Taking advantage of our drains; we’re all guilty of it. It’s only when they block up we realise just how much we rely on those humble garden drains. Now the sun’s out, it’s even more important that our outdoor drains are unblocked and flowing freely. After all, nobody wants to be knee-deep in waste water when they’re trying to host a barbecue!

Outside drains can get clogged by all manner of nasties, but the most common culprits are solidified fat, leaves and other debris, and food matter, such as rice, which does not biodegrade quickly enough for it to be disposed of down the drain.

Get stuck in

Should your outside garden drain start to overflow, there’s no need to panic and immediately call out the professionals. We’ve written a handy how-to guide to help you troubleshoot the problem and fix it on your own, but to save time, let’s talk a bit about every plumber’s most essential tool – drain rods.

It’s a good idea to at least wear tough rubber gloves when unblocking your drain but wearing old clothes and covering your mouth and nose is a great idea to avoid getting splashed with waste water, too.

You can find drain rods at any good hardware shop or online – and they really are the first option for anybody unblocking a seriously overflowing drain.

Fizz it Out

Another useful option is to use caustic soda, or a combination of vinegar and baking soda to help lift the grime and grease out of your outside drain. Blocked garden or outdoor drains aren’t the easiest to clear with this method, so if you’re having no luck, start plugging away with your draining rods or a broom handle to try and locate and dislodge any larger blockages.

Once you’ve done this, the fizzy caustic soda method can get to work on tough layers of grime.

Get a Professional’s Opinion

If your outdoor drain continues to become blocked over a period of weeks, it might be time to get the professionals in to take a look at it. Proper drainage is essential to your home, and constant wastewater contamination can lead to the spread of bacteria as well as less harmful bad smells – not what you want in your garden during the summer.

Persistent blockages could be the symptom of a larger problem, so contact a specialist plumbing or drainage company to ask for a no-obligation quote and see what their honest opinion is. It might not be as bad as you’d imagined!

Once your drain is unblocked, do what you can to make sure it remains clear by following these simple rules:

Enjoy your happily draining garden drain!

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