At Allied Reddi-Rooter, we specialize in keeping drains clear and flowing freely. While we don’t install gutters or gutter guards, we’re very familiar with gutter systems and their demanding job. From leaves and debris to pests and toys, gutters can quickly become a catch-all for anything that falls from above.

In Cincinnati, where every month brings rain or snow, gutter guards are essential for maintaining clean and functional gutters year-round. They act as the frontline defense, preventing debris from clogging up your drainage system and causing potential water damage to your home. 

In this article, we’ll compare a few popular methods of gutter guards to help you decide which might be best for your home.

Mesh gutter guards
Mesh gutter guards are the most common type on the market. They feature a fine mesh screen that allows water to flow through while blocking out leaves, twigs, and other debris. These guards are generally durable and effective at keeping gutters clear, making them popular for homeowners looking for low-maintenance solutions.

Reverse curve gutter guards
Reverse curve gutter guards are designed to allow water to flow into the gutters while guiding leaves and debris to fall off the edge. They work on the principle of surface tension, directing rainwater downward and preventing debris from entering the gutter. While effective, they may require occasional cleaning to ensure optimal performance.

Bottle brush gutter guards
Bottlebrush gutter guards consist of bristles that line the gutter, allowing water to flow through while trapping leaves and debris on top. These guards are easy to install and maintain, making them convenient for homeowners who want to minimize gutter cleaning efforts.

What is the lifespan of my residential sewer main?  

Choosing the Right Gutter Guard

When selecting a gutter guard system for your home, consider factors including the number of trees in your yard and around it and the slope of your roof. Also, weigh the initial cost of installation against potential savings in gutter cleaning and maintenance over time.

Maintaining Your Gutters

Remember: While gutter guards can significantly reduce the frequency of gutter cleaning, they are not maintenance-free. Inspecting and cleaning your gutter guards periodically is essential to ensure they are functioning correctly. This can help prevent water damage and extend the life of your gutters and roof.

Do I really need a master plumber?

Whether you choose mesh guards, reverse curve guards, or bottle brush guards, investing in a quality gutter guard system can save you time, money, and hassle in the long run. If you have questions about gutter guards or plumbing needs, contact Allied Reddi-Rooter. Our team is here to help keep your home’s drainage system running smoothly year-round.

It can be alarming to walk down to your Cincinnati basement, only to discover a pool of water on the floor. And getting to the source of the backup can be challenging, especially if you’re not familiar with your basement’s plumbing components and how they work together to keep your basement dry. 

Water can collect on the basement floor for a variety of reasons, but often times the culprit is a clog in the basement floor drain. They key, once you determine it’s the reason for the backup, is figuring out how it happened in the first place. Here’s five common reasons basement drains clog. 

Heavy rainfall

One of the most common causes of basement drain backups is heavy rainfall, especially during months with above average rainfall, or after a particularly strong weather system rolls through Cincinnati. Simply put, rain can overtax home plumbing systems, and the public sewer system, too. The FEMA Flooding Maps website is a great place to learn about your home’s risk for flooding.

Additionally, water from melting snow can cause a backup, which is why you should check that your basement drain is free and clear of debris before a winter or summer storm. 

Damaged pipes

If you live in a home with older plumbing your basement drain might be at greater risk of backing up. Over time, pipes can become defective, break or become weak and brittle and crack. If they can no longer move water through your home’s plumbing system effectively, it can cause a backup – including a backup in the basement floor drain. 

Clog in a drain in close proximity

Even drains in homes with stellar plumbing systems are at risk of getting clogged, especially if someone flushes something like a baby wipe, paper towel, or a feminine hygiene product down the toilet or a sink. Overtime, these products can create a blockage, and if it’s in a sink or a toilet on a lower level, close to the basement, it can lead to a clog in the basement floor drain. 

Septic tank issues

If you’re living in a home with a septic system, it’s important to know when the last time your septic tank was cleaned out. Over time, septic tanks fill with solid waste, and once they are full, they need to be pumped out. If they aren’t it can lead to a backup in your basement floor drain, and a particularly smelly one at that. 

Roots in the sewer main

When tree roots grow around or into your pipes, they can become weak and damaged. As the roots grow deeper into the pipes, it can cause wastewater to escape and erode the soil around it, causing a main sewer collapse. One of the first signs that you’ve got roots in the sewer main is a clogged basement floor drain. This is a plumbing emergency and should be addressed by a professional plumber immediately. 

See water in the floor drain?

Don’t be alarmed. In fact, if you spot water about a foot into the drain that means the U-Joint is doing its job. This joint keeps any smells from working backward in the system. 

Notice an odor from the drain periodically?

