The Long Term Effects Of A Blocked Drain On Your Property

When we think of maintaining our homes, we probably think about keeping our roof intact, ensuring that the window fascias remain sound and checking our brickwork for pointing issues. We are less likely to keep an eye on our drainage systems. 

London weather can be unpredictable at the best of times, and often when it rains… it absolutely pours. Wet weather means that more drains can become blocked. While a drain blockage may seem like a minor annoyance, the long term effects can prove costly, and damage the integrity of your home.

Leaks

Your pipes need to remain crack-free. However, torrential rain, flooding and temperature differentials can cause high pressure to build-up and a drain blockage can be the result. Leaving this blockage to fester can make your pipework crack resulting in a leak to form within the home. It can be tricky to spot where the leak is coming from, meaning that mould and damp can develop on the walls of your living spaces. 

Damp can be a much more costly problem to fix than a blocked drain. You may need to repoint some of your brickwork, replaster, replace joists and insert a damp course. This is labour intensive and takes time resulting in your home feeling like a building site for a few weeks. By ensuring that you call a drainage engineer the moment your sense a problem in your pipes, you can save yourself money and stop your home from becoming too effected by the drain blockage.

If you live in a period property, your pipework will naturally be older, making them more susceptible to damage because of a blocked drain. Call a local London based engineer as soon as you think a drain blockage is developing to prevent your more vulnerable older pad from sustaining damage. An expert will carry out a full assessment of your drains before carrying out any necessary repairs.

Waste Resurgence

There’s nothing worse than noticing a foul odour within your home but being unable to find out where it is coming from. The number one cause of sewerage-like smells in your home is waste resurgence. This means that the waste that should be removed from your humble abode is becoming trapped within your pipework. A blocked drain will result in this waste not just blocking up but actually returning to your home. If you think about the worst blocked toilet that you’ve ever seen and consider that this could be in your own home, you will want to get a survey of your drains done immediately.

With a blocked drain in London, you need an expert that is reliable with a quick response time. If you have a drain blockage, drainage specialists will utilise CCTV technology to place a camera into your pipework and guide it along your drainage system to carry out a full survey and spot the points where blockages are present. They can also be utilised in a preventative sense to replace any pipe joints or segments that are vulnerable to blockages.

Structural Damage

Ignore a blocked drain at your peril because the chances of structural damage increase the longer you leave vulnerable pipework without a full survey being carried out. Leaks can cause damp, which not only causes fungal spores to permeate into your home, but they can also result in joist and brickwork damage. 

Joists and timbers within the structure of your home can become rotten, weaken and can cause subsidence to develop. This can have a massive detrimental impact on the saleability of your pad. While it may seem a little melodramatic, a blocked drain could result in your home becoming unmortgageable. To ensure that you don’t fall into a blocked drain trap, it pays to get your drains and pipes cleaned on an annual basis. When searching for an expert, go for a drainage firm in London that provides exceptional customer service, reliability and experience. 

How Will An Expert Unblock A Drain?

  • Drain rodding: Rodding a drain is a basic treatment that is cheap and effective if blockages are relatively new and there is little compacted material to remove. Steel rods are pushed through the pipework to remove a drain blockage and restore normal waste management.
  • Drain Jetting: For more compacted blockages, an expert will use a hose to fire a jet of powerful water to clear the blockage. This is more costly than rodding, but can cut the repair time of your pipes.
  • Tanker Jetting: If there is a lot of debris that has caused the pipework to fur up and solidify, a tanker jetting service is needed. Larger drains that are vulnerable to blockages will need more water firing down them at high pressure (up to fifty gallons a minute) to help pipes unblock effectively.
  • Electro-Mechanical Cleaning: If water is not a feasible option when trying to unblock your drain, an electro-mechanical cleaning option may be considered. Steel cables with large blades attached are forced down your pipes with the aim of cutting away the debris that is causing the blockage. This is an effective option when the debris is compacted or hard, or when there isn’t a mains water supply to power a jetting method.

Blocked Drain Prevention

To ensure that you keep your pipework in excellent condition, it pays to have an annual checkup of your drains in London. This is especially important for those properties that are older or haven’t been inhabited for a little while. You have a service for your boiler each year, so why not do the same with your drains? 

