Are there health risks associated with keeping your home’s plumbing in tip-top shape? Maybe! It comes down to your choice of cleaning products, as well as how much effort you put into regular maintenance of your plumbing systems.
Most family homes can get by with minimal attention on the part of the homeowners. In fact, many homeowners manage without thinking about their drains for years at a time.
Unfortunately, in those cases, it is likely that any problems which arise will have become exacerbated over time. Like we always say: prevention is the best medicine, and there is no substitute for it.
So to keep future plumbing expenses to a minimum, you will want to invest in some preventative maintenance. But you want to keep your family and friends safe doing it. A monthly check in with your pipes should be enough to keep the usual suspects at bay, and most preventative plumbing measures
Why Keep Your Pipes Clean?
If you don’t keep your home’s plumbing in tip-top shape, you are at risk of leaks, clogs, backups, and more. Blockages can cause serious long-term damage to your pipes. Leaks that go unnoticed can lead to water damage and even mold.
At best, you or a family member might just be allergic to mold. Worst case scenario, immunocompromised individuals can get seriously ill. Even perfectly healthy people can get a rare lung infection associated with a mold known as aspergillosis. Cardiac conditions, internal bleeding, and even endocrinal or renal toxicities. Yuck!
Pooling water can also lead to structural damage. There’s an entire industry built around flood repair, and it’s a lucrative one. Safe to say you don’t want to get caught up in it.
The first step on your journey? Make sure you’re starting with a clean slate. “Prevent plumbing disasters with a complete plumbing check,” said the professional plumbers at Fix It Right, a Melbourne plumber. After you have the go-ahead with a quick check-in with a qualified plumber, you are all set to start your new maintenance routine.
Okay, so where do I start?
Again (say it with me, people): prevention is the best medicine. So first things first, take a look at your drains. Those are where most (if not all) of the trouble starts. The best part about drains being your number one culprit for plumbing problems is that the pipes are easily accessible to you and the potential problems are easy to prevent.
Do you have a lot of long-haired ladies (or fellas!) bathing in your home? Shed hair is a huge clog risk, but don’t worry. Preventing hair buildup is a quick fix. A drain protector creates a second line of defense for your pipes by catching hair, food, and other debris that would otherwise pose a clog risk.
Little efforts like this add up.
Hopefully, your efforts will keep you from having to use things like drain cleaner.
What’s Wrong with Drain Cleaner?
Household cleaning products are mostly safe when used as directed and in moderation. However, drain cleaners are made to be powerful. They are denser than water and use strong chemicals—they NEED to use strong chemicals, in order to bypass water and dissolve the clogs.
But this poses a problem to human help. The inhalation of fumes that disperse from those strong chemicals is dangerous to the lungs—especially developing lungs. Drain cleaners have even been found to leave a filmy residue on the surfaces they come into contact with.
Even more troubling is the residue that drain cleaners, toilet cleaners, and other household cleaners leave behind. Imagine if your dog gets into your toilet’s water bowl that was recently cleaned. That could be very dangerous for them.
Other than the health hazards drain cleaners and other cleansers pose, they are expensive and are often unnecessary. Even so-called “natural” drain cleaners aren’t always reliably safer. In fact, some have even proven to be less effective at cleaning than conventional household cleaning products.
When it comes to unclogging drains, metal snakes can usually get the job done without corroding metal or plastic pipes. And they’re cheaper! You can use them more than once. And because you don’t need to repurchase as often, you are also saving the planet by reducing the amount of plastic you use.
Homemade cleaners for the home have been found to be as effective as many conventional, store-bought cleaners. Vinegar is a powerful cleansing agent that can be diluted without diluting its efficacy. No strange smells and no risk of inhaling toxic fumes. Win-win!
There is no point keeping your plumbing clear if you aren’t keeping your family and yourself safe doing it.
So when it comes to preventing or repairing plumbing issues in your home, look for natural solutions first.