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Four Ways That Animals Can Damage Or Clog Your Pipes

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With all the reasons for a drain to get clogged, many people may not know how wild and domestic animals can contribute to the problem. In some cases, they can cause a drain to clog to the point where you may need to call a plumber. Here are few ways animals can cause a clog or cause damage to the pipes in your home.

They get stuck:

Probably the first thing that comes to mind when you think of animals clogging drains is when they get stuck and die. Animals can access pipes through un-screened vent stacks or pipes that are open to the outside of your home. Some of these animals may even show up in your home through toilets or sinks if they are small and fast enough to survive the journey.

By making nests:

Animals sometimes build nests either in the drain pipe or on top of critical vents which affect pressure or release gas buildups. In some cases, these nests can completely close up a vent. This may cause fumes to back up into the home, serious clogs or change water pressure and cause backups, some of which can be dangerous or cause serious damage.

Chewing on plastic pipes:

Some animals, such as rats and squirrels, can chew threw plastic pipes and cause leaks and other damage, especially if the pipe is already weak. They may also cause dents in some types of metal pipes which may contribute to clogging. Though this is probably more of a pest control issue than a plumbing issue, it's important to keep gnawing animals away from all your plumbing, including metal plumbing.

With their own hairs:

Your own domestic pets can cause problems with your pipes when their hair goes down the drain and cause a clog. Washing your pet in a tub without a drain filter will allow hairs to flow into the pipes and possibly accumulate in certain spots. Over time, pet hair, as well as human hair, can build up down the line and cause a major clog that will need to be cleared.

Fortunately, there are some easy solutions to these problems. You can put screens over your vents to prevent access, for example. You can also put screens and vents near any other access areas. For the pet hair problem, a screen or trap over your drain that you can easily remove and clean should reduce the amount of hair going down the drain. If you are experiencing a drain problem, then call a plumber and have your pipes scoped and cleaned. The plumber can check your pipes to determine if animals are an issue and where they are causing the most problems.Then, you can block off their access points so that the animals don't cause problems in the future.