Clogged drains within a home can cause a variety of inconveniences. From flooding and interruptions in our bathing and shaving routines to the presence of disagreeable odors, blockages in drains can certainly give us headaches, figuratively speaking.
But headaches in a literal sense — along with more serious ailments and consequences — are also quite possible as a result of the unhealthy environment that can be created by clogged drains around a home.
Blocked drains, vents and sewer lines are among the most potentially dangerous plumbing problems within a home for a number of reasons, mainly being that they can cause harmful gases to accumulate and permeate into the home’s interior. Sewer gas can give off a foul odor, often similar to a “rotten eggs” type of smell. They can also contain a blend of sulfur dioxide, carbon dioxide, methane, hydrogen sulfide and other gases.
Exposure to these fumes at low levels can cause a home’s inhabitants to experience headaches, coughs, sore throats and eye irritation. At elevated exposure levels, sewer gas can cause dizziness, fatigue, nausea and respiratory problems. Prolonged or high-level exposure can cause memory loss or even unconsciousness.
The prospect of high levels of methane gas seeping into a home is indeed a frightening one. This is an odorless, colorless gas that in high concentrations can cause asphyxiation and death. It also presents a combustion hazard if it is allowed to accumulate within a dwelling.
Addressing the Causes
Drain cleaning endeavors should be undertaken immediately when a clogged drain is detected. Homeowners may attempt this on their own via the use of plungers or tools such as augers that can be rented or bought from most plumbing supply outlets. But it’s always best to start contacting plumbers if you are the least bit uncomfortable with removing a trap or using a plumbing snake.
Even if in-depth plumbing repairs aren’t necessary, it would be wise to have your home evaluated by a professional plumber when drain blockages are noticed, especially if mysterious odors develop within your home. Taking early precautions in these situations can spare you of plumbing-related headaches, or something much worse.
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Unclog Blog is written & published by Thompson Plumbing Heating & Cooling