Blocked drains are extremely frustrating, in that they are very simple problems which can cause an inordinate amount of damage. Damp and leaks in your walls, persistent smells and electrical damage can all come from something as avoidable as a backlog of leaves in your drain. This is all the more reason to have your drains maintained regularly, or to do so yourself. However, there are a plethora of reasons why you might have problems with your drains. Here are a few common causes.
When a drain is open to the outdoors, it's exposed to all kinds of debris, such as fallen leaves, hedge clippings, litter from the street and suchlike. These things can easily block a drain, causing huge problems down the line. Luckily, those kinds of blockages are easy to fix—though they may require specialist tools, depending on how far the blockage has reached. More complicated, however, is when roots grow through the path of the drain. In either case, it may be best to contact a professional drain cleaner to assist you. In order to prevent these blockages from happening, you may wish to install a guard over the top of your drain. This will allow water to pass through, but not most debris. Also, ensuring that you keep garden waste such as clippings in secured piles will help to prevent them from falling in.
Of course, the actual item causing your blockage will vary depending on which room it originated from—but interior drains are almost always blocked by litter which should not have been disposed of down the drain. These can range from children's nappies through to non-disposable women's sanitary protection. Small personal items which have accidentally slipped down the drain—such as jewellery—can get stuck too. The best way to avoid these problems is to be very clear with all family members about which things can and cannot be flushed or washed down the drain. Installing traps in your sinks to prevent personal effects from falling straight into the drain may be a wise idea too. If anything does get stuck, however, you should contact a professional for assistance. It can be dangerous to try and recover them yourself; the last thing you need is to get stuck or to worsen the blockage by attempting to force the blockage out with unsuitable items.
Most drain blockages should be deal with by a professional. However, you can do plenty to prevent them from occurring in the first place by taking great care around your internal drains, and by making small adjustments in your garden.