The Real Consequences Of A Blocked Drain For Businesses In London

Blocked drains pose a huge threat to London businesses. Not only in a practical manner, but in terms of maintaining a reputable business that will bring in customers. Let’s take a moment to run through the basics of drain blockages and look at how Preventative Drain Maintenance can help!

The Consequences of Blocked Drains

Many businesses make the mistake of leaving blocked drains unattended. Sure, they can prove an inconvenience, but as long as the water eventually (albeit slowly) drains away, there’s no problem, right? Well, wrong. Left untreated, blocked drains can worsen. This is rarely an issue that will resolve itself, so the blockage will simply become worse and worse until water doesn’t drain through at all. This results in a whole host of hazards, which will take a moment to look at now.

Poor Drainage

Of course, and perhaps most obviously, the main consequence of a blocked drain is poor flow through your drainage systems. Whatever is clogging your drains will prevent water from passing through. Rather than passing through quickly, you may find water takes a while to go down and, in more serious cases, can even back up the pipes, coming back out of the plug hole and bubbling. This isn’t going to be good for your business, no matter what kind of business it is. It’s a more immediate and business halting threat if you run a restaurant, cafe, or other business that uses a lot of water and requires regular drainage. But it’s also going to be problematic for businesses that have offices where employees need to flush the toilet and wash their hands.

Dirty Water

Health and safety needs to be top of your list of priorities when it comes to running any business. This means providing a hygienic environment for your staff to work in, as well as a hygienic environment for your customers to spend time in. A blocked drain creates a breeding ground for bacteria to fester and build up. This is because food, waste and other sources of energy for bacteria tend to either create clogs or build up behind them. This can result in a build-up of filthy water making its way back up your pipes.

Bad Odours

With dirty water, there tends to come bad odours. This can either be the result of filthy water building up and acting as a vessel for bad smell. Think how a stagnant lake will often begin to smell. It’s a similar premise. Bad smells can also be the result of your pipes drying up and there being a lack of moving moisture to keep bad odours moving along their way. A secondary school in Henley-On-Thames, unfortunately, found out first-hand just how disruptive the stench from blocked drains can be on day to day operations.

Leaks

If you leave a clog for a while, don’t be all too surprised if you find that you begin to experience leaks. When the water clogs your pipes, it needs to go somewhere. Sure, sometimes it will back up. But sometimes, if your pipes aren’t the strongest, it will begin to damage your pipes and may even cause them to crack, creating an area where the water can be diverted – probably into an area you don’t want consistent dripping water.

What This Could Mean for Your Business

Now, all of these potential consequences are undesirable. But what can they mean for your business in particular? Some business owners assume that if a clog and issues associated with it are confined to a space away from the customers’ eyes, there won’t be all too many repercussions. But this simply isn’t true.

Firstly, the clog can cause your staff to struggle to do their jobs correctly. Say you run a restaurant. If your back of house staff are unable to wash and rinse plates, glasses, cutlery, or other essentials as they are waiting for dirty water to drain away, they’re generally left with two choices. To wash the dishes in dirty water which poses a serious risk to your customers and could result in your establishment being closed down, or to wait and not have plates ready for dishes going out. This means slow service, which is deemed bad service.

The smells that are associated with blocked drains also tend to be difficult to contain to the spaces they’re immediately in. Smells spread and, unsurprisingly, your customers don’t want to be exposed to sewage smells while they’re eating or drinking.

All in all, it means lost customers and bad reputation. This will be a disaster for your business and could either see your doors shut or you have to put in a lot of work to build back your customer base.

What Causes Blocked Drains?

A drain blockage can be caused by all sorts of things. The main culprits tend to depend on the location of the drain. If you have a blocked drain outside of your premises, chances are it’s been blocked by fallen leaves or other debris pushed in by strong winds. If you’ve got a blocked drain in a kitchen area, chances are food remnants, oil, grease or other things washed from plates have caused the drain blockage. If you have a blocked drain in a bathroom, someone may have flushed something they shouldn’t have down the toilet. Perhaps sanitary products, nappies, makeup wipes, or something else. To identify what’s causing the blockage, you may need to undertake a CCTV drain survey or call in a professional to check things out.

