SOLVED: Does My Home Insurance Cover Drainage Issues?

Are you dealing with drainage issues at home? This article will help you understand the types of drainage issues that you might need to handle and whether making an insurance claim could be an option for you. 

Drains are a key element of your property. However, you likely won’t think too much about them until you notice an issue. The reason for this is simple. Your drains are hidden deep underground and completely out of sight. The first sign that there’s an issue could be a smell coming from your drains or evidence that your drains aren’t draining water at all. If you’re unlucky, it might be both. 

Thousands of people deal with drainage issues on their property every year. It’s a particularly common occurrence later on in the year when there is heavier rainfall. When they notice an expensive issue with their drains many people contact their home insurance company. But does your cover provide the solution to drainage issues you need? 

Common Drainage Issues 

Before we explore whether your home insurance is going to be the answer, let’s look at some of the most common drainage issues for homeowners in the UK. 

One of the most typical issues with drains is a blockage in the drain. This can start slowly and it could be years before the problem becomes noticeable. Alternatively, you might find that the problem develops suddenly. It largely depends on the cause of the blockage and whereabouts in the drain it is. This is also going to impact how easy it is to resolve. While there are DIY solutions to unblock drains, it’s often better to call in the pros. 

Or, you could be dealing with a crack or fracture in your drains. These can typically be found near the joints in the pipes but they may also be further down the pipework. This can cause wastewater to leak into the surrounding areas and this, in turn, weakens the ground structure. 

Alternatively, it’s possible that there are roots from trees and plants impacting your drains. Roots can bury deep into the ground and will eventually cause issues with the pipework. Roots dig deep to search for oxygen, water and nutrients which are all contained inside drain pipes. When roots go through the pipes, they often leave holes within the pipework. Smells and wastewater leak out which is the last thing that you want. 

You might even find that there is a collapsed or broken part of the drain. This is a serious issue as it will ultimately mean that wastewater isn’t leaving the property the way it should. Instead, it will start to flow out around the surrounding areas. This could even lead to a sinkhole developing which will weaken the entire structure of the property while also attracting pests to the home. 

It’s also possible that you have to deal with displaced or open joints around the property too. This can be caused by the ground becoming unstable due to increased levels of traffic. When there are gaps like this, you might find that wastewater again leaks around to surrounding areas. This is another problem that can lead to structural damage to your property. 

Is It Possible To Claim For Drainage Issues?

It’s clear that issues with your drains can cause some massive problems for you as a homeowner. Some of the issues that we’re talking about here are going to be expensive to fix and difficult to correct in a short period. As such, it makes sense that you would contact your home insurance company, but will problems like the ones above be covered

The answer largely depends on a few key factors including your insurance company and your specific policy. 

Typically, you’ll find that most building insurance policies will cover accidental damage to your drains. The question then becomes, what constitutes ‘accidental damage.’ Language like this is often intentionally unclear and it can mean that insurance companies can refuse to payout based on a technicality. That’s why it’s best to explore examples. 

For instance, you might find that your drainage pipes have corroded due to old age. This is seen as a natural level of deterioration. As such, it’s unlikely that you are going to get a payout here under the ‘accidental damage’ umbrella. 

On the other hand, if there has been an intrusion into your pipes from tree roots, it’s likely that you will be provided with a payout. This should fall under accidental damage. 

It’s also possible that you can claim for damage to your drains completely but you’ll need to take out an extra level of coverage to do this. This is why you need to make sure that you do read your insurance policy carefully. If in doubt, you should always contact your provider and ask them about this possibility before you notice there’s an issue. 

Which Pipes Will Be Covered?

It’s also important to be aware of where your responsibilities begin and end here. As a homeowner, you’ll be responsible for all drains that exist on your property boundary. So, if there is an issue with a drain on your property and it’s causing an issue for a neighbour, you’ll be responsible for fixing it. 

For this reason, if a collapse or any damage occurs due to misuse or neglect, it won’t be covered through your insurance company. Instead, you’ll need to pay for the repairs yourself. Be aware that in some cases, you will need to take out coverage for specific drains that are on your property. 

This is why it’s crucial to keep your drains well maintained and avoid any damage that wouldn’t be considered accidental. Cleaning your drains regularly and inspecting them on an annual basis is the best way to do this and keep your drains in the best possible condition. 

Quick Clear Drainage

We hope this helps you understand whether your home insurance will cover drainage issues on your property. If you have already noticed a blocked drain at your London property, our expert team at Quick Clear Drainage can help. We’ll fix the issue and ensure that there is no further damage to your drains. Get in touch now and a friendly member of our team will be happy to assist you. 

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

What is a CCTV Drain Survey?

A CCTV Drain Survey may sound like a daunting concept. However, it’s really a simple procedure that involves using specialist drain cameras to inspect your pipes. In order to ensure the longevity of your drains, it helps to understand their condition first-hand. And if you really want to know exactly what’s going on, there’s only one way to find out – and that’s with a CCTV drain survey. After all, seeing is believing!

CCTV Drain Surveys in More Detail

Simply put, a drain survey is a detailed and informative look into your property’s drainage pipes, by making use of specialist CCTV cameras which are fed into your drains system. This equipment projects a live feed back to a monitor at surface level so a drainage engineer can identify any problems, and assess the best course of action. This footage is also documented, saved and can be exported for your reference.

Why Would I Need A Drain Survey?

There’s various reasons as to why you would need to get a drain survey completed. 

One of the most common reasons may be that you are a new homebuyer, in which caser, a pre-purchase CCTV drain survey is 100% recommended. Buying a property is one of (if not the) largest purchase you can make, so understandably, it’s important to have peace of mind that you won’t encounter any surprise problems with your drainage once you’ve moved in. 

A drain survey will provide you with a precise analysis of your pipes and give you the power of an informed decision, before you sign. 

Drain surveys are also recommended for homeowners or tenants who are experiencing recurring blockages in their drains, or frequent foul smelling odours. Often, consistent drainage issues can be solved with a CCTV drain survey. At Quick Clear Drainage, we offer a free drain inspection after every unblock – Full surveys are also quoted for free.

What Is The Outcome Of A Drain Survey?

The findings of a CCTV Drain Survey are endless. From damage due to tree roots, collapsed drains, severe blockages, wear and tear on old systems, and more. What’s important is that if there is an issue, a drain survey will identify it as soon as possible before the problem gets worse.  

Some of the following issues can be identified and solved as a result of having a drain survey conducted:

  • Collapsed & damaged drains
  • Damage caused by tree root ingress
  • Severe blockages
  • Causes and extent of leaks/bursts in pipes
  • Drain corrosion and general wear & tear
  • Rodent & animal intrusion.
  • Evidence of displacement or poor installation

Drain Repairs

Following a CCTV drain survey, a drainage engineer may find damaged drainage systems which require repair work. It is recommended that you take action with collapsed and damaged drains as soon as possible, as left unchecked, it can cause unwanted damage further down the line. 

The Difference Between An Inspection & A Survey

Both an inspection and a survey will provide you with peace of mind – the main difference between the two is that our full surveys allow you to keep a DVD recording as documented proof of the condition of your drains. CCTV Drain Surveys are considered a more formal evaluation of the condition of your drains, and are recommended if you are having more severe drainage issues. 

Quick Clear Drainage CCTV Drain Surveys London

Quick Clear Drainage provides CCTV drain surveys in London to help locals stay on top of the condition of their drainage systems. Drain surveys can be booked ahead of time or in many cases, on an emergency basis.  For more information, or to arrange a CCTV drain survey for your property, get in touch now.