Dumping different things down your drain might seem like a harmless thing at first, but the costs, which can be high, can hit you pretty quickly. To avoid water damage or clogged drains, don’t empty your kitty’s litter into the toilet. Or use the kitchen sink to dispose of dinner scraps. Or dispose of used medication in the bathroom sink.
All these things can negatively affect the environment, can have serious consequences on your home and also on your health. To avoid water damage and clogged drains, you need to be more conscious about what you throw down the drain. And if your drains do get clogged and there’s water damage in your house, you can always contact ASAP Restoration and count on us.
If you want to avoid problems with clogged drains, here’s a list of 10 things you should definitely NOT throw down the drain.
You’re probably wondering whether coffee grounds can clog your drain. Well, they can. Almost every type of food tends to clump up instead of washing out. It’s very difficult to break them down and these clumps get bigger and bigger every time, until one day, they become so big that they clog the drain.
Avoid water damage by not draining your pasta in the sink
Pasta and other starchy type of food shouldn’t be drained in the kitchen sink. These types of food contain a lot of fiber, which can get tangled and block the drain.
Now, pasta water alone won’t be enough to clog your drain. The biggest issues are those small chunks of paste that manage to squeeze during draining. These chunks will most likely get stuck somewhere in the drain and since they absorb water and swell up, they can quickly become a major problem.
Furthermore, we also recommend that you be extra careful when you strain your pasta. Most home save plastic drainage systems that aren’t so resilient to high heat. So, straining your pasta directly into the sink (with water above 100F) could damage the draining system (melt it) and cause flooding.
Certain types of vegetables
Just like pasta, some types of vegetables also have high concentration of fiber. Good examples are corn, asparagus, celery and even potato peels. All these foods have a very high fiber concentration, which doesn’t dissolve. In fact, it can stick to the walls of the pipes and drains, forming hard-to-remove clogs. So avoid water damage and clogged drains by not dumping them in the sink.
Another thing you should pay attention to, if you wan to avoid water damage and clogged drains is how you dispose of cooking fat. These types of fat solidify at room temperature. When you dispose of them in your drain straight from the cooking pan, they can solidify in your pipes, clogging it.
Furthermore, the hard fats, aside from blocking the drain, can also produce strong odors when they turn rancid. Instead of throwing it down the drain, let the fats congeal in a container and throw them out with your garbage.
Even though egg shells can’t stick to the walls of your drain pipes or garbage disposal, they do have sharp edges which helps them get stuck to the disposal motor and pipes. Egg shells might seem delicate and not pose a serious threat. But as they get stuck on the garbage disposal blades, they can get harder over time, not only blocking the drain, but also preventing your garbage disposal to work properly.
Don’t dispose gels, jellies or soaps to avoid water damage
Anything that has any amount of gelatine shouldn’t be disposed in your sink or garbage disposal. Yes, gels, jellies or soaps are gooey, but they can wreak havoc on your drainage system since they don’t dissolve and can clump up in the pipes. So the best way to dispose of them is straight in the garbage can.
People know that hair can cause serious problems to a drainage system. In fact, there are basements that were completely flooded only because of hair in the drains. Yes, they go down the drain pretty easily, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t get tangled. They do. When this happens and the room gets flooded, the water damage restoration experts first need to use pumps to extract the excess water before they can start the restoration process.
In order to avoid water damage caused by hair, we recommend using a drain protector. This will collect all the hair which you can later dispose into your garbage and your drains will not be clogged.
Disposing medication down the drain
If you ever though about disposing unused medication down the toilet, think again. Not only will they clog the drain and cause problems, it is actually against the law to dispose of medication this way. Instead, all over-the-counter medication should be disposed by following the safety guidelines recommended by your state.
Don’t use bath bombs to avoid water damage
Bath bombs might look pretty on social media, but because of their high powdery structure, they can cause serious blockages in your drains and pipes. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t use them. You can, but make sure that you use fine mesh drain strainer (it will collect any residual powder) or simply pour salt directly in the drain when you’re done (it’s effective in cleaning bath bomb powder).
Cornstarch, oatmeal or flour
Just like with pasta, rice and other high-fiber stuff, pouring cornstarch, oatmeal or flour directly into the drain will ensure that you end up with a drain issue. When wet, these substances are really sticky and once they dry, they become incredibly hard. If they stick to the side of bigger drainage pipes, they can cause water damage to the entire house, including flooring and furniture.
We hope that these tips will help you avoid water damage and clogged drains. If your home gets hit by water damage, make sure to contact us so we could help you.