Did you know your plumbing vent pipes sit exposed on your home’s roof – the same roof that is likely covered in snow thanks to a record-breaking month for Mother Nature. Elk River’s Building Safety Department is reminding residents that in order to keep sewer smells out of your home, these vents must remain uncovered and free of snow/ice. Gases enter homes through drainpipes that connect to the sewer system, and it’s these vent pipes that offer an escape path outside the home, rather than coming in through plumbing fixtures. A blocked plumbing vent can result in more than just unpleasant smells – sewer gases may contain carbon dioxide or nitrous oxide, both of which are toxic gases.
If you suspect your plumbing vent pipe is buried, contact a professional right away. Using a ladder to access your roof in conditions like this can be very dangerous, however when winter is over there are prevention measures residents can take to avoid future clogs like installing a hood or cap on the vent pipes or insulating around the pipe in the attic to foster snow melt.