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Around this time of year, sewer backups become more common, leading to extensive mess and a lot of headache. Luckily, this doesn’t have to be the case! Follow these easy tips to stay ahead of a potential mess, and learn about some surprising factors that might be putting you at risk.

Keep pipes clear

Ideally, only liquids and very small particles should be going down your household drains to prevent buildup and blockages, but this isn’t always the case. Two of the most common issues in a household drain are grease and hair, and both are very preventable. Although grease is liquid when you’re cooking with it, it will turn to a solid once it hits room temperature, and for that reason you should never dispose of it by putting it in the sink. As for hair, try installing a simple hair strainer to your shower drain to catch the pieces before they can cause a clog, or just clean out your drains regularly.

Tree trouble

Trees are usually seen as a problem for roots, but did you know they can do serious damage to pipes, too? Trees send roots incredibly deep into the ground, and they extend far beyond the parts of the tree you can see just by looking. These powerful roots can disrupt or even break your pipes, so if you have any trees growing near your pipelines, it’s important to keep an eye on them and have them repaired or even moved before the roots cause irreversible damage.

Flush smart

The first and biggest thing you should never flush down a toilet is paper towels- period! They are built to absorb large amounts of liquid and endure rough treatment while being used to clean up messes, so it takes a lot for them to degrade. It’s much more likely that they’ll expand and cause a block in your toilet instead. You should also never flush hygiene products, diapers, or anything that doesn’t dissolve in water- including ‘flushable’ wet wipes. Despite the name, they can still become stuck, especially if there’s anything else already lurking that shouldn’t be there.

Be prepared

One of the easiest way to prevent rainfall-related backups and flooding is to make sure there is effective drainage in and around your home. If you live somewhere that is considered low lying, or near a body of water like a river or lake, you should absolutely have a sump pump installed, which will drain groundwater from under and around the lowest level of your home. You should also install a backflow valve- a valve that blocks the sewer line and prevents contents from going back up the pipes. This is a job for a professional, since it depends on your home’s individual plumbing, but it will save you a lot of mess and tears in the future!

No one wants to think about something as stressful or messy as a sewer backup, but taking the steps to prevent it will keep it from becoming a problem in the future. If you have any questions about safety, prevention, or just water damage in general, don’t hesitate to give us here at Flood Medix a call! We’re always happy to help you out and point you in the right direction.