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Commercial Properties Blocked Drains Causes: More Info

26
Jun

Blocked drains can be a persistent and costly problem for commercial property owners and managers. Understanding the various causes of these blockages is crucial for implementing effective preventive measures and addressing issues promptly. Here's an in-depth look at the leading causes of blocked drains in commercial properties:

1. Accumulation of Hair and Soap Scum

Drains in commercial facilities, especially those with a lot of foot traffic like hotels, salons, and gyms, can quickly become clogged with hair and soap scum, especially in the showers and restrooms. The accumulation of these compounds over time can lead to a thick, sticky residue, which can cause pipe clogging. Residue is a typical problem in high-traffic areas since the drainage system can't handle the continual flow of hair and soap products. Hair and other debris can easily enter the pipes due to the absence of adequate drain covers or screens, which makes the problem worse.

2. Food Waste and Grease

Because of the high volume of food scraps and grease, commercial kitchens are a common location for clogged drains. These compounds, when cooled, can harden and adhere to pipe walls, causing a slow but steady reduction in water flow or even a full blockage.

This problem is particularly prevalent in food service facilities like restaurants and cafeterias, where a lot of grease, leftovers, and other organic waste ends up in the drains. It gets worse because there aren't enough interceptors or grease traps to catch the grease before it goes into the drains.

3. Foreign Objects

Paper towels, hygiene products, and even small toys might end up in the sewer, either by accident or on purpose, from employees or consumers. These objects can get stuck in the pipes and cause blockages, leading to backups and flooding. These events are common issues in commercial properties with high traffic, such as office buildings, shopping malls, and public restrooms, where there is an increased risk of flushing foreign objects down the drains. What exacerbates the issue is improper signage and education of licensed plumbers about what can and cannot go down the drain. 

4. Tree Root Intrusion

If the commercial property has trees planted near the drainage system, their roots can grow into the pipes and cause blockages. Root growth is widespread in older properties with clay or concrete pipes, which are more susceptible to root intrusion. As the roots grow, they can crack and penetrate the pipes, creating openings for debris to accumulate and block the water flow. Lack of proper pipe material or installation techniques compounds the problem. In effect, this makes the drainage system more vulnerable to root intrusion.

5. Mineral Buildup

This is one of the most common commercial properties blocked drains causes in regions with hard water. Mineral deposits may build up in the pipes over time, leading to reduced water flow and eventual blockages. These problems can impact commercial properties with high water usage, such as laundromats, car washes, or facilities with large-scale water-based operations. The minerals in the water, such as calcium and magnesium, can gradually build up on the pipe walls, narrowing the passage and causing blockages. The lack of proper water treatment or filtration systems, which can help remove minerals before they enter the drainage system, can worsen the problem.

6. Improper Disposal of Chemicals

Businesses that use chemicals that might damage or corrode pipes include car washes, manufacturers, and labs. Proper disposal of these chemicals is vital to ensuring their safety. Pipes can burst or become clogged if not disposed of properly. Since this approach introduces potentially dangerous substances into the drainage system, it raises human and environmental health issues. Appropriate training or regulations for the safe and responsible disposal of chemicals can help alleviate this problem.

7. Aging Infrastructure

The drainage system may need to be updated or in better condition in older commercial properties, making it more susceptible to blockages. Over time, pipes can become worn, cracked, or misaligned, allowing debris to accumulate and cause blockages. Natural degradation is a common problem in historic buildings or properties that must be regularly maintained and upgraded, especially regarding plumbing systems. The lack of proper maintenance or replacement of aging pipes can lead to more frequent and severe blockages.

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