Home Renovation Happenings
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Home Renovation Happenings

There is a lot to think about when you’re renovating a home. You need to make many decisions, starting with what contractor to use and how much money you want to spend. It helps if you have a clear vision for how you want your home to look when you’re done. If you’re not sure what it is that you want yet, take some time to look through my blog. I’ll discuss everything from home additions to flooring materials to appliances and fixtures. These articles will help you get a sense of the possibilities for your home renovation, and help you narrow down your options. Eventually, you’ll decide on the renovations that are right for you.

Home Renovation Happenings

House Stinks? Check The Main Vent Stack For Blockages

Pamela Gonzales

If your home suddenly smells like a sewage facility, check the main vent stack on your roof. The main vent stack is a thin pipe that sticks out of your roof. Sometimes, the vent clogs up with debris and blocks the flow of wastewater, sewage and air out the home's plumbing system. The blockages create terrible scents that permeate the home. Here's what you should understand about your main vent stack and what you can do to solve your dilemma.

How Did the Main Vent Stack Clog Up?

Your main vent stack releases harmful and smelly sewer gases out of the house throughout the day and night. The vent also ensures that raw sewage and wastewater pass through the plumbing system to the main sewer line properly when you flush your toilet, wash clothing or take a bath. But when the vent clogs up, it can't perform any of these critical functions.

Animals, leaves and other outdoor things clog up the main vent when they fall or slip inside the vent's opening and become trapped inside it. Sometimes, pets and small children drop objects, such as toothbrushes and toys, inside the toilet or tub drain. Once someone flushes the toilet or runs water down the drain, the objects become stuck somewhere inside the plumbing system and block the flow of air and water that pushes through it.

The biggest problem with a blocked vent stack is timing. You may not know that something blocked the vent until your home smells bad. In most cases, you'll experience problems in your bathroom, kitchen or laundry room before you notice issues in your main vent stack.

By the time you repair the problems caused by the blocked vent stack, such as an overflowing toilet or clogged tub drain, germs and sewage already compromised it.

How Do You Get Rid of the Smell and Blockages?

Getting rid of the foul smell in your home isn't easy, but it's possible. You'll need to climb your roof to do so. You also need to gather a few supplies for the project, which include a long snake or cleaning pipe, tall ladder, utility gloves, and a large garbage bag.

Now, follow the steps listed below:

  1. Place your ladder near the location of the vent stack and ask another adult to hold it in place for you later.
  2. Put on your utility gloves, then climb the ladder to access the vent stack.
  3. Pull the cap or screen from the entrance of the vent stack, then set it aside.
  4. Insert the end of your snake or cleaning pipe down the vent stack, but don't force, push or jam it inside the vent.
  5. Move the snake or pipe back and forth, up and down and side to side to clean out the vent stack.
  6. Use the snake or pipe to pull out any debris you find in the vent, then put it into the garbage bag. Avoid touching the debris, because it contains bacteria, sewage and other contaminants.
  7. Recover the cap or screen securely. If necessary, place silver duct tape around the opening to keep the cap or screen in place.

You can test the vent stack to see if you removed the blockage by flushing the toilet or running water down the bathroom sink. If the smell goes away, you took care of the problem and don't need to do anything else.

If the scent is still present in the home, contact a residential plumber, like those at DiRosato Plumbing and Heating, for services. You may have a bigger issue to repair, or you may need to install a secondary vent stack to keep up with the demands of your home's plumbing needs.