Hidden Dangers of Blocked Pipes to Your Family and Pets

No Dig Camera inspecting the pipes

While it’s true that a blocked pipe can be a major inconvenience, failing to fix a clog could cause the pipe to burst and flood your home, leading to major damage to your property.

Not acting fast enough to fix blocked pipes can also expose your family and pets to an unsanitary living environment and leave them vulnerable to significant health hazards.

In this article, we look at the harmful effects that blocked pipes can have on your health and home and explain what can happen if you ignore a blocked drain.

Blocked pipes can be serious health hazards

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A clog in plumbing pipes can become a safety issue for homeowners and pets. Here are just some of the health hazards a drain blockage can cause.

Stagnant water from a clog can harbour waterborne diseases

Drainage systems that are in good working order will carry harmful pathogens and bacteria away from your home. However, if water cannot flow as intended, these pathogens, viruses, and microorganisms multiply.

This can cause a range of diseases and health concerns if you accidentally come into contact with this contaminated water.

The bacteria in stagnant water can cause stomach upsets, including diarrhoea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. It can also cause illnesses such as hepatitis A, salmonella, E. coli, and a type of pneumonia called Legionnaires’ disease, which results from inhaling microscopic droplets from contaminated water sources, such as blocked drains, and can be fatal.

The stagnant water found in blocked drains can also pose a risk to pets. Dogs are at risk of contracting bacterial diseases such as leptospirosis, which can be fatal if left untreated.

A drain blockage can expose your family to chemicals and foul smells

It doesn’t take long before stagnant water begins to smell, particularly in a sewage pipe. Waste materials may have been trapped in the pipes for some time, and when they begin to decompose, your whole home can be filled with an unpleasant odour.

This smell can cause respiratory problems, headaches, dizziness, and nausea, making your home uninhabitable.

Toxic fumes from chemical use can also become a problem, particularly in commercial settings.

Pipes are a breeding ground for bacteria and mould

High humidity can cause mould to form. If these spores are inhaled, they can cause allergic reactions and respiratory problems such as wheezing and nasal congestion, which will become worse over time.

For example, a stormwater drain blocked by tree roots could cause mould to grow in your home, which could eventually spread.

Drain blockages can also cause allergies and skin and fungal infections through bacteria and toxic gases.

Plumbing problems can lead to pest infestations

Wastewater that is unable to flow away from your home contains oil, gunk, and grime, which can attract pests like mosquitoes, cockroaches, and rodents looking for a food source.

Rats can cause further damage to pipes and bring harmful bacteria and diseases into your home, making your family and pets very sick.

Mosquitoes can transmit serious diseases to humans. These can cause life-long health implications or even be fatal.

Mosquitoes are also responsible for causing heartworm in dogs, which damages their heart, liver, lungs, and kidneys and eventually causes death if left untreated.

A blockage in your pipes can lead to food contamination

When a drain is blocked, water will begin flowing anywhere it can because the wastewater outlets in a house connect to one line: the sewer.

Water from the sewer drain can flow back up the pipes and into your bathroom or kitchen sink, putting your whole family in danger.

This water contains harmful bacteria that can spread to food items without careful cleaning or through flies and other insects. These germs can cause stomach bugs and food poisoning, so contact a plumber to resolve your plumbing issues as soon as possible if you begin to see this in your home.

The other consequences of ignoring blocked pipes

clogged drain pipe

A drainage system blockage can have other consequences for your family and pets in addition to the more obvious health hazards. In the worst-case scenario, a severe blockage may cause a water backup inside your home, causing flooding.

Then, not only will you have the cost of repairs for a blocked drain, but you may also have to replace the flooring, walls, or electrics in your home.

If you suspect you have a blocked pipe or drain, contact a plumbing professional to inspect it as soon as possible so the problem does not exacerbate and cause water damage in your home.

A blocked drain left unchecked could threaten your entire drainage system, causing bursts or broken pipes elsewhere. A professional can check the cause of clogs and repair pipes and leaks, as well as recommend further action if necessary.

How to prevent a costly blockage in your pipes

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To prevent dangerous health hazards caused by blocked pipes, you should have plumbing problems fixed as soon as possible.

If you notice any of the tell-tale signs of a blocked drain, call a plumber to inspect your pipes before the problem worsens. You can also help to avoid a blockage in pipes and drains by taking these measures:

  • Never flush wipes down toilets, even if they claim to be ‘flushable’. Toilet paper is the only thing that should ever be flushed down the toilet.
  • Install drain covers in the kitchen to prevent garbage and food scraps from entering sewer pipes.
  • Don’t tip contaminants such as oil down sinks, as these end up in sewer drains where they can quickly solidify and cause a blockage.
  • Use drain covers in bathrooms, too. They should be placed in bathtubs, sinks, and showers to prevent hair, trash, or debris, such as bar soap, from clogging the drains.
  • Have a plumber inspect your plumbing system to ensure it has been installed correctly and water can flow freely.
  • Perform regular maintenance using drain cleaners to keep your plumbing system free of grease and grime. A simple vinegar solution is an effective way of keeping pipes clean.
  • Consider installing a water softener system to reduce mineral build-up in pipes.

Drain blockage? Pipes clogged? You know who to call!

Woman smiling and talking on phone

Blocked pipes and drains stink. Bacteria and toxic gases pose a serious health hazard. They attract insects and pests and put your family and pets at risk of pollution, which can lead to serious diseases. And, if not attended to quickly, blocked pipes and drains can damage your plumbing and cause water damage in your home.

If you are experiencing noisy pipes, strange odours, water damage, or overflowing drains in your household, give The Relining Company a call. We specialise in drain inspections and unblocking drains in Sydney homes.

If your pipes need major repairs, we have a fuss-free, no-dig, no-mess solution for that, too. We can have your blocked drain cleared and working again on the same day. Call Steve on 0488 885 166 now!

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