Keeping up on home maintenance is an essential responsibility for Santa Cruz homeowners, and a key area that deserves your attention is your home’s plumbing and drainage system. Ignoring signs of trouble in your drains could lead to clogs, backups and more; for this reason, it’s important to frequently address the health of all the drains in your home. Unfortunately, there’s one drain homeowners frequently overlook.
The Importance of Floor Drains
Floor drains are typically located in the lower levels of your home, such as the basement, garage, and some first-level bathrooms, as well as beneath your hot water heater. These important drains function to provide efficient, speedy drainage of your lower level in the event of water overflow from an appliance or floodwaters entering your home. Floor drains are just as susceptible to clogs as any other drain and can allow water to accumulate in your home if clogs are not properly addressed.
Here’s how to maintain your floor drains to ensure they are able to clear your home of excess water in the event of an emergency situation:
- Prevent trap dry out. Floor drains are closely linked to your home’s sewer drain and include a trap (typically a layer of fresh water) to prevent sewer odors from entering your home. If this trap dries out, however, you’ll notice a foul odor coming from your floor drains. Add water to your floor drain on a monthly basis to keep the trap from drying out.
- Clean regularly. Due to their location, floor drains are at risk for dust, debris, and more falling through the cover and into the drain itself. Make it a habit to clear debris from your floor drains on a seasonal or semi-annual basis to prevent severe clogs from forming.
- Address clogs immediately. If your floor drain clogs despite your efforts, do your best to clear it as soon as possible. Use a plunger or drain auger to break up the clog and send it on down to the sewer; you can also try a mixture of baking soda and vinegar to loosen any hair and debris that may be causing the clog. If you’re unable to clear it yourself, it’s time to contact a professional.