That means it’s time to pour water in the drain to flush and fill it. 

If you’re concerned you’ve got a clogged basement drain, the team at Allied Reddi-Rooter is here to help. We can perform a video sewer line inspection to identify and address the problem. Get started with an over-the-phone price that we’ll stand by. No overselling ever. Check out our present coupons for even more discounts 

Many homeowners worry about finding “scary” tree roots in their home’s sewer lines. While this can be a rather extensive (and sometimes expensive) situation, there are ways to find out whether there are tree roots growing in your sewage lines, as well as ways to fix the issue quickly should it arise. 

One of the first steps you should take if you’re worried tree roots are growing in your sewer line is contacting the sewer department to find out where the sewer lines are located in your yard. This will help determine whether the issue at hand is in an area near the sewer line or not. 

A good next step would be to contact a professional plumber who can perform a video pipe inspection to look at the issue closer and determine the best way to fix it, should they find any roots in the sewer line. 

Signs you may have tree roots in your sewer line 

Slow drains and noisy toilets
One of the most telltale signs of a sewer problem is a loud, gurgling toilet when flushing. If this happens, check to see if your drains are slow. If they are, even after attempting to unclog them, it’s time to contact a plumbing professional. 

Foul odors
Since we’re dealing with sewage, it stands to reason that there may be an unpleasant smell in the home should your sewer line have root damage. Usually, you’ll smell the odor outside of the home, near the sewer line itself. In some cases, however, you can detect the odor inside, especially if there are drain and toilet problems, too. 

Sink holes
If you suspect a sewer line issue, take a look around the yard for sink holes. These are a sign that roots have grown into the plumbing and are causing water leaks. If you see sink holes, it’s important to call a plumbing professional to fix the problem, otherwise it can lead to further damage to the yard and your home. 

How to remove tree roots from the sewer line  

There are several ways to remove tree roots from your sewer line, and a video pipe inspection is often the best way to determine the best method of treatment. 

Mechanically
One of the most popular methods of removing tree roots from your sewer line is with a mechanical auger that can dig into the sewer line and pull away the roots. 

Chemically
You can also treat and remove tree roots from sewer lines using chemicals like copper sulfate. It’s important to note that this method of treatment should be done by a professional because of the dangers of using this chemical compound. 

Foaming root killers
If you’ve detected root growth in its early stages, you may be able to eradicate the problem by using a foaming root killer that uses an herbicide to kills the growth and prevents new growth from occurring. You can find foaming root killers at your local home improvement store. 

Concerned you may have tree roots growing in your sewer line? Contact us at Allied Reddi-Rooter. We can schedule a $250 video pipe inspection to address and fix the problem promptly. We always come highly recommended and have earned an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau for our expert quality of service.  You can follow us on Facebook, @Allied Reddi-Rooter for the latest tips or to ask us a question.

Sometimes a call to the plumber is the result of something that’s completely out of your hands, like a burst pipe, a sewer line break or leak, or to install a new water heater or bathtub. But let’s face it, we’re human, and many of us have had to call a plumber for something we could have prevented.

We’re talking about clogged drains and pipes as a result of putting something down the drain or flushing an item down the toilet that’s better off being tossed in the garbage or recycling bin. 

To help you avoid the burden of unclogging a backed up sink or toilet on your own, or a call to the plumber, we’ve come up with a top ten list of items you should never put down a drain (or garbage disposal, for that matter). 

And the ten worst things to put down the drain are…  

  1. Cooking oils and butter 

Cooking oils, butters and margarine that are tossed down the drain when hot can congeal in the pipes. Eventually, this will make debris you send down drain stick to the pipe and eventually cause a blockage. This also happens when you pour animal fat (like bacon dripping) and vegetable fats like coconut oil down the drain. 

To dispose of fats safely, pour them in a metal container (like a coffee tin), cover, and throw away. The verdict is out whether to reuse fats or not. While they may not be good for the waistline, grease and oils are definitely not good for the drain. 

  1. Egg shells 

These belong in the compost bin. The reason? Eggshells are very hard on garbage disposal blades and even small pieces of eggshell can collect in pipes and cause a blockage. 

  1. Coffee grinds 

The biggest issue with putting coffee grounds down the drain is that they won’t break down in water. Since they aren’t water soluble, in time remaining grounds in the drain will clump together and cause a clog. Coffee grinds are best left for the compost pile. 

  1. Rice and pasta

Both semolina and rice will swell when flushed down the drain and will cause blockage. While newer types of pasta made with rice or vegetables (usually gluten-free pasta) may be slightly better for drains, we advise against putting this type of pasta down the drain, too. The same goes for most types of rice including brown and arborio rice. 

