In an ideal world, none of the waste exiting your Lubbock, TX, home would leave residues behind. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. If you peer down into your drains, you’ll likely find a thick, slimy black goo coating beneath your drain covers. This gunk adheres to pipe walls and collects along the sides of drain stoppers. Also known as black bio-film or black bio-slime, it’s a tell-tale sign that you need professional drain cleaning.

Not Everything That Goes Down Your Drains Exits Your Plumbing System

Organic materials like spit, phlegm, grease, soap scum, and body oils are constantly entering and adhering to your drains. Removing harsh residue from sinks can be difficult, which may lead to a sticky build-up on the walls of your pipes and drains. As these accumulations build and the germs within them grow, they often darken. Over time, the biofilm you find in your drains could be more living organisms than collected waste.

Black Gunk Can Be Highly Pathogenic

Collections of black gunk in bathroom and kitchen drains are often riddled with dangerous, illness- and infection-causing pathogens. Although you might recognize a few harmless-seeming hair strands in the mix, you should avoid touching these masses. Washing your hands immediately after handling contaminated drain components would be best.

Sluggish, Slow-Moving Drains Create the Perfect Conditions for Black Gunk

The movement of water has a cleansing effect. This is why running water streams are always safer than stagnant pools. To an extent, movement even has a cleansing impact on wastewater and the pipes that contain it. Swift-moving wastewater gives harmful microbes less time to adhere to surfaces and reproduce. The movement itself creates friction that causes many germs to die off. Clean, fast-moving drains are less likely to have pungent odors and black bio-film than dirty, slow-moving drains.

Having lots of black gunk on or in your drains could mean you have plumbing problems further along in the system. For instance, your sewer line may have been encroached upon by tree roots and weeds or blocked by build-ups of “flushable wipes” or other slow-degrading materials. You might also have large amounts of age and corrosion-related sediment in your pipes. When waste and wastewater have less room to move through than they need, water stagnates, and germs abound.

Baking Soda and White Vinegar Flushes: Do They Get Rid of Black Gunk?

In your search for simple drain cleaning methods, you’ll invariably come across recommendations to use equal parts baking soda and white vinegar. When combined, these simple household ingredients experience an instant foaming reaction. This mixture breaks down modest amounts of soap scum, grease, and other sticky, tacky residues, but it doesn’t clean drains entirely.

You can use white vinegar and baking soda to freshen your drains in between professional drain cleaning, but you shouldn’t use them as a substitute for service. Moreover, if your drains are already well-coated in thick, black gunk, using baking soda and white vinegar might cause clogs. With less room to move through in connecting pipes, the debris that this mixture sloughs off could get trapped in other areas.

How Plumbers Eliminate Black Gunk in Drains and on Pipe Walls

The benefits of professional drain cleaning services are numerous. The proper techniques will strip off black gunk in and on your drains and at the interior of your pipes. It will also force this bio-film through your plumbing system and towards the sewer main to ensure it doesn’t obstruct your sewer line. Drain cleaning both clear drains and prevents new black gunk build-ups from forming. By opening up the interior of pipes, these services give solid waste and wastewater more room to move through, and they expedite draining.

Plumbers use minimally invasive hydro-jetting techniques to remove black gunk. Performed via drain cleanouts, hydro-jetting sends hot, high-pressure water into pipes to break up and route out debris. For older pipes with significant wear, your plumber might use hydro-steaming instead. This similar yet gentler technique scours pipe interiors with hot, fast-moving steam. For stubborn build-ups and blockages, plumbers can pair hydro-jetting or hydro-steaming with drain snaking or another mechanical drain cleaning method.

Lubbock’s Preferred HVAC Company

We’ve been proudly serving Lubbock for more than 35 years. We offer expert heating, cooling, plumbing, and septic services. To find out about our preventative maintenance plans or schedule a drain cleaning service, contact Action Air Plumbing and Septic now.

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