The main culprits for drain blockages are hair and excess tissue buildup. Tree roots can also break through pipework and invade your drainage spaces causing a blockage. While it can be difficult to mitigate the risk of a drain blockage, you can take care of your pipework by getting a team of experts in to assess and survey your drains to keep them in tip-top condition.

At Quick Clear Drainage, our professional engineers are on hand 24 hours of the day, 7 days a week. Call us or message us today for free advice!

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.

5 Signs You May Have A Collapsed Drain

As a property owner, you want your drains to work all year without fail. The good news is that most do, taking waste and sewage from your home and depositing them at the treatment works. Unfortunately, however, drains don’t always work and, in some circumstances, can collapse, leading to drainage issues and backing up.

A collapsed drain is a potentially severe issue. Drains collapse either because of a lack of maintenance, or when the ground shifts. Both of these are liable to crack pipes and cause waste to flow into the surrounding ground. Collapsed drains not only create an inconvenience but are also a health hazard. Cracks make it easy for rodents and other sewer-dwelling creatures to enter your home. 

How can you tell if you have a collapsed drain? Let’s take a look. 

You Can Smell Sewage

Ordinarily, you should not be able to smell sewage. A combination of sealed piping and regular draining prevents smells from the sewage system from backing up into your home. Unfortunately, when you have a collapsed drain, there’s nothing to contain the sewage, and it begins to leach out into the surrounding ground. No matter where the breach is located, it’s a problem, but it’s particularly bad when the drain is leaking near your foundations or close to your home. 

If you smell sewage, then it’s unlikely the problem will go away. You need professionals to fix the issue as soon as possible. 

There Are Rodents And Other Unwanted Visitors In Your Property

Rodents love living in sewers because they are a great way to escape the threat of predation while also offering shelter against the elements. It’s not uncommon for sewer-dwelling creatures to raise entire litters of young in the sewers before venturing out into the wide-open world to find food. 

When you have a collapsed drain, however, it means that your defences against rodents are compromised. There’s nothing preventing rodents from climbing through cracks, out of drains, and up pipes into your home. If you suddenly find that you’re inundated with sewer-dwelling creatures, then it could be a collapsed drain. Rodent infestations require urgent attention.

Your Sinks, Baths And Toilets Drain Slowly

Often a collapsed drain leads to a blockage. The material around the pipe falls into the channel, preventing wastewater from flowing through and out into the rest of the sewage network. 

If you notice slow draining in all the sinks and toilets in your home, then you likely have a collapsed drain. Experiment with domestic drain unblocker products, but if the problem persists or you notice a smell, then you may require professional assistance. 

Professional blocked drains experts will first perform a CCTV survey using a camera on the end of a long pole to see whether there is damage or blockage in your drains. Professionals will then create a plan of action to repair the obstruction and order replacement parts. 

You Notice Persistent Damp Or Mold

Collapsed drains can prevent water from draining from your property. Instead of travelling through pipes and out into the sewage network, blocked drains, cause wastewater to back up and leach out into the surrounding ground. 

Sometimes, the collapsed area is near to your foundations. When sewage leaks out, it permeates the masonry and slowly works its way up until it becomes visible in the walls in your home. 

Damp is indicative of an issue, but it doesn’t create health problems by itself. Mould, however, does and can worsen asthma symptoms and lead to allergies. Where damp starts, mold usually follows, so if you have a collapsed drain, it’s in your best interest to deal with the issue sooner rather than later. 

Your Toilets And Sinks Keep Backing Up

When you flush a toilet or empty a sink, it releases a sudden rush of wastewater into the system. Under normal circumstances, your sewer pipes can handle all of this liquid passing through in one go. But when you have a collapsed drain, you may notice “backing up.” 

Toilets, for instance, may take a while to return to their normal water level after flushing, and sinks or baths may drain slowly. Check first that neither the pipes leading from the bath/sink or toilet are blocked and use regular domestic pipe unblocker. If that doesn’t resolve the problem, then, again, you may need the help of professionals. With a professional by your side, you can deal with the source of the problem and restore functional drainage in your home. 

Do you think that you may have a collapsed drain? Contact Quick Clear Drainage for CCTV Drain Surveys London to investigate whether you have collapsed drains in need of repair.