Drain Maintenance Advice To Prepare For Winter
Winter can be tough on your drains. From drains blocked by leaves and other debris to managing frozen pipes – the best drain maintenance schedule can sometimes not keep up with the pressures of winter. With Christmas around the corner, nobody wants to have to find the money for an emergency plumber around Christmas. So, find out all you need to know about the drain maintenance issues you need to worry about over Winter.
The midlands winter is well underway, with storms and cold weather potentially affecting your drains already.
Frost, snow, ice, and debris from fallen leaves and branches; can all cause drainage issues during the colder months. This can lead to damage to your pipework, causing water (or worse) to back up.
Types Of Drain Problems You May Encounter During The Winter Months
Everyone’s pipes and drainage systems are vulnerable to these conditions, from residential to commercial premises and it is really important to keep your drainage system working well throughout winter.
To make you more aware, here are some typical problems associated with the winter months:
Kitchen oil, fat and grease will cause blocked drains
Christmas especially, is a time when cooking is high on people’s agendas. Not only that, the type of food we cook, like the classic Christmas dinner, is prone to produce more fatty liquids than food we may normally cook.
As temperatures drop oil, fat and grease will harden in your pipes. This makes them more prone to blockages.
You may notice slow-draining water at first, which can quickly lead to a total blockage or overflow – and a big bill from an emergency plumber.
Leaves causing blocked gully drains
Autumn and winter are beautiful seasons, however, they are where you’re most likely to find leaves, fallen twigs, and branches blocking your drains.
Whether it’s just regular Autumn leaf fall or damage from high winds and Winter storms – organic matter can quickly block your storm and gully drains. Other objects or material can easily blow around with the wind and subsequently lead to drain blocking issues.
When a blockage backs up it can result in an overflow situation. The best way to keep on top of this is to schedule it into any regular checks or outside cleaning tasks that occur frequently.
In these scenarios, prevention is definitely more cost-effective than cure.
Frozen pipes in winter
Be aware of frozen pipes during very cold weather. When it’s frozen on the ground, pipework above the ground is vulnerable to freezing as well.
Poorly insulated lofts, exposed pipes, external taps, and down pipes are the most at risk from icy temperatures.
If you turn on a tap and no water flows, and temperatures are at or below freezing outside, consider the possibility of a frozen pipe.
Since water expands when it freezes, this can lead to cracks forming in your pipes, which could turn into leaks when the pipes thaw.
If your pipes do succumb to sub-zero temperatures, make sure you manage frozen pipes quickly to avoid bigger problems – like bursts and leaks.
Avoid blocked drains in winter
It is really important to be on top of what you are personally introducing into your drainage system from inside your home.
Dispose of cooking fats and food debris responsibly. Put fat in containers and throw it away with your household waste, rather than pouring it down the drain.
Winter is all about comfort food, roasts and stews, but the fat from meat cooked in these meals can congeal in your pipework. In addition, you can combat hardened fat in your drains by boiling the kettle and pouring it down your drain once a week to help soften it.
Drain Maintenance Tips To Keep Your System Free Of Leaves
When Autumn arrives, it brings with it a gully’s worst nightmare… leaves. And Winter just amplifies the problem with wet and windy conditions. It’s important that you keep outside drains clear of leaves and other debris from surrounding trees and bushes. Doing this on a regular basis can prevent this debris from entering your drainage system and causing a build-up and blockage.
Leaks are one of the number one causes of extensive water damage to property – which can result in it being uninhabitable.
If your gully is not protected by a gutter guard, then leaves will easily find their way into the system. Ensuring your gully guard is fully operational and clear should help prevent any unwanted debris from falling into your drains. When debris gets really far into the system, you can end up needed more extensive work, like sewer pipe repairs. If you do find your drains are blocked, MZR has engineers experienced in unblocking drains, who will be able to remove the blockage and get you up and running at a competitive price.
To prevent a blockage, follow our 10 tips to avoid your drains getting clogged up by leaves
We’ve collated our best drain maintenance advice to help your drainage system cope with the Midlands winter this year:
- Once a month check your downpipes and gutters – remove leaves, sticks, and dirt where practicable. Leaf matter and other debris can prevent water from reaching the downpipe.
- Check all downpipes – if there is a blockage flushing out with a hose may help. Alternatively, call your local drain company for advice and assistance.
- Consider installing gutter guards (monthly visual checks should be done).
- Consider installing a leaf diverter on your downpipes to ensure leaves and sticks fall to the ground.
- On a weekly basis, do a quick spot check of all stormwater grates for a build-up of debris and if present, remove all debris to prevent it from entering the stormwater drain. Over time leaf matter will decay and slowly build up with dirt, sand, sticks etc. to form a compost-like blockage. This can cause problems with slow drainage, back-ups, and costly repairs due to overflows. It can also be costly to remove from a stormwater drain.
- Consider installing filters on stormwater grates to stop leaves, debris, sand, and soil from entering your drains.
- Prevent any foreign object from entering your drains (e.g. building materials, children’s toys, tennis balls, stones, weeds, tree roots, etc.).
- Once a year, have your drains water jetted to clear any debris. MZR Drainage are experts in water jetting and clearing blocked drains and can advise on pipe relining costs.
- If you notice your gutters, downpipes, or stormwater drains are draining slowly, you can save time and money by having them cleaned out sooner rather than later.
- Call MZR Drainage Services on 0121 663 1060 to discuss your needs and find the most efficient and cost-effective way to clear your blocked drains and prevent future problems.
Book A Drain Inspection By The Midlands’ Drain Experts
The first element of ensuring the health of your drains over the winter period is to know what you’re dealing with. Check your pipes, gutters and downpipes are free of any obvious debris you can deal with yourself. Then call in our expert drain inspectors to inspect your drains and make sure you’re in the clear from any drainage problems this winter. We can use techniques like CCTV drain surveys to diagnose problems and clear them then and there.
For advice on blocked drains and drain maintenance in the Midlands, contact us.