5 Common Drainage Problems to Look Out For

Homeowners know that a well-maintained drainage system can prevent a lot of unnecessary hassle, stress and expenditure. Despite this, most people don’t really know what to look for in terms of drainage problems. Unfortunately, this means that you might overlook a potential problem and inadvertently allow it to worsen over time.

To prevent flooding, cracked drains and leaks, you’ll want to keep an eye out for these five common drainage problems:

1.Bad odours

If you notice unpleasant odours emanating from sinks or pipework, it’s a sure sign that drainage problems are already occurring. Bad odours usually happen when drains are partially or fully blocked. Although you’ll notice when a drain is fully blocked, it’s easy to overlook a partially blocked drain.

When pipes are partially blocked, they can’t allow water to pass through them as quickly as normal. However, the reduction in flow may be imperceptible at first. As the size of the blockage increases, the risk of the pipe cracking also grows. When this happens, water will leak from the drain into the surrounding area.

If you notice an unpleasant odour coming from sinks or pipework, be sure to take action as quickly as possible. By removing a partial blockage swiftly, you can prevent damage from occurring and avoid further drainage problems. 

2. Pests in pipework

All homeowners should be aware of the risks that pests pose. As well as causing significant structural damage, vermin also carry disease, which is why any pest issues should be resolved by a professional.

It’s not uncommon for pests to use drainage systems as a way to access the interior of buildings. If some pipes are rarely or never used, you may even find that rats or mice decide they’re a good place to nest.

You can reduce the risk of this happening by ensuring that all pipework is used regularly. If you have an en suite bathroom attached to a guest room but you rarely have visitors to stay, for example, be sure to run the taps in the sink and turn the shower on frequently. This can help to prevent drainage problems from occurring and ensures that plumbing fixtures remain fully operational too.

When purchasing a property, it’s not uncommon for buyers to make an offer that’s lower than the asking price. In fact, this practice is so typical that most sellers expect to negotiate. If your homebuyer’s drain survey indicates that work is required, you can use this information when negotiating a final sale price. If the repair work that’s needed is likely to cost around £3,000, for example, you could reduce your offer by this amount to reflect the cost of the work. While there’s no guarantee that the seller will accept an offer lower than their asking price, having verifiable information provided by professionals increases your negotiating power.

3. Tree root ingress

Trees and plants regularly cause major problems for homeowners, so be sure to assess your garden, driveway or yard for potential issues. When root ingress occurs, the roots from plants, trees or shrubs invade the drain and continue to grow. Continued growth means that the root will completely the drain and prevent it from functioning.

However, the damage doesn’t stop there. Tree roots are extremely strong and are more than capable of causing drains to crack or shatter. Depending on how bad the damage is, tree root ingress can be cause for a complete drain replacement.

If you have large shrubs or trees situated relatively close to your property or near to where external drains run, it’s important to talk to professional. They can tell you how likely it is that drainage problems will occur due to the trees and help you to decide what action to take.

With a CCTV drainage survey, you can assess whether any ingress has already taken place and, if so, whether the drain can be repaired with no-dig drainage solutions.

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4. Cracked drains

When drains become damaged, cracks are one of the first things to develop. Even a hairline fracture in the pipework is enough to allow water to seep through the drain and into the surrounding area. If an external drain is affected, this means a slow flood could build up in your yard, underneath the foundations of your property or below your driveway. When interior drains are cracked, the subsequent leak can mean that walls and floorboards are affected by damp and mould

If tiles become raised or uneven, it could be a sign of drainage problems

When cracks develop in a pipe, it weakens the structure of the drain. As the damage gets progressively worse, the risk of a floor increases. When this happens, you may notice bubbling on the ceiling below the affected area and/or staining on floorboards. In addition to this, tiles may become uneven or laminate flooring may start to warp.

Fortunately, these types of drainage problems can often be remedied with no-dig drainage solutions. Drain relining is an effective way of repairing the drain and will ensure you can avoid replacing the cracked pipework.


5. Open joints

Joints are used to connect pieces of pipework so that they reach the exterior drainage system. With the right joints, pipework can be installed vertically, horizontally and at angles. Of course, these joints need to remain in place and firmly affixed in order to prevent leaks.

Over time, joints can become loose and begin to open. If metal screws are used to hold the joints in place and these begin to rust, for example, they may weaken and be unable to hold the joint in place. Alternatively, if the pipework hasn’t been properly installed, there is a risk that the joints will become loose.

A CCTV drainage survey can be used to identify potentially open joints from the interior of the drain. Visible drains can also be assessed by checking the joints you can see for signs of wear or tear or leaking. By replacing joints as soon as they become fatigued, you can reduce the risk of future drainage problems occurring.

Resolve Drainage Problems Today

Once drainage problems begin to develop, your best bet is to get them fixed right away. The smaller the issue is, the easier and cheaper it is to repair. To access help with drainage issues or to discuss your drainage system in more detail, talk to our team today.

Call FS Drainage now on 0800 689 3497 or email us at info@fsdrainage.com to access a full range of drainage repair and maintenance services.