5 Home Renovation Mistakes That Can Damage Your Drains

Damage Your Drains

Renovating your home is a great way to give it a fresh look and increase your property value. But you’ll need to make sure that the renovations you do don’t interfere with your property’s infrastructure. That includes protecting your plumbing system. Home renovation mistakes can damage your drains as well. Neglecting to take your drains into account during your renovation project could end up creating costly problems later on.

The 5 Most Common Home Renovation Mistakes

The Balkan Sewer and Water Main Service team has repaired drain issues caused by renovation projects many times in the past. One of the factors that allows this to occur is unlicensed and unskilled homeowners and contractors attempting to perform plumbing work. Here are the 5 most common home renovation mistakes we’ve encountered so you can avoid them in your remodeling project.

Damage Your Drains

1. Improperly Dumping Materials Will Damage Your Drains

There is a lot of debris that comes with a home renovation project. All that trash has to go somewhere, but that place shouldn’t be your drain. Don’t get rid of small debris like sawdust, nails, or bits of drywall, or leftover powdered grout or cement by flushing them in the toilet, or sweeping them into your floor drains.

You should also cover your floor drains and open access pits to ensure that debris doesn’t accidentally fall into them. These items can damage your pipes and cause major (and expensive) blockages in your plumbing system.

ready mix concrete
Wet concrete will harden rock solid if introduced into your drain pipes

Concrete and Grout Harden Under Water – Inside Active Drain Lines

The worst item to place in a drain is concrete or grout. Concrete and grout will both harden, even under water. That means that wet concrete will harden rock solid in your drains, and inside of your plumbing traps as well.

Concrete causes irreparable damage to your drains, which will result in drain replacement work. Sweeping or intentionally placing concrete inside a drain pipe is about the most common and worst of all home renovation mistakes that adversely affect plumbing.

2. Fixtures that Don’t Match Your Drain Size

Bathroom remodels are some of the most popular renovations done on homes. That’s with good reason. HGTV reports that many bathroom remodeling projects return more than the cost of the project when it comes to resale. That makes a bathroom renovation a good investment.

But one mistake many bathroom renovations encounter is purchasing fixtures that don’t match your drain size. Conversely, never downsize drain pipe size to save a few dollars on materials.

Don’t assume your drain size is “standard”, or that the fixtures you are purchasing will fit your current plumbing configuration. Make sure you measure your drains and get fixtures that will work with them. Trying to make different sizes work together is often more trouble than it’s worth. Mismatched piping sizes will damage your drains and cause reoccurring clogs down the road.

3. Incorrectly Finished Basements

Finishing a basement is a terrific way to increase the livable footprint of your home. It adds living space for your growing family. You can turn it into a new bedroom, a rec room, or even a self-contained apartment. Finishing a basement isn’t as easy as putting up some drywall and laying down some carpet, though.

Consider the potential drainage issues before you finish your basement. That includes correcting current damp issues and preventing new ones in the future. You’ll also want to make sure groundwater has a place to go and that any of the remodeling work doesn’t block your current drains. It’s strongly suggested to perform an HD sewer camera inspection before finishing a basement to ensure no damage to your drains exists.

Basement entrances and drainage

When there is a new or expanded basement entrance below ground, rainwater drainage should be a major consideration. Water entering a finished basement at the stairwell entrance can be catastrophic.

Always try to have an adequate basement drain at the foot of the stairwell, and have it piped into the main house drain. Simply putting in a homemade and typically undersized dry well is not a good idea.

Home renovation mistakes can cause basement flooding

4. Digging Up Landscape Features

Are you eager to turn your yard into an outdoor oasis? From patios to pools to outdoor kitchens, there are plenty of options when it comes to renovating your outdoor space. Most of them are going to involve digging up your current landscaping to make space.

One thing to keep in mind is your home depends on the infrastructure running underneath your garden. That includes your plumbing system. If you start to dig more than a few feet deep, there is a good chance you could hit something important. If it’s a pipe, you could damage it and be at risk of creating a lot of water damage on your property. Your outside area and yard drains are vital in preventing flooding during heavy rains, or snow melts.

damage your drains
Yard excavation can easily damage your area drains

Get a survey done of your property before the remodeling work starts so they can flag the areas to avoid. More important than not damaging your drains is preventing utility damage, like a ruptured gas main. Before any digging is done outside of your home, make sure to call 811 for a utility mark-out. It is actually the law to call 811 before any shovel hits the ground, and will certainly avoid one of the more serious home renovation mistakes that can occur.

5. Contractor’s Liability Coverage

When you hire a contractor to do any sort of renovation work, don’t forget to ask them about their liability coverage. Ask for their license and insurance, too. Liability coverage gives you peace of mind. If something goes wrong because of something the contractor did, the insurance will probably cover the cost of the repairs. Even experienced contractors can make mistakes.

It’s worth checking your homeowner’s insurance policy as well. That’s especially true if you are taking on the renovations yourself. A contractor or a DIY’er not having adequate or appropriate insurance is also one of the more common home renovation mistakes that occur.

Trust The Balkan Drain Team To Clean and Correct Drain Line Issues

Are you experiencing issues with your drains during or after a renovation project due to home renovation mistakes? Contact the Balkan Drain Cleaning team today. Balkan Drain Cleaning can help you correct the drain line issue and get your renovation project back on track. In the rare case, such as hardened concrete inside a pipe, the drain cannot be cleared you can rely on Balkan Sewer And Water Main Service for prompt and reliable sewer pipe repair work.