If water isn't draining from your sink or toilet as quickly as it should, or if your bathroom fills with water when you shower, you probably have a clogged drain. While this may seem like a minor inconvenience, it can actually lead to some serious problems.
1. Structural Damage
Water flowing backward due to clogged drains can seep into your home's foundation. This can lead to damage or weakness in the structure.
In some worse cases, a clogged drain can cause serious flooding inside your home, damaging your floors and requiring expensive repairs.
2. Leak in Plumbing
Clogged drains often cause plumbing leaks in pipes connected to sinks, tubs, and garbage disposals. The clog prevents water from draining properly, and the standing water in the pipe causes leaks through the caulking and seals.
Sometimes, homeowners don't realize there's a leak right away. If a clogged drain causes a leak that goes unnoticed for a while, mold can grow and damage the surrounding area.
3. Foul Odor
Many things can clog a drain, including food, hair, waste, or gunk. When a drain clogs, all these substances accumulate in the pipes, and bacteria can form. This bacteria is often what causes the foul odor.
Worse, the odor could spread to other parts of your home. While it won't damage the pipes or your home, it can irritate you and make you feel uncomfortable.
4. Water Contamination
If there is a lot of waste buildup in the pipes, it will more likely result in water contamination. This happens because water has to pass through the waste and bacteria in the pipes. When waste is stuck in the pipes, it can also cause the water to flow backward, resulting in dirty water supply.
5. Pest Infestation
Stagnant water from clogged drains is a breeding ground for insects like mosquitoes. Other insects are attracted to blocked drains, too, especially if they're full of food. This waste provides a steady diet for these insects.
6. Health Risks
Bacteria-ridden, moldy water in your drains can lead to serious health problems, including fever and diarrhea caused by bacterial infections like campylobacteriosis and typhoid.
Another waterborne illness is Legionnaires’ disease, a respiratory condition. Additionally, water that contains the bacteria Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) can cause peptic ulcers to form in the lining of the stomach and small intestine.
Mold and mildew can grow in dirty or clogged drains, which can cause respiratory problems and trigger allergies or asthma symptoms.
Clogged drains that produce unpleasant odors also pose a health risk, as strong odors cause headaches, dizziness, and nausea. Odors can also cause the eyes, nose, and throat to become irritated. For some people, unpleasant odors can increase their anxiety and stress and affect their mood.
If you can't fix a clogged drain yourself, call a plumber. This will prevent any of the above negative consequences from happening.
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