Home Improvement Projects and Septic Systems

May 7, 2020 11:11 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

As a homeowner with a septic system, you should know what common products used during home improvement projects can and cannot be flushed down the drain. With this knowledge, you can avoid the need for emergency septic system servicing in Strafford County, NH. From paints to cleaning products, here are the most common items used during home improvements that can damage your septic system.

Household disinfectants

Spring brings nice weather to most areas around the United States. The warm sun and gentle breeze invite you to open up your windows and doors, which is the perfect time to spring clean the inside of your house. Your arsenal might include cleaning products like Lysol, bleach and glass cleaner, all of which disinfect well. The goal of spring cleaning is to thoroughly sanitize every surface, kill germs and freshen the air. However, killing bacteria in your home can also kill the good bacteria in your septic tank.

Modern septic tanks can actually withstand moderate use of some chemical cleaning products, but it’s best to only use cleaners that are labeled as being safe for use with septic systems. These cleaners are marked “septic friendly”—they are biodegradable, environmentally friendly and phosphate free. Cleaners with seed-based components or citrus, pine or vegetable oil listed as the primary active ingredients are the best at tackling germs and grime. They also keep your home clean and your septic system functioning properly.

Oil-based paints and latex paints

One popular springtime home improvement project is painting. Whether you want to update the walls in your home’s bedrooms or are focused on exterior surfaces, most people choose latex or oil-based paint. Oil-based paint is typically used to seal in odors and water stains, but requires the use of solvents to clean up once the job is complete. These solvents are not okay to pour down sewer or septic system drains. And while latex paint is considered an easy-cleanup, eco-friendly painting product, it can present serious issues inside your septic system.

Joint compound

After a drywall installation project, be careful about how you clean up the area. The cleanup from drywall—namely, cleaning the tools covered in joint compound and rinsing the rags holding dust from sanding the compound down—poses multiple threats to your septic system. Joint compound may appear to dissolve in water, but it will create problems once it reaches your septic tank. Don’t wash tools from completed drywall projects in the sink or toss rags in the washing machine.

The safe way to clean up after a drywall project is to shake dusty rags over the garbage. Use a bucket of soapy water to clean rags and tools—do this far away from your septic tank and leach field.

Be sure to correctly dispose of seemingly flushable products from springtime home improvement projects! If you find yourself in need of annual maintenance or emergency septic system servicing in Strafford County, NH, don’t hesitate to contact the team at B.H. Cameron Septic Services LLC. We’re here to help, so pick up the phone and give us a call!

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