Mrs Hinch's best tips for clearing your sink drains
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Household drainage can cling on to bacteria and debris which can leave a nasty smell emanating in the air. Ignoring an unusual smell coming from your drains will only make the problem worse the longer you leave it, but how can you work out what’s causing it? These are four possible reasons why your drains smell “very unpleasant” in the summer months, according to Express Drainage Surveys.
Bins are one of the most obvious places that begin to smell worse in the heat of summer, and the same can happen to household drains too.
While a blockage is usually the first thing that springs to mind when you’re faced with a foul-smelling sink or shower, it may not always be the cause of the smell.
In fact, even exterior drains will begin to emit a nasty stench when bacteria builds up in the warm weather – but what’s the most likely cause?
According to Express Drainage Surveys, food falling into our drains is the “most common cause” of foul-smelling odours.
The company said: “Food comes off our cutlery and crockery as we wash it and goes down plug holes.
“While it may seem like it’s just the odd grain of rice or a random pea, these bits of food soon accumulate and can end up becoming an obstruction in the drain.”
The only way to prevent this type of smell is to “be vigilant” and stop items from going down the plughole in the first place.
A sure-fire way to prevent this happening is to scrape all leftover food into the bin instead of falling in the sink.
Drain defenders provide a simple but effective way of blocking unwanted items going down the drain too.
One of the main things to remember when it comes to keeping drains food-free is that no matter how small the food is or how slight it may be, they can all cause smelly problems.
If water is left to stand without being properly flushed away, it will soon start to smell foul as bacteria breeds in the warm weather.
Stagnant water occurs when the ground reaches saturation point and cannot absorb all the rainwater that has recently fallen, making it hard to prevent in bouts of extreme rainfall.
The bacteria-filled water becomes a breeding ground for insects, which can pose hygiene risks as well as being very annoying to come into contact with.
Sometimes a simple forking of the ground will help water disperse and prevent stagnant water from causing drainage issues.
Harsh chemicals, such as washing detergents, should always be avoided if you are trying to combat the smell, as these are known to be disruptive on an environmental level.
Instead, use neutral baking soda to remove harsh odours and leave a fresher smell.
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A strong stench coming from one or more sinks in your home is likely to be caused by physical damage to the pipes.
Express Drainage Surveys said: “It is possible a crack or leak in the pipe that carries the wastewater to the public sewer is to blame.
“These aforementioned cracks and leaks can come from a number of flashpoints.”
Possible causes of pipe damage include:
- Cold weather – can cause pipes to freeze and crack
- Old pipes – pipes become weaker after long periods of time which can manifest itself as cracks
- Tree roots – strong root systems can intrude on the pipes, cracking them in a process known as root ingress
Damaged pipes should be dealt with as soon as possible to preserve the quality of sinks and toilets as well as preventing bad smells.
A thriving summer garden is a sight to behold in summer, but those “pretty plants” above the soil often require deep and lengthy roots that spread further into the ground.
In most cases, these roots won’t be stopped by pipes and will continue to grow around or even penetrate the pipework.
When this happens, it can cause leaks and blockages (root ingress), which will leave your pipes exposed to bad odours and bacteria.
What’s more, the structural stability will also be compromised, which can be an expensive repair for your property.
Avoid growing plants too close to your building and keep invasive weeds at bay with regular treatments.
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