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What Happens If You Don’t Clean Your Drains?

clogged drain being fixed

When you notice signs of a clogged drain, such as a kitchen sink draining more slowly than usual or a basin filling with water as you shower, you shouldn’t ignore them just because things are still working “well enough.” A partially clogged drain is most likely only to become clogged even worse, and then you could face problems that can be inconvenient at best and health-threatening or damaging (to your home) at worst. Regular drain cleaning is the best way to avoid these problems.

Problems Associated with Clogged Drains

Let’s stay by taking a look at some of the most common problems caused by clogged drains. Also, always know how to shut your water off in case there’s a plumbing emergency.

  • Backups: When a clog gets bad enough, water can’t drain from a sink, tub, or toilet, and it has nowhere to go except back the way it came. It’s especially bad if the water overflows, particularly from a toilet, which can be one of the most awful situations you will ever encounter in your home. Not only that, but the overflowing water can also damage floors, carpets and rugs, furniture, and more.
  • Leaking and Flooding: Clogs in your pipes can also damage them by creating excessive pressure or corroding them, which can lead to cracked or burst pipes. Leaking and flooding can be big messes to clean up and pose the same risks discussed above.
  • Bad Odors: Many organic matters, such as food waste, hair, skin particles, and more goes through your pipes. If it doesn’t drain properly, it will give off unpleasant odors as it decomposes, and those odors will come into your house through pipes and drains. Stagnant water resulting from poor drainage will also start to emit bad smells. If those odors start to soak into furniture and other objects that can absorb odors, they can be unpleasant and difficult to remove.
  • Health Risks: Dirty water and foul smells are indicators of bacteria and/or funguses that can be harmful to people’s health. Risks include irritated skin and contaminated drinking water. Spores in the air can also be a health risk when people breathe them in, and people with allergies, asthma, or other respiratory concerns are especially vulnerable.

Benefits of Cleaning Your Drains

On the flip side, cleaning your drains regularly has a number of benefits that you may not even realize since you’re avoiding the problems discussed in the previous section. Still, those benefits are occurring.

  • Drainage is faster and more efficient. When you’re washing dishes, bathing, etc., drainage will be fast and efficient instead of going slowly, gurgling, or backing up. This makes those tasks easier to do, and less likely residue will be left behind in sinks and toilets, so everything will have a clean, pleasant look.
  • Your drains and pipes will last longer and perform better. By keeping your drains clean and avoiding the buildup of clogs and harmful residues, your plumbing will have a longer lifespan. Because they’re cleaner and function more efficiently, your pipes are also far less likely to develop leaks.
  • You won’t experience unpleasant odors. This is a benefit you’ll notice because you’re not noticing something, namely the unpleasant odors that stagnant water and decaying organic materials emit and send back to you via your pipes.
  • You’ll prevent damage and save money. As we discussed, backups, clogs, leaks, and flooding can cause damage to your plumbing and other parts of your home. Plumbing repairs can be costly, and cleaning up and replacing or restoring after flood damage can be even more so. By keeping your drains clean, you’ll be less likely to experience plumbing-related damage to your home, and you can surely use your money for better things than plumbing repairs.

Signs You Should Clean Your Drains

Now that you know the risks of clogged drains and the benefits of keeping them clean, let’s look at some signs that you need to clean your drains immediately.

  • Slow Draining: This is probably the most obvious sign that your drain needs a good cleaning. If you’re running water and it’s taking a longer time than normal for it to drain, or if the basin is actually filling more than it’s draining, it’s time to clean that drain.
  • Bad Odors: We’ve covered what causes bad odors to come from your drains, so if you notice them, take it as a sign that there’s a clog that needs removal ASAP.
  • Insects Around the Drain: Fruit flies, drain flies, cockroaches, and other bugs gathering around a drain are trying to get to something in it.
  • Gurgling: Gurgling sounds when you flush a toilet or a sink drain are signs of clogs in the system.
  • Blocked Plumbing Vent on Roof: On your roof is a plumbing vent that helps with odor control. If it’s blocked, unpleasant odors can result. This isn’t something you’re going to check on a regular basis, but you should do so after snow, high winds that could have deposited debris, etc. You should be able to check from your attic rather than having to go up on the roof.

How and When To Clean Your Drains– Call Four Seasons!

It’s a good idea to clean your drains when you do your regular house cleaning every weekend or so and, of course, when you notice signs of a clogged drain.

You can buy chemical drain cleaners on the market, but they’re not for regular use, as they contain caustic chemicals that may harm your pipes and drains and which can also harm people if they come into contact with skin.

An excellent DIY method is to rinse out your drains with a combination of hot water, vinegar, and baking soda. This is easy to do, and you probably already have the materials.

The best drain cleaning solution is to call a professional like Four Seasons Plumbing, serving residents and businesses in the Asheville area. We can handle all your plumbing needs, whether it’s maintenance, repairs, or installation. Our family-owned business is fully licensed and insured, with technicians with the tools and the training for any plumbing job. Plus, you’ll get peace of mind and can do something else with your time. Contact us today for Asheville’s best plumbing solutions!

Max Rose - Owner of Four Seasons Plumbing


Max Rose

Max Rose is the owner of Four Seasons Plumbing, a plumbing company in Asheville, North Carolina.