April showers bring May flowers—and leaves and garden debris. Clogged drains are a common household issue everyone encounters at some point in their life. You need to know what causes your Toronto drains to clog up and what to do if something does plug it up. Here are the most common causes we have calls for drain cleaning in Toronto:

Leaves and Debris

Pipes eventually leave the house, and it’s at this juncture where things can go wrong. Leaves, grass cuttings, sticks and various other types of garden debris can pile up and end up blocking the escape route for your water. When this happens, the water eventually fills up, backs up and you end up with black water bubbling up in your sink.

How to prevent this: You help her out by taking care of your yard and land surrounding your home. You keep your gutters clean and clear. You make sure to rake up leaves surrounding the foundation of your home and gather up those sticks that the spring winds blow off trees.

Tree Roots

Trees are magnificent and beautiful, and Toronto is one of the few privileged cities that has embraced an Eco-friendly system. The City’s gardens are filled with all kinds of remarkable trees, but sometimes tree roots grow into your pipes and create traps for leaves and such. This can be a really expensive problem if it happens, and usually requires excavating the area.

How to prevent this: Learn about the kind of trees you have, what their average root expansion is and measure the distance to your home. Keep a safe distance in mind when you plant new trees, and have a plumber come in once every couple years to conduct an inspection and determine how things are going. Just as you need an occasional physical exam, your home does too.

Grease and Food Stuffs

Grease and food do not belong in drains, but many people seem to think they will magically be digested in the cold, dead pipes. Food doesn’t break down rapidly, however, and grease solidifies as it cools. This is the number one cause of blocked kitchen drains.

How to prevent this: Make use of Ontario’s Green bins and scrape food left overs into those or if they don’t belong, into the garbage. Take an old empty jar and fill it with the grease from cooking. Keep it in the fridge to keep it from going bad and smelling. Or if that isn’t up your alley, then wait until the grease has cooled to scrape it into the garbage. When washing pots and pans that have had a lot of grease in them, use hot water and let it run for a while.

Hairy Situations

Clumps of hair are another common cause of clogged Toronto drains, but it’s a preventable problem. Once a small amount of dead hair accumulates in the pipes, it forms a trap for any other hair that comes down the pipe. As the quantity of hair builds up, it forms a mini “dam” that can block the drains completely, and even cause damage to the lining of the pipes.

How to prevent this: Many stores now sell little “catcher” screens that fit perfectly into drains of all sizes, and they are incredibly reasonably priced. These are your new best friends. To avoid showering in ankle deep water, get a screen and put it in the tub. Hair and other shower residues like soap scum can all build up in your drain and cause blocks. Use a screen and prevent the problem from occurring in the first instance.

So when it comes to your Toronto drains, there are many things that can cause them to get blocked—but there are also many ways to prevent it. Maintain your drains and you can enjoy the spring rains without worry.