  1. Produce stickers 

Make sure to peel any produce stickers off your fruits and veggies and discard them so they don’t end up in the drain. The stickers can adhere to the sides of pipes and can even damage the water filters at your city water treatment center.    

  1. Medication 

It’s critical that you take any unused or expired prescription medications back to the pharmacy. Most wastewater treatment systems don’t have the ability to filter out medications which can end up in rivers and lakes. This not only contaminates the water, it can be dangerous to fish and all water wildlife. 

  1. Sanitary napkins and tampons 

Most people know that sanitary napkins aren’t flushable, but tampons aren’t either.  Sanitary napkins are simply too thick to be flushed down toilets and will almost instantly cause a blockage. They aren’t biodegradable either, so they’ll pollute water if they don’t clog the pipes first. 

Tampons, as well as their wrappers, are not flushable, and most manufacturers note this on tampon boxes, but they are often still the cause of toilet clogs. Tampons will expand in water, which makes it easier for them to get stuck in pipes.   

  1. Flushable wipes, cotton balls and paper towels

Like sanitary napkins, flushable wipes including baby wipes, facial wipes, are too heavy and thick to be flushable. Eventually, they’ll get stuck and cause a pretty significant clog in the drain. Consider this: toilet paper will disintegrate completely within 24 hours. When a wipe is flushed down the toilet, it can take weeks for it breaks down. Then, as each wipe gets flushed down the toilet, they accumulate to cause a big clog. 

  1. Cat litter 

If you think flushable cat litter is too good to be true, you’re right. Not only can large clumps of cat feces coated in clay or a biodegradable material like corn, wheat, or walnut shells, clog toilets, flushing cat droppings down the toilet can allow a parasite called toxoplasma gondii to enter the water supply, and that can cause toxoplasmosis in humans. 

  1. Bleach

Because bleach is a toxic substance, you should never pour it down a drain. Doing so can cause the bleach to mix with different substances in your pipes which can result in toxic fumes. 

Remember: If you’re concerned an item may clog a drain, it probably will. When in doubt, throw it in the garbage can. Keep this top ten list handy, and get in the habit of never flushing these items down the drain.  Call or Contact the at Allied Reddi-Rooter, 513-396-5300.  We always come highly recommended and have earned an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau for our expert quality of service.

 

In our 1920’s vintage home, we’re at peace with our vintage plumbing: everything above ground is new-ish. Everything underground is cast iron, rusty, and likely broken in places that we can’t see. After 20+ years of peaceful coexistence, our basement drain recently decided to take our relationship to a new level. It burped up a wave of sewer gas that we could not ignore. Our beloved basement man-cave had become too stinky to enjoy.

What is Sewer Gas?
According to Wikipedia, “sewer gas is a complex mixture of toxic and nontoxic gases produced and collected in sewage systems by the decomposition of [sewage].” The actual gas portion may include hydrogen sulfide, ammonia, methane, esters, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides. The stinky part is typically the hydrogen sulfide component.

Although unpleasant,  sewer gas from a basement drain are in low enough concentrations that they are generally not toxic. On the flip side, if you were to enter the sewer for a closer look at the source of sewer gas, the chances of sewer gas poisoning are high. Tip: Stay out of the sewers.

How Does Sewer Gas Enter a Home?
Bad News: If you have a sewer gas issue, something is wrong. According to the “www.marionoh.us” web site, “the most common fault in the plumbing system is untrapped drains, especially floor drains in the basement or utility room.” Examining your floor drains for dry or damaged drain traps is a good starting point. If floor drains are seldom used, the water barrier that sits in the U-shaped trap can evaporate over time, letting sewer gas seep into your home. If you suspect this is the issue, pour a few gallons of water into the floor drain to re-fill the trap with water.

If the smells persist, it’s possible the drain line/drain tile is damaged. A reputable plumber can assist in identifying the source of the sewer gas.

How Do You Get Rid of Sewer Gas?
In our case, our cast iron basement floor drain had rusted away (it’s over 90 years old). We installed a new, PVC trap (available from the big-box hardware store) and filled it with water, to create the water barrier in the trap itself. We’re a month into the repair and the new PVC trap seems to be working well. We were lucky – we rarely use our floor drain and we could see that the trap had rusted through. The repair was straightforward and a good fit for a DIY approach.

Water You Waiting For?
If you are noticing sewer gas smells in your around your floor drains, an inspection by a trained plumber is worthwhile. Ray and his team of plumbing professionals are at the ready and there’s never a service fee just to come to your home. Call, or Contact  today for more information – (513) 396-5300. We always come highly recommended and have earned an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau for our expert quality of service.  If repairs are required, discount coupons may apply – visit our website  for details: Coupons