As the weather turns from hot to the cool crispness of fall, it’s time to begin preparing your home for the coming winter. There are some jobs that are just ideal for doing in the fall before it becomes too cold and the ground begins to freeze. Drain cleaning is one of these essential fall tasks that should be addressed before you buckle down for the oncoming snow!

Here are some timely maintenance tasks to save your kitchen and bathroom sinks from a wintry death this year:

Bathroom Sinks

Top of the pops for drain problems is the bathroom sink. Hair, dirt, toothpaste, makeup and so much more can all get into your drains and start causing problems. There’s nothing worse than a bathtub that starts filling up when you’re trying to shower, due to blockages in the drains.

If this is a scenario you know only too well, you could try installing a few more drain grates to give your shower water more escape options. If you have long hair (or perhaps you’re part Yeti), these will save your pipes’ lives.

Schedule a drain camera inspection before the snow arrives is a good idea to help reduce the risk of problems during the freeze.

Kitchen Sinks

Kitchen sinks are easily the second most common drain clog. Not everyone realizes that pouring cooking grease down the drain is actually a really bad idea! As the grease cools, it solidifies in the pipes creating a blockage. Start pouring the grease into a jar, keep it covered somewhere and dispose of when it’s full. Another common cause for kitchen clogs is pouring coffee grounds in the sink. Always put them in the garbage or your compost pile.

Keep your kitchen drains running smoothly by placing a grate or screen over your drain. This will help to keep food debris, hair, soap scum and all sorts of items out of your pipes and reduce your risk of developing problems.

man cleaning gutter in east end toronto

Prevention Protocols

Of course, prevention is always better than cure, so follow these tips to avoid the need for drain cleaning in the first place:

  1. Always run hot water after use. This can help flush out the drains and keep out any oil from sticking to the walls and causing clogs.
  2. Use vinegar. This is a great all-purpose cleaner and the acetic acid naturally eats away any buildups inside your drains.
  3. Baking soda is the yin to your vinegar-yang. Keep your drains from smelling by pouring half a cup of baking soda down the drain and then rinse thoroughly with hot water. This absorbs the odor and also cleans it!
  4. Drain cleaning products are not always your friend. They can work when you’re in a tight spot and you’ve got a nasty clog but they aren’t ideal for regular maintenance. They can actually end up damaging your drains and usually only burn a hole through the clog instead of completely removing it. So save yourself the money and the hassle. You can’t go far wrong with vinegar and baking soda!

Other Essential Fall Tasks

There are various critical tasks to do to get prepared for the cold weather. Another “drain” like the task you don’t want to forget about is your gutters! Make sure you get any leaves, dirt and other debris out of them, and if you need to, call on a gutter cleaning professional to help make your life easier. Check to make sure there’s no damage and make any repairs if needed. Clogged or damaged gutters are the number one cause of ice dams in the winter.

So before you can burrow into the blankets with a hot cup of tea and a good book this winter, make sure you’ve taken care of your essential fall tasks!