What’s That Stink? Are Your Smelly Drains a Disaster Waiting to Happen?

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smelly drains

Been noticing your smelly drains recently? When the weather starts to warm up, like it’s finally doing in the UK this May, it’s more common to notice a pungent aroma coming from your drains. This is caused by the bacteria that grow down there; the warmer it is, the faster they breed. And with less water from rainfall, there’s more exposed organic matter for them to feast on. So, this is why you might notice this smell more often during summer. But it’s not just a nuisance; smelly drains can indicate larger issues in your drains… Like blockages.

Blocked drains are a common problem causing a range of unpleasant issues, from slow-draining water to foul odours. In worst-case scenarios, blocked drains can even lead to flooding and serious water damage. But how can you tell if your drains are blocked, and when do you know to call in a drain maintenance company? Are bad smells enough to cause alarm? Let’s find out.

What smelly drains mean

Despite their function, drains shouldn’t smell. Usually, they indicate some kind of blockage. Blocked drains can be caused by a variety of factors, including hair, grease, and foreign objects ranging from leaves to some of the surprising items we discussed in our previous blog.

If you notice foul smells in public areas, you can report them to your local council – like Birmingham City Council’s odour pollution reporting service. But if the smell’s on your private property, the responsibility is yours. So let’s find out what could be causing the smells in your drains:

Drains smelling like rotten eggs

The rotten egg smell is a byproduct of bacteria – namely hydrogen sulfide gas, or sulphur. Whether this smell is coming from inside or outside your home, the cause will be improperly draining water resulting in waste build-up and tons of bacteria.

bacteria cause smelly drains

Drains smelling like sewage

Not only can this smell also be attributed to blockages, but it can also literally be escaped sewer gasses (or actual sewage) leaking from cracks or collapsed pipes. Ignoring sewer smells in your home can lead to health problems and possibly structural damage. So you’re noticing a foul smell, it’s important to address the problem quickly before it gets worse.

Fishy-smell from drains

If you smell something fishy, it’s probably the chemical byproducts of certain types of fats being broken down. They’re called aldehydes, and frankly, they stink. It means there’s food or other organic matter stuck in your drains.

Other signs of blocked drains

Slow-draining water, gurgling, overflow and rising damp can all be signs of blocked drains, along with the smelly drain issues we’ve discussed. You can find out more about signs of blocked drains in this blog.

What to do to prevent and fix smelly drains

unblocked drain

Preventing blocked drains starts with proper waste disposal. Avoid pouring grease down the drain and dispose of food waste and sanitary items in the bin. Regular maintenance is also important to keep your drains in good condition. This includes cleaning and inspection to remove any buildup and identify potential issues before they become serious.

Sometimes, the solution could be as simple as flushing your drains with very hot water. You can find out more about DIY drain solutions here. But in the case of serious blockages or finding out if your smelly drains are caused by cracked or collapsed pipes, you’ll need more technical solutions.

Call in the professionals to fix your smelly drains

At MZR Drains, we’re UK drain maintenance specialists with a range of drain maintenance services to keep your drains in top condition. Our team of experts can investigate drain smells clean and inspect your drains to identify any issues, like CCTV drainage surveys. We can also provide solutions to clear blockages and keep your drains flowing smoothly.

Blocked drains can be a disaster waiting to happen, but they can also be easily prevented with the right precautions and maintenance. By keeping an eye out for signs of blockages and taking action to prevent them, you can avoid serious issues and keep your drains in top condition.

Worried about your smelly drains? Get things smelling fresh and flowing smoothly again by calling in Birmingham drain unblockers MZR Drains.

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