these lifespans can shorten significantly due to cracks or corrosion. Rather than deal with the headache of replacing your entire drainage system, schedule seasonal maintenance to ensure efficient plumbing all year.
Adapt to Changes in Weather and Temperature
Finally, seasonal drain maintenance is also important because it improves your system’s adaptability in extreme weather. While many people think of their pipes as stagnant and fixed, did you know that severe weather can impact the structure of your pipes? For example, high temperatures during heatwaves can cause drains to expand or burst. On the other hand, low temperatures during cold fronts can cause the water inside drains to freeze and result in breakage or cracks. A professional plumber can provide solutions like insulation during cold weather or sealants during hot weather to protect your drains from damage.
Seasonal Drain Tips for Spring
Since weather and temperature can have a direct impact on your drainage system, it is essential to make drain maintenance part of your spring-cleaning routine. Springtime weather means that families begin preparing lighter and fresher meals, thereby reducing the amount of grease and heavy food particles going into the kitchen sink. This makes spring the perfect season to thoroughly clean kitchen drains. Such cleaning is especially justified after the heavy use of drains during the winter holidays. You can contact a plumbing company to professionally clean your drains using processes like enzyme cleaning or drain jetting. These specialized methods remove far more debris and contaminants than you could ever hope to clear on your own.
Similarly, spring is the ideal time to clean bathroom drains as well as any drains located outdoors. Since individuals spend much of the winter indoors, the shower drain may have accumulated soap scum and hair. Removing this buildup is a great way to refresh your home for the new year. If you have floor drains that lead to the outside of your home or yard, have a professional check these areas for slow drainage. The plumber can also check your gutters or downspouts for any debris that may have accumulated over the previous winter. Finally, spring is the perfect time to check any drains or valves connected to sprinklers to ensure that your lawn remains in excellent condition.
Seasonal Drain Tips for Summer
When temperatures start to heat up, it is paramount to work with your plumber to prevent drain malfunction or leaks. One way to protect your drainage system during extreme summer weather is to request a perimeter drain inspection. For example, a professional technician can conduct a video inspection of the inside of your pipes. By scoping through the pipes, a plumber can detect the exact location of potential clogs or cracks and provide repairs as needed.
In addition to this standard drain checkup, a plumber can check your downspouts and gutters for any residual problems from previous spring showers. A contractor can also add a backwater valve to any floor drains if you live in a location notorious for summer storms. If you own a pool, request that your plumber check the drains before summer use to avoid unpleasant surprises during parties, events, or gatherings.
Seasonal Drain Tips for Fall
Because fall is the season in which the weather dramatically changes from warm to cool, this time of year is perfect for its maintenance activities. Take advantage of this season to fix any drainage system problems that occur outdoors. For example, you can request that a contractor remove any autumn leaves that have fallen into outdoor drains or downspouts before they can create clogs. If you suspect that any tree roots have grown into your sewer drains or pipes, contact a professional to perform sewer rodding or other techniques to prevent serious damage. A plumber can also disconnect exterior water valves that lead to outside faucets and drain excess water from outside lines to avoid any leakage issues.
Fall is also a good time to check more complex drain issues just before winter. For example, most experts recommend hiring a professional to check your sump and ejector pumps for potential clogs in the discharge lines. By removing any potential rust, corrosion, or debris, you can ensure that the device is ready for colder temperatures. Fall is also an ideal time for a plumber to seal any gaps that may have formed between your pipes and walls or install insulation right before the cold months. Finally, autumn is the season that experts recommend inspecting basement drains. Because basements are susceptible to flooding, well-maintained drains can help minimize any potential damage.
Seasonal Drain Tips for Winter
With freezing temperatures and holidays on the horizon, families tend to use drains more often during the winter than at any other time of the year. Fortunately, you can protect your plumbing with preventative maintenance just in time for the colder months. For example, you can request that a plumber address any debris within your drains before using them during the holidays. Professional companies have equipment such as a plumber’s snake to break down any trapped grease or oil so that your drains function properly during the winter.
In addition, your plumber can also ensure the appropriate amount of insulation on exposed pipes located on the drainage system within your basement, exterior walls, or on the outside of your home. If necessary, a plumber can also install drain grates and drain your water heater to prevent rust and sediment from interfering with performance on the coldest days of the year.
Schedule an Appointment Today
The drain system is often one of the most overlooked parts of the home. While it may seem easier to ignore drains until you encounter a problem, scheduling seasonal drain maintenance is a terrific way to ensure that your plumbing remains in great condition. Healthy Home Heating & Air provides top-quality plumbing services to residents of Charlotte, NC and surrounding areas. We offer drain cleaning and leak detection as well as pipe replacement and repair. Contact Healthy Home Heating & Air to handle all of your drain system questions and needs.