Resolving and Preventing Blocked Drains

So, how can you go about ensuring your drains don’t become blocked? Well, first it’s important to tackle the initial problem. Call out professionals who will be able to remove your blockage or clog and ensure water can run freely through your drain system once more. Most people will try to use store-bought drain unblockers to clear drains at first, but chances are, the issue will require a bit more work to be dealt with properly. Once your blockage is resolved, you will need to work hand in hand with a company that provides Preventative Drain Maintenance. This will see professionals regularly check your drains and put measures in place to prevent them from becoming clogged or blocked in the first place!

As the old saying goes, prevention is better than cure – and this definitely goes for drainage systems within your business. Hopefully, the above information will help to keep your drains clog-free and your business thriving!

If you have an emergency issue, or you would like to speak to an engineer about our business maintenance packages. Call Quick Clear Drainage, London’s blocked drain specialists on 0203 633 3897

Case Study: How We Helped A Busy London Restaurant Stop Reoccuring Blockages

Upper Street in Islington, North London is well known for the hustle & bustle of high street shops, bars, restaurants, and theatres. As well as carrying the A1, connecting London to the north of England. The road stretches for one mile between Highbury Corner and the junction with Liverpool Road at its southern end. Upper Street is also famous for the Granita Restaurant which is said to be the location in which Tony Blair and Gordon Brown made their deal on the future leadership of the Labor party.

Quick Clear Drainage received a call from a busy restaurant on Upper Street regarding lots of reoccurring drainage issues on their business premises. Including blocked drains. London restaurants often suffer from this in particular, as it can really have a negative effect on trading – so we were happy to help, and quick to respond!

How Quick Clear Drainage Responded

On our visit to the restaurant, we cleared the blockage which was the immediate issue so that the restaurant could get back to doing what it does best.

After clearing a blocked drain in London, we make it our priority to ensure that we have completed the job in hand to an excellent standard and that we can prevent any blockages in the future by inspecting the drain lines with our CCTV Drain Survey equipment.

What Happened Next?!

During our CCTV Inspection downstream of the drain line, we discovered that there was a buried manhole in the kitchen… Now, this might not always flag as an issue at first glance, but the restaurant had mentioned they were experiencing reoccurring blockages within their drains.

Our drainage engineers decided that the best course of action was to map the entire drain system using our drain tracing equipment, and dug down to expose the buried manhole.

We then carried out drain cleaning on the section and fed CCTV Drain Cameras downstream into the newly exposed drain line from the manhole. Following our camera inspection, we discovered a buried interceptor trap in the basement.

What Is An Interceptor Trap?

Interceptor traps were first introduced to properties in and around London in Victorian times. Drain interceptor traps were originally installed to stop the smells from sewers venting into properties. The design of the trap effectively prevented rodents and foul smells leaving the sewers and accessing properties. But they can often cause lots of drainage problems.

They are primarily made from vitreous clay, which means they suffer from root ingress and can be fractured with movement or settlement. A build-up of debris, grease, and fat within the trap itself will then cause severe blockages.

So, What Did Quick Clear Drainage Do?!

Our drainage engineer dug down the buried interceptor trap to expose it. He then proceeded to give this a full hydro scrub and clean. Once the trap was absolutely spick and spam, the drain lines were all inspected again using our CCTV Drain Camera equipment to ensure it was back to full bore and the drains were free-flowing.

To summarise, Quick Clear Drainage:

  1. Found and cleared the initial blockage in the restaurant’s drains.
  2. We then inspected the system to ensure peace of mind and traced the system using drain tracing equipment.
  3. We discovered a buried inspector trap which may have contributed to reoccurring blockages & foul smells.
  4. We cleared and fully cleaned the interceptor trap.

Our drainage engineer left details of the works carried out with the customer, and the restaurant went back to doing what they best without the disruption of drain blockages.

A successful visit, and a happy customer! All in a day’s work!

If you have a blocked drain, or any other drainage issue and would like some free advice, or you’d like to book in a visit from one of our engineers – call us on 0203 633 3897, or send us a message.

How Do You Know When Your Drains Are Blocked?!

Believe us, we’re the first to understand just how stressful drainage issues can be on your household or business. There’s no disruption and inconvenience quite like it once you’ve realised you have a blocked drain in London or any other area of the UK. So, what’s the solution? preventative measures and early detection. The sooner you detect a blockage issue, the less damage it is likely to cause to your day to day life.

