What Are the Causes of Blocked Drains, and How Can I Deal with Them?

  in  Plumbing and Drainage

Any property can suddenly be impacted by a drain blockage.Blocked drains can cause serious issues throughout your property. They can make your bathroom unusable, which is the last thing that any of us want to deal with. Whether you're about to leave for work or looking forward to a relaxing shower at the end of a long day, blocked drains can be a serious problem.

If you're suffering from any kind of drainage issue, it isusually a good idea to ring the professionals. An experienced team can deal with any and all kinds of drainage issues. What's more, they have the equipment to identify what kind of issue you're experiencing and can deal with it in the most effective and appropriate manner.

Despite that, it's human nature to want to deal with our problems ourselves. If we can tackle a drainage issue ourselves, we can avoid callout charges and the risk of being ripped off. In some cases, if the symptoms of a drainage issue are fairly minor, we'll choose to put them off. Although there are trustworthy blocked drain companies out there, we'd all rather deal with our issues without calling a professional team.

What Are the Most Common Causes of Blocked Drains in Homes Across the UK?

Your home's drains can become blocked due to a variety of different issues. Some of these problems can be caused by the incorrect use of your drains, whereas some can be caused by natural events. Whether the blockage is ultimately your fault or not, you need to ensure it is cleared as quickly as possible. Failing to do so can not only be extremely irritating, it can lead to a wide range of serious problems across your home.

There are several common causes of blocked drains for homes in the UK. While some are out of your control, that doesn't mean you can ignore them.

1 - Disposing of Improper Materials

If you regularly, or even occasionally, dispose of unsuitable materials, this can easily cause serious issues within your drains. Many of us flush or wash away unsuitable materials every day without really thinking about it. Just some of the most common and harmful culprits caninclude:

  • Baby Wipes and Wet Wipes.
  • Makeup and Medical Waste.
  • Feminine Products.
  • Kitchen Roll.

All of these materials can result in serious blockages. In the worst cases, they can easily group together, creating blockages which will resist most attempts to dislodge them. These blockages can start off small but continue to get larger as time goes on. As they increase in size, the more noticeable their impact on your property will be.

2 - Build Up of Soap Scum. Hair and Skin Cells

Although they will rarely cause serious blockage on theirown, soap scum, sink cells and hair are all common ingredients of other blockages. These ingredients, washed away in sinks and showers across the UK, can cause blockages in smaller pipes. They have the most impact when combined with other ingredients. For example, soap scum and hair can tie materials together, leading to large blockages which are incredibly difficult to shift.

These ingredients can also cause a serious problem in terms of the smell they can create. Soap scum, dead skin cells and loose hair can make the smell of any blockage much worse as they will often be accompanied bydirt, sweat and more.

3 - Solid Food Waste and FOG Waste

The number one culprit for all kinds of blocked drains inthe UK is food-related waste. Specifically, fats, oils and greases (FOG) waste. These substances can cause all kinds of problems. They can adhere to the interior of your drain pipes. Once in place, they can capture all kinds of waste as it passes by. Over time, these blockages will continue to grow in size and strength until they completely block your drain pipe.

The presence of solid food waste and FOG waste in your drains, can lead to a wide range of serious blockages. You will often be able to smell blockages including food waste around your drain pipes. This smell will only continue to get worse as the foot continues to rot as time goes by.

4 - Tree Root Intrusion

One of the most serious drainage issues is the potential intrusion of tree roots. These roots can be extremely harmful and can easily access your pipes through even the smallest of cracks and fractures. Tree roots will naturally grow in the direction of water and nutrients. As such, your drain pipes are the ideal location for them. Once inside your drains, roots will grow extremely quickly and can cause a total blockage.

In addition to causing a blockage, it is possible for tree roots to seriously damage your pipes. As such, these are issues that you will rarely be able to deal with yourself. If there is a tree close to your property, it will eventually lead to drainage problems.

How Can I Deal with Blocked Drains in My Home?

This is where it gets tricky. One of the main problems when it comes to dealing with drain blockages yourself is the lack of equipment. Sure, you can go any buy drain rods, or shelf drain cleaner, but there's no guarantee you'll be able to clear the drainage issue. One of the most serious issues that you need to work around is that it will be difficult to know where the blockage is located and what it is composed of.

If the symptoms of a blocked drain, such as unpleasants mells or irritating sounds, only affect one room or drain, it is a safe bet the blockage is nearby. In these cases, you can use drain rods and commercial drain cleaners to attempt to destroy the blockage.

However, if you are suffering from symptoms across yourhome, or if these over-the-shelf treatments haven't worked, you need to call in a professional team. Thanks to CCTV drain surveys, they'll be able to identify the exact location and composition of the blockage. They will also have access to industrial drain rods and the high-pressure water jets needed to dislodge a serious blockage, including tree root intrusions.

Whether you're going to give it a go yourself, or you want to call in a professional team, you need to act fast! The longer you leave these blockages, the more serious the damage to your system will become.