The summer is now behind us and as we move towards the cooler, damper days ahead, the potential for problems around your garden increases.
Many see the onset of winter as a time to hunker down and forget about what is outside, but gardeners know this is a crucial time of the year, just as critical as any other.
Gardeners World claims that you should cut back hedges and bushes, as well as trimming perennials, but it is also a time where savvy gardeners are identifying potential problems around the garden.
One issue that an increase in rain might bring with it is overflowing drains. The summer months tend to see less rainfall and therefore less stress on your drainage system, but in what are undoubtedly rainier months, you may find your drain overflows.
This can present all sorts of problems, as we outlined in our article The Top Eight Benefits of Clearing Your Drains. A blocked drain can be hugely problematic for a homeowner, bringing with it not just rising water, but also the potential for waste matter too.
With drains running out of your property, the blockage can cause damage inside the home, as well as in your garden and it might be advisable to get ahead of the problem before it starts.
You can also get more reassurance that should a problem occur, you’ll be able to act swiftly without being hit by major damages to your home and your finances. The plumbing and drainage insurance on HomeServe covers homeowners from a wide range of problems, including leaking pipes and blocked drains, as well as leaks or blockages to your water supply pipe.
Prevention is far better than a cure, but having peace of mind that a problem can be resolved without significant financial outlay is certainly something every homeowner should consider. What if you discover a blocked drain this autumn on your property?
It might be too late to get cover and you may need to react quickly, and efficiently to prevent any serious issues. If you operate a septic tank or a drainage system then it may be wise to get a professional in straight away to avoid damaging your equipment. If you are on the main drainage system, then there are steps you can take if you find a drain overflowing.
The very first thing to do is not panic. Seeing water rising and flooding outside might cause alarm, but you do not necessarily need professional help straight away. You will, however, need some drain rods. They are widely available at several places, and protective clothing is also vital. Long rubber gloves are important, as is face protection to stop you getting splashed.
Open the drain cover and use the rods to see if you can dislodge the blockage and cause the water to subside. It is not clean work, do be warned, but at the same time with a little elbow grease, you may be able to solve the problem.
You can also look to solve the issue using caustic soda, as you might get a blocked sink in the home. Caustic soda causes a chemical reaction when it mixes with hair, dirt, grease and a few other of the common causes of blocked drains. Diluting around 750ml in three litres of cold water should give you a solution that has the potential to shift your problem. Some will use this method first, prior to inserting drain rods, for a two-pronged attack on the problem.
There is a final option before you contact a professional: drain acid. Low Cost Living outlines how it is brilliant for shifting the most challenging of blockages, but be warned, it is not nice stuff. Some people may not be comfortable handling it, so if that applies to you perhaps it is time to pick up the phone.
The key is not to panic. If you see a blocked drain and flooding it is easy to lose sight of what might be causing the problem, but many basic blockages are simple and effectively handled by the homeowner.
However, if you are unsure, never be afraid to call for professional help and whatever you do, do not simply ignore the problem hoping it might go away, because it will not.