Drain and sewer problems don't just pop up overnight, they take time to develop. What begins as a slowly draining sink, becomes backed up drains and sewage backflow. Learn how regular sewer drain cleaning and home plumbing maintenance can help detect or prevent drain and sewer obstructions.Bad Home Plumbing HabitsHome plumbing repair and maintenance starts with proper use of your drain and sewer system. That means there are certain things your drains can't handle. Avoid disposing the following in drain and sewer systems. They increase the risk of blockages:Cat LitterCoffee GroundsDiapersEggshellsGrease and FatHygiene ProductsPaper TowelsThought your sink could handle bacon grease? Think again. Over time, grease and oil can goop up and become solid, causing your kitchen drains to become stopped up. Instead of pouring cooking grease and pan leftovers down the sink, collect grease and oil in an old can and trash it. Plumbing And PlantsLandscaping choices can make or break drain and sewer systems. Don't plant trees and other vegetation with spreading roots near sewer lines that run from the house to the main sewer system. you may not see the negative effects right away, but you will. It takes years for roots to penetrate sewer lines. But, once inside, vegetable matter quickly causes serious blockages.Homemade HacksRegular sewer drain cleaning removes material that would otherwise grow into blockages. Instead of using pricey store-bought cleaning supplies, try these homemade remedies.Mix 1 cup of salt in 1 cup of vinegar, and pour the mixture down drains. Wait for five or ten minutes, and then rinse the drain with boiling water. The salt/vinegar mixture gently removes dirt and other buildup from inside drains and sewer lines.Here's another approach to sewer drain cleaning. Once a week, they pour 1/4 cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by 1/2 cup of vinegar. After waiting five minutes, rinse the drain with hot water. If you fancy this technique, wear gloves. Baking soda and vinegar reactions can leave your skin dry and peeling.Inspecting On Your OwnOnce a year, hire a professional to do annual home plumbing inspection. A professional has the tools and experience to do this properly.Want to cut down the time your professional spends in your home? You can also do a visual inspection of your own from time to time. Anyone can find leaks by looking for water spots near joints and elbows. If you notice a change in water pressure, look for leaks around sink faucets, outdoor taps, and around your water heater.Toilets should be firmly attached to the floor. If your toilets are slow to flush or you hear water running long after the flushing cycle is complete, it might be time to call that Home Pro we were talking about.Bathtub BluesTo unclog a blocked bathtub, first remove the overflow cover and stopper lever. Take a large wet rag and stuff the overflow hole closed; the rag has to be large enough, so it doesn't get sucked down the drain as you use the plunger. Plunge the drain until the water flows, and then replace the overflow cover and lever. Ta da!Need More Help?If you need professional help with your project, LendingTree Home Pros can help.The good news is that LendingTree Home Pros maintains a directory of home service professionals and can match you with a home pro in your area. All the home pros listed in the LendingTree Home Pros directory are properly licensed and insured and are backed by a $10,000 money-back guarantee!Let LendingTree Home Pros help you find a pro today!