Here’s 4 simple signs to look out for, when assessing whether your drains are clogged:

Unpleasant Smells

One of the most obvious, and unpleasant signs of a blockage in your drains is a foul smelling odour. One of the most common causes of drain blockages is food debris. This debris begins to slowly decompose, which, in turn, begins to produce a very bad smell! You may notice this more when your tap turns on, or you might catch the scent of sewage around your house or drain cover.

Water Draining Slowly

Again, a clear sign of drainage issues and blockages is water draining slower than usual in your toilet, sink, shower or bath. As well as a blocked drain, in some cases, water draining slowly can also be a sign of a  a collapsed pipe. Blockages are one thing, in the case of a collapsed pipe, you will need drain repairs done by a professional drainage company.

Blocked Drain Water Running Slowly London

Gurgling Sounds Coming From Drains

Any noises which sound different to normal, especially gurgling noises originating from drains, plug holes, toilet flushes and pipes are easy red flags to watch out for. When you run water, a gurgling sound is an indication that there is trapped air which is escaping. It’s common for dirt and grease to build up in your drains. This buildup can cause the water to drain slowly and as a result, the air bubbles can not go through the pipes and instead, travel through the nearest vent. That’s why you hear a gurgling noise. 

Raised Water Levels

If you’re in a situation where you notice a rise in the water level of your toilet when flushed, it’s a clear sign that you have a blocked toilet. For any temporary or partial waste blockages, it may be easy to unblock with a plunger. However, for longer-lasting issues or where the water is at the point of overflowing – It’s time to call an emergency toilet unblocking service.

What To Do About Your Blocked Drains?!

Prevention is the ultimate solution for looking after your drains. Ensuring that you’re not flushing items which can cause blockages, pouring fatty oils and large amounts of food debris down the sink and so on.

However, if you have noticed any of the above signs – it is best to call a professional drainage contractor, as soon as possible. For rapid response, efficient results, and to prevent the risk of any further costly damage to your property, give Quick Clear Drainage London a call.

Quick Clear Drainage provides drain unblock services in London, and the surrounding areas.

What is Drain Relining?

Previously, excavation and replacement were often thought of as the only way to fix damaged and broken drain pipes. Which, of course, is a difficult process as more often than not, the damaged pipes were buried by some distance underground. And in some instances, drains systems may have been buried under important infrastructures, such as driveways etc.

Thankfully, today’s advancements in technology have provided drainage engineers with the means to fix drainage systems through a quicker, cheaper and easier method called; drain relining.

First Steps of Drain Relining

As you may already know, drainage issues are not always apparent from the outset and often require a drainage survey to be carried out by a drainage professional, before investing in any works to be carried out. So it is recommended to carry out a drain survey before starting any drain repairs or relining works.

The In’s & Out’s of Drain Relining

Drain relining is the process of repairing damaged drainage systems by installing a new lining (drain pipe), into the existing damaged pipework without resorting to the traditional method of full-scale excavation. Drain relining is a form of “No dig” repair work.

Drain relining can be used to fix leaks and cracks, and ultimately help with recurring blockages in a property. As no digging or extraction is required, this technique is very popular and has many advantages due to the non-destructive nature in securing your pipes – This is especially beneficial for business owners and commercial properties, where downtime will be to a minimum and business can continue as normal.

The Relining Installation Process

Once you have identified that you have issues with your drains systems which need either replacing or relining, it’s time to start fixing the problem.

The first steps of drain relining work involve cleaning and de-scaling of the pipework which is going to be relined. This work is typically carried out by high-pressure water jetting to remove any signs of scale and slit deposits and to leave the pipe cleaned and prepared for the relining process.

The UPVC relining sleeve is then installed by way of air inflation, which then cures over up to three hours. The inflation tube is removed on completion of the curing period and the new relined section is then cleaned to remove any excess resin solution.

While your drains may be out of action for a short while, this is by far the fastest method to get them fixed, you only need to wait for the new lining to be sealed to the pipes and the holes and damage will be gone. As there is no process of excavation involved, there is also no destructive work to be carried out with relining. Once the new material is in place you’ll never know that any work has been carried out at all!

Quick Clear Drainage

Quick Clear Drainage are experts in all aspects of blocked drains, drain unblocking, drainage surveys and drain repair work. For a no-obligation, free quote – Get in touch today!