You’ve no doubt heard the saying “prevention is better than cure”, and when it comes to your commercial or residential drainage system, this saying couldn’t be truer. It’s always better to stop something bad from happening than it is to deal with it after it has happened.
Your drainage system serves one purpose; to carry wastewater from your home to the main sewer line. While certainly not glamorous, it serves a critical function so it’s important that you ensure your home or commercial drainage system flows smoothly.
A sure-fire way to keep your drain system in full working order is through regular drain cleaning.
By maintaining a regular drain cleaning schedule (also known as preventative drainage maintenance), you will help keep your drainage system in great condition and ensure your drains and pipes never get clogged and blocked.
How do I know if my drain needs cleaning?
There are certain symptoms that you can spot which will help give you a clue to the condition of your drain system. Some symptoms of a blocked drain include a foul odour emanating from your drain, gurgling sounds when you empty your bath or sink and sinks or baths that are draining slowly.
If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s important to take action sooner rather than later to help minimise the risk of a bigger and more costly problem from occurring.
What are the main causes of blocked drains?
This probably comes as no surprise, but most drain blockages are caused by flushing or disposing of things that the drain isn’t built for. These include soap, fats, grease and oils, sanitary products, hair, and foreign objects such as small toys.
The importance of regular drain cleaning
While there are no hard or fast rules on how often you should clean your drains, by maintaining a regular drain cleaning schedule, you will help keep your drainage system healthy and free-flowing and help prevent more costly future repairs.
If a drain becomes slow to empty, it’s unlikely to fix itself, and if left unchecked, can ultimately lead to a potentially costly repair in the future. With regular drain cleaning, you can help prevent them becoming more serious and expensive to fix.
Keeps Your Drainage System and Pipes in Good Working Order
When pipes do not drain as intended, pressure can build up inside, and if left unchecked can lead to a burst or cracked pipe. Regular drain cleaning will help keep your drainage system in perfect working order.
Minimise Bad Odours
If your drain isn’t clearing properly, this can lead to obnoxious smells and unpleasant odours. While it might be tempting to blame the smell on the dog, the issue won’t resolve itself, regular drain cleaning will keep your home or commercial property odour free!
Keep Your Family and Workforce Safe
Once a drain has become blocked, it can back up and leak sewer water into your home or commercial premises. This poses an enormous risk to your health. Regular cleaning of your drains will help ensure the sewer water stays where it should be.
Prevents Structural Damage
A leaking or cracked drainpipe can threaten the structural safety of your home or commercial property. In fact, leaking drains are one of the most common causes of subsidence. Regular drain cleaning will help ensure your drainage system empties correctly and minimise any expensive property damage. For added peace of mind, we’d also recommend having a CCTV drainage survey carried out to ensure your drain system is in full working order.
What steps can you take at home to keep your drains in proper working order?
Not every drain blockage requires the attention of a professional drainage company. Why not try these methods at home to see if they help clear the blockage before calling out the pros?
- Boiling Water. Pouring boiling water down your drain can help soften and dissolve solidified fats and oils and clear your drain.
- Baking Soda and Vinegar. If the boiling water didn’t clear your drain blockage, a baking soda and vinegar solution makes for a great homemade drain cleaner.
- Off the Shelf Drain Cleaners. If you’re still struggling to unblock that stubborn blockage, drain cleaning chemicals will often give you a little more drain unblocking power.
- Plunger. For smaller blockages, a good old-fashioned plunger can often clear the blockage and get your drains flowing again.
- Drain Snake. If the blockage you’re trying to clear is heavy, a plunger may be inadequate. In this case, a drain rod (drain snake) will often be a better tool for the job. The drain snake is inserted into the drain and then twisted when it encounters a heavy blockage which chips away at the blockage until it’s cleared.
If none of the above methods work, or you find that your drain blockage re-occurs, it’s best to enlist the help of a professional drain cleaning company.
A professional drainage engineer will be equipped with the right tools and expertise to clear even the most stubborn of blockages. Again, with regular drainage cleaning and proper disposal methods, you can help prevent many of these blockages from happening in the first place.