How to Stop Leaves Blocking your Drains
Autumn has arrived, the wind is blowing, and the heat has gone from the day. The falling brown leaves can certainly make for a pretty scene, yet as they drift and settle they can unfortunately create some potential problems for homeowners and businesses alike. Left uncleared they can cover and block drains, forcing rainwater to find another route to flow, or simply to back up and form pools of water. Either way this can cause flooding and degradation, and with more severe and frequent storms forecast in the future, keeping drains and gullies clear of debris is an important maintenance job.
Clearing the leaves
General maintenance and tidying is the simplest way to keep the leaves from blocking drains. Raking the leaves up from the garden, or using a brush on harder surfaces, before appropriate disposal is the most basic but often neglected way to stop leaves from entering the drains. For those leaves that have already got into the drain, remove the grate if possible, before clearing the leaves out with a shovel or gloved hand. Alternatively for a slightly less messy approach, use a wet-dry vacuum to suck them up. The grate can be cleaned of any debris before replacing. Regular raking and brushing up of leaves during the period they fall will remove the potential for a lot of leaves to enter the drains around your home or business.
Leaves that cause blockages from within the drains can be a serious problem that may need a professional to come and fix, so this is time well spent.
Gutters and drainpipes need attention too
Attention should also be paid to gutters and drainpipes at this time too, since this is another way of falling leaves to enter the drainage system. Not only are they a potential problem once they reach the drains, they can also build up and block the gutters and drainpipes, causing them to overflow. These can be hard to to clear and, similar to a blocked drain, may result in the need of a professional to help, with all the additional costs that can incur.
Prevention is best
Prevention is always the preferred route rather than having to deal with problems resulting from inaction. Drain and Pipe maintenance fits into that well. So do drain guards and gutter brushes which help by preventing leaves going through them and into the gutters and drains, while still allowing water to pass. Guards come in various shapes and sizes, but ultimately act like a mesh over the drains caching the leaves. They will still need emptying out of the gathered leaves, and also cleaned of any mud and debris that may start to block them, yet they are a simple preventative tool.
Check all the grates that cover the drains around your home or business for damage. This is another simple and obvious point, yet a broken grate allows leaves through more easily and should be replaced.
Being proactive and investing a little time and effort over the autumn season is a cost-effective way of preventing floods and water damage, with the inconvenience and repair costs that can mean. It requires a little bit of regular maintenance, but this should help stop the build-up of leaves that then start to decompose in the drains and pipes.