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Common Drain Problems in Winter

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Common Drain Problems in Winter

Winter is just around the corner, and while that often means the start of the festive season, it also can mean a raft of common drain problems caused by wintery conditions. The last thing you need at this time of year when it’s colder and darker is an issue with your drains which can cause a backup in your house or create unpleasant smells.

This month, to help you stay ahead of these issues, we’ll outline some of the most common drain problems we find in winter and tell you how you can help to combat them.

Drain problems you might encounter in winter


Autumn has meant a lot of foliage falling into guttering and drains, as well as plenty of high winds which can blow all sorts of twigs and debris into your drains outside your house. These things are a nuisance enough on their own, but will soon be compounded by the addition of frost and, although unlikely, some snow. To help prevent this from becoming a larger issue, here are some preventative steps you can take:

  • Install a drain protector

By placing a covering over your outside drain, you can stop leaves and twigs from entering your system to cause a blockage. They’ll still pile up around your drain, so be sure to check every so often to clear that area for adequate water flow.

  • Clear your guttering

While your gutters are separate to your drains, the two connect, and if your gutters are stuffed full of leaves and moss then the chances are some of that will wash through your downpipe and into your drain, undoing the good work your drain protector has done. Clear your gutters and give your drains a fighting chance.

  • Sweep up regularly

If you have a large garden, or you have a lot of trees dropping leaves all around you, it’s worth raking and collecting these on a regular basis. This prevents any chance of them getting lodged in your drains at a later date. Leaves are a great addition to a composter, so it’s a win-win for your drains and your garden.


Frozen drain causing problem in Winter


Frozen Drains

Frozen drains are a tricky issue to deal with since you’re unlikely to be aware it’s happening until it’s too late. You can help to protect the exposed pipes in your home by keeping the heating on regularly or by insulating pipes which lead outside the property, but your drains underground may not be so easy to keep an eye on. You may be able to clear a frozen drain with some warm water if the blockage is close to an entrance, but the chances are that you’ll need a professional CCTV drain survey to inspect your drain, locate the issue and allow for appropriate advice to be given on how to tackle the problem.


Oils & Fats

At this time of year, we’re all more likely to be using oils and fats in our cooking than at any other time. By now, most people should be aware that these two things can cause major issues if poured down the kitchen sink or into the outside drain. It might appear to be a good idea since it runs away quickly, but once it reaches your drainage pipes outside, it will quickly cool and solidify, trapping other materials with it and causing a blockage. This is now commonly known as a fatberg and will mean emergency drain unblocking if your sinks have started to back-up with water and sewage – not what you need on Christmas day!

Combat this issue by draining your oils, fats and greases into a non-recyclable pot to be put in your bin or to go with your food waste collection bin – but check if your council provides such a service and allows for the disposal of these substances first.


Is the winter weather causing your drains issues? Or do you simply want to have a CCTV survey of your drains to take preemptive action against blockages before we enter the coldest months of the year? Whatever you need, our drainage professionals at Power Rod can help you take care of any issue, providing winter drain unblocking as well as CCTV drain surveys throughout Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire – including Watford and Aylesbury.

Call today for more information or to arrange an emergency call-out appointment for your drains.

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