Nothing makes a homeowner cringe more than having to deal with plumbing issues, and high on the list of plumbing issues is the whole matter of blocked drains. It’s not hard to see why this would be such a problem given that your home’s drains are essentially the last wall of defense for foreign matter staying out of your pipes.

It may be the fact that unfortunately, the foreign matter responsible for blocking up drains is pretty darn yucky to deal with, and for that, homeowners tend to shut right off. This is unacceptable! When it comes right down to it, you are the first line of defense in keeping blockages from developing in your drains. Are you seriously going to refuse to get past the “ick” factor and let your plumbing get compromised?

You may be surprised to hear that plumbing experts have noted that many of the blocked drains they encounter everyday are caused by objects that have no business being near the drain in the first place. In other words, it’s almost 100% preventative.

Here is a list of the most common things that cause blocked drains in your home & what you can do to regularly to help keep things moving:

Toilet Paper – Even though it’s meant to break down, sometimes enough of it can cause things to back up. Have conversations with the family and discuss usage, especially if you have children who are toilet training.

Hair & Grease – These are the things that come off you when you bathe & shower. If not attended to regularly, they will create some serious greasy hair-balls, and it’s not pretty at all. There are a number of products on the market that help in the collection of this stuff, but actually going into your shower drain once a week to clean will help immensely.

Sanitary & Hygiene Products – These only belong in the trash, but you might be surprised how often they end up where they shouldn’t be. Make it a regular practice for anyone using these products in your home to dispose of them in the trash can.

Food – Kitchens are prime areas for blocked drains, so thinking that all food items go down & stay down is not a healthy way of approaching drain upkeep. Be mindful of excess foods on dishes, and make it a point to just put food particles in the trash.

Toys – Kids like to play in the weirdest places. They also leave toys where they shouldn’t. You need to establish some type of protocol with your kids on where they are allowed to play & laying down the law regarding where toys don’t belong.

Cooking – If you happen to have leftover grease from cooking, don’t dump it into your sink. You can collect it in an old coffee can or other receptacle & dispose of it in the trash. Better yet, contact your city services and see what they recommend.

Construction Materials – Paint, grout, or things like this that are used for construction projects don’t belong in your drains, period.

Blocked drains are a real drag. As such, make it a point to keep your drains clear and regularly clean out your drains just to keep things running smoothly. Of course, it’s always nice to have a local, trusted plumber to help out in case things go awry again.