Every year the UK suffers from periods of terrible weather, and in some cases, heavy downpours lead to flooding. As a homeowner, it’s important for you to recognise when a blockage has occurred, and know how to proceed to make sure it’s taken care of before it becomes hazardous.
Increased chance of flooding
As the weather in the UK continues to get wetter, with some of the heaviest downpours seen for years, it just keeps increasing the chances of flooding.
The countless number of housing developments being approved on land that is clearly vulnerable to floods doesn’t help this. With new developments being proposed every year, it means that there will be no choice but to continue building on flood plains.
Whether they know it or not, the owners of these homes will be extremely likely to suffer from the wetter weather and have to deal with flooding on their property. Making it all the more important to be able to spot the early signs of any blockages.
How to know when your Drain is Blocked
Before you are even able to take care of a blocked drain, you firstly need to be able recognise one. If you’re unable to do so then you have no chance of unblocking your drain before it does some serious damage. Spotting the problem early will save you a lot of hassle in the long run; here are a few things to look out for.
If you hear a gurgling noise coming from your toilet, sink, bath or shower when the water is drained, you are likely hearing trapped air in the drainage system; the air pushing up through the water trap produces the gurgling sound.
Another sign is the water level in your toilet, sink or bath draining slowly or rising higher than it normally would, or the toilet water dropping to an extremely low level. This is mainly due to water being syphoned out because of problems further down the pipes. Internal venting and bad smells can be caused by water displacement in the traps on sinks, baths etc. causing a blockage and defective drains then leak into the sub floor and bring bad smells into your home.
Reporting a Blocked Drain
If your drainage problem has persisted and your attempts to unblock it have failed, then it’s probably time to report the blockage. Before you do so you will want to check if any of your neighbours are having similar problems. If they are then there is probably a problem with the connecting sewer, your local council will usually be who you should call to sort it.
If none of your neighbours have any problems then the blockage is only from your property, in this case meaning that as the homeowner it is your responsibility to take care of it. You may have some sort of insurance scheme for this type of situation, but if not you should call a plumber or drain specialist.
In the UK it doesn’t look like our wet weather shows any signs of easing off. What before would have been showery weather, has now turned into torrential rain. So with the weather seeming to get increasingly worse, it would make sense to be prepared for the occasional blocked drain.
Fraser Ruthven is the Marketing Associate for London Drainage Facilities, one of London’s leading drainage companies. London Drainage provides a wide range of drainage diagnostic and repair services in and around London.