6 Worst Types of Damage From a Clogged Drain

Most people think of clogged drains as nothing more than occasional annoyances. While it’s true that they are annoying, clogged drains are much more dangerous than we usually think. The clog in your drain is just the gross tip of the disgusting iceberg, with plenty of danger and damage lurking beneath the surface. Here are a few of the worst possible types of damage from a clogged drain.

6 Worst Types of Damage From a Clogged Drain


One of the most obvious types of damage coming from a blockage in your pipes is flooding. It’s simple, the water in your pipes needs to go somewhere. If there’s significant blockage in your pipes, then the water backs up. It’s only a matter of time before that backed up water becomes a problem.

Without addressing the problem of a clogged drain, flooding is bound to happen. If you’ve ever had to deal with an overflowing toilet, bathtub, or sink, then you know exactly how terrible it can be. The silver lining of this visible flooding is that it’s easy to spot and easier to contain than invisible flooding.

The other type of flooding from a clogged drain is much more difficult to spot. If the blockage in your pipes is serious enough and the water is allowed to back up for enough time, then you’re at risk for a burst pipe. When this happens, you might as well get your checkbook ready because you’re gonna need it. Water damage in your walls and under the floor can set you back thousands of dollars and result in months of disruptive repairs.

Bacteria and Microbes

Blockages in your pipes aren’t just bad for your plumbing, they’re bad for your health too. When pipes get blocked up, it eventually forces waste water to flow backwards. This backflow of dirty water creates a breeding ground for dangerous bacteria and microorganisms in your pipes.

When left to fester in your pipes, it’s only a matter of time before cross-contamination happens. The last thing you want is for you or a member of your family to get sick from your clogged drain.

Bacteria and Illnesses From Clogged Drains

  • E. coli
  • Salmonella
  • Staph
  • Campylobacter
  • Typhoid
  • Legionella and Legionnaires’ Disease

Pest Infestations

If your pipes get clogged, not only can they become infested with bacteria and microbes, but they can also become harbingers of some pretty nasty pests. Think about it; pipes and drains are usually clogged up with stuff like hair, grease, bits of food, and waste. Combine that with the lovely, dark ambiance and abundant water, and you might as well be setting up your very own Pest Buffet.

These drain pests aren’t just nasty little critters, but they can also cause plenty of health problems with the diseases and bacteria they carry. They always say that the best pest control is actually prevention and the same is true here. The best way to avoid a clog-related pest infestation is by keeping your drains clean and your pipes maintained. By keeping the junk out of your pipes, you can completely avoid those nasty creepy-crawlies.

Types of Pests That Love Clogged Drains and Pipes

Drain flies and other plumbing pests are some of the worst types of damage caused by a clogged drain, which is why it's so important to invest in regular drain maintenance from the professionals at Benjamin Franklin Plumbing in Howell, MI.

  • Cockroaches
  • Fruit Flies
  • Drain Flies
  • Silverfish
  • Centipedes
  • Ants


Another type of damage caused by a clogged drain or pipe is mold. This gross growth spreads fast and is a homeowner’s worst nightmare. Mold has very specific requirements it needs in order to be able to grow and spread. Unfortunately, a clogged drain creates the perfect environment for mold to develop.

Mold needs a damp, dark environment with plenty of oxygen in order to grow. When pipes get clogged up, mold can form and spread. If your pipe is so clogged that it starts to leak or if you’ve dealt with any flooding, then you’re at an even higher risk for developing mold. A lot of the time, homeowners won’t even know they have mold because it forms in the parts of the house they don’t usually go.

So, out of sight out of mind, right? Wrong. So wrong!

Mold, even when it’s undetected, causes problematic health issues. Symptoms of a mold infestation can get pretty severe, especially if there’s a lot of it or if you suffer from allergies or a compromised immune system.

Health Effects and Symptoms of Mold Infestations

One of the worst types of damage caused by a clogged drain is a mold infestation; regular drain cleaning from Benjamin Franklin Plumbing can help keep your pipes clear so you can avoid flooding and mold damage in the future.

  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Eyes, Nose, Throat Irritation
  • Skin Rash
  • Wheezing
  • Headaches
  • Lung Irritation

Structural Damage

If you have a serious clog in your drain, then it’s only a matter of time before it starts costing you money. When clogs get bad enough that you start to experience leaking pipes or even outright flooding, that’s when things are really serious. Structural damage to your home is one of the worst, and most expensive, outcomes of clogged drain.

Flooding and leaks from a clogged drain isn’t always immediately detected. When this happens, damage is happening right under your nose. So what starts off as a leak under a sink could develop into serious structural damage down the line. This could be as minor as cosmetic damage to cabinets or as serious as water damage to your foundation, it just depends on how quick you catch it.

Toxic Gases

At the end of your plumbing system is a noxious concoction of stagnant water, decaying food products, human waste, chemical cleaners, and more. When your pipes and drains function properly, they protect you and your family from the smells and effects of this rancid mixture. However, when your system is compromised by clogs, those toxic gases can make their way into your home.

Before you run out and buy some Drano, pump the brakes. Chemical drain cleaners contain a number of dangerous chemicals that can cause more problems than they solve. When you use a chemical drain cleaner on a clogged drain, the gases from that cleaner can get backed up to the point that your whole house fills up with it.

The worst thing you could do is use two or more different chemical drain products at a time. When these chemicals mix, they can produce incredibly toxic gases like chloramine, chloroform, peracetic acid, and chlorine gas, all of which are dangerous. Some combinations can also heat up or even explode! The bottom line is don’t mix drain cleaning products. If you really want to avoid these dangers, just don’t use drain cleaners at all. Call the professionals!

Protect Yourself With Yearly Drain Maintenance

Avoid potential dangers and damage to your house by investing in a healthy plumbing system. Calling the professionals at Benjamin Franklin Plumbing gives you access to essential services for sinks, toilets, tubs, and drains. Our professional plumbers have the experience and expertise needed to keep your drains clear and your home protected from damage.

Protect yourself from danger and damage with regular drain cleaning services. Give us a call today at 810-207-6268 or request your appointment here. Get more helpful tips for any plumbing problems on our blog and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest news and deals!