Without doubt unblocking drains and associated fittings is at best a minor inconvenience. At worst blocked drainage can result in a serious backup of revolting water and flood damage to the premises. Such occurrences can be avoided in a block of flats in central Glasgow as much as they can in a farm house in the borders. For outdoor drainage or guttering blockage can be prevented by removing material as it builds up.
This material is likely to be organic matter such as leaves, soil or even plant roots. Synthetic material such as plastic bags can cover the grate preventing the flow of water into the drainage system. If the guttering and pipework is regularly cleared, such backflow can be significantly reduced.
Frequent Causes of Blocked Drains
The single biggest reason for the blocking of any pipe or drainage system is the presence of substances and waste material that just shouldn’t be there. For example, as a clueless 16-year-old I thought you disposed of waste fat by pouring it down the sink! I also remember the tenants of a friend who lets his house calling in his contractors to unblock the drains repeatedly.
This was after the tenants swore blind that they were not doing the same with waste food, needless to say it turned out that they were. The contractor found a noxious mess of festering material containing solidified fat, body hair, waste paper and even sanitary towels. The proverbial camel’s back was broken and notice was given. So, the first rule of drainage blockage prevention is to not use the pipework as waste disposal unit.
The moral of the above examples is to check what finds its way into your drains. For example, if there have been strong winds and severe weather, check the guttering for leaves and foliage as soon as possible. Another idea is to employ some basic housekeeping skill, be the opposite of a clueless teenager. Make sure that when you are washing up that the water is hot enough to emulsify any fats and scrape the crockery and yes that does apply equally if you are using a dishwasher.
Food waste ought to be kept to a minimum regardless of any plumbing issues, and scraps should where ever possible be composted. The one place they do not belong is in the kitchen sink. The same is true of the bathroom and toilet; the shower and / or bathroom plug hole should be regularly cleared. The good news is that you can avoid the need for chemical cleaners, if a kettle full of boiling water followed by a liberal dose of vinegar (or citric acid) and bicarbonate soda is regularly poured into the pipework.
By following these and other simple and dare I say it common sense examples the need for expensive, time-consuming, but most of all unnecessary call out for a Glasgow plumber.