London Drains Direct

Does My Home Insurance Cover Drainage Issues?

Drainage is not always a top priority when it comes to comparing quotes for home insurance, and as such, many are probably unsure as to exactly what they are covered for in the event of a blocked drain or repair to the drainage system being required.

Most buildings insurance policies will provide cover for accidental damage to your drains, the difficult part is finding out exactly what they mean by ‘accidental damage’. Usually this would cover things such as damage caused by excavation or tree root intrusion but damage caused by wear and tear due to the age of the drainage system most likely wouldn’t be covered.

Blocked Drains

Whether you can claim for a blocked drain would depend on the cause of the blockage itself. For example, if it is down to root intrusion in the drains then there is a good chance this would be covered under accidental damage, but if the cause is wipes or fat and food waste then this would fall under misuse and is highly unlikely to be covered by the insurance.

Drain Repairs

Depending on the issue found, drain repairs can be costly. If you have a collapsed drain pipe you are likely to be looking at excavation works to carry out the necessary repairs. Displaced joints, cracks and fractures in the drainage system, dependent on access, can usually be repaired using non-invasive CIPP patch repairs or drain lining. Whether you would be able to claim for these repairs from your insurance would all depend on the cause of the damage and the level of cover you have.

Call a Professional

It’s important to look after your drainage system and keep it well maintained to avoid blockages or damage that would not be considered ‘accidental’ and now is as good a time as any to start!

London Drains Direct provides professional drain clearance, CCTV surveying and drainage repair and maintenance services 24 hours per day, seven days per week. Call us at 020 7118 0999 to request drainage assistance or ask questions about our drainage services.

Help to Prevent Blocked Drains

Prevention is key when it comes to your drainage system and stopping blockages. Blocked drains are never convenient or pleasant, whether they are internal with slow draining sinks and toilets or external blocked manholes or gullies.

Failure to prevent blocked drains could lead to a number of unpleasant situations including flooding, foul odours and internal damage. That is why you should take every precaution possible to prevent blocked drains in your home.

Some blockages may be out of your control, but here are some easy tips to help prevent blocked drains in your home.

1) Install Sink Strainers

One of the easiest and cheapest solutions for preventing blocked drains is to install sink strainers in your kitchen and bathroom sinks and your bath and/or showers.

Sink strainers are small stainless-steel sieves or wire mesh devices that block hair and food particles from entering your sink drain. However, the steel still has tiny air pockets to allow water to pass through and enter the drain. So you can think of sink strainers as sink filters that protect your drains from debris that could cause blockage in the pipework.

2) Use the Toilet Responsibly

Are you using your toilet responsibly? Any waste management professional would tell you that the only things that should be flushed down the toilet are human waste and toilet paper.

Unfortunately, some people flush other items such as baby wipes, paper towels and sanitary items. We have even found nappies flushed down there! Your toilet drainage is not designed to take these items as they are not meant to be flushed. You may get away with it once or twice but these items will soon start to cause issues. So if you flush them down your toilet, you can expect blockage to occur soon after.

3) Keep Grease and Oil Away from Your Kitchen Sink Drains

One of the reasons why kitchen sink drains get frequently clogged is from washing dishes with grease, oil and food waste on them. Some people even pour grease or oil down the drain after straining them from meat and food. Either of these actions will create blockage issues in the drain.

The simple solution here is to pour your grease and oil into old containers that can then be disposed of in the rubbish bin rather than down the kitchen sink. And if you have any grease or oil residue on your pots, pans, or dishes, use a paper towel to remove this before washing them in the sink.

4) Chemical Drain Cleaners

Chemical drain cleaners can be used to unblock your drains if you have a minor blockage from food particles or organic waste materials. They are best used as soon as you notice water draining slowly, otherwise the chemical drain cleaners might not work if too much waste debris has built up in the drainage system over a long period of time.

You could even try home remedies like baking soda or boiling water if you don’t want to put chemicals down the drain. But the important thing is to act fast before the blockage worsens in the drainage system. Chemical drain cleaners are only good at dissolving small quantities of organic debris blockage, such as grease, oil and food particles.

5) Drainage Maintenance

Don’t wait for debris elements to form blockages in your home’s drainage system. Instead, take the initiative of having regular drainage maintenance carried out by a trustworthy and professional drain clearance company like London Drains Direct.

Regular drain maintenance will ensure your drains receive cleaning periodically, even if you haven’t noticed any signs of a blockage in your drainage system, removing any debris buildup before it causes a blockage.

In addition to the drain cleaning services, we can also carry out a CCTV survey of your drainage system. Our engineers will use our specialist drainage CCTV cameras to inspect the inside of your drain pipework to detect any signs of damage. If we find any issues we can advise whether to monitor or repair the defects to prevent further problems beyond just a blockage.

Call a Professional

It is always a good idea to schedule professional drain surveys and maintenance services for your home’s drainage system. That way, you can clear any accumulating debris from your drainage pipework and detect any potential damage..

London Drains Direct provides professional drainage clearance, CCTV surveying and maintenance services 24 hours per day, seven days per week. Call us at 020 7118 0999 to request drainage assistance or ask questions about our drainage services.

Drainage Issues That Require Professional Help

Have you noticed that your toilet or sinks are draining slowly? You may also have noticed foul smells from drains inside or outside your property.

Below are the top drainage issues that require professional help.

1. Stubborn Drain Blockages

Sometimes you can solve minor drainage issues or foul smells with home remedies such as baking soda and vinegar or over the counter drain cleaners if you have a minor drain blockage due to grease and food waste. If these don’t work to resolve the problem, you’ll need to contact a professional drain clearance company to help you resolve these issues.

If swift action is not taken to resolve the blocked drain it may get worse and your sink or toilet could overflow, potentially causing flood damage to your property. That is why you should take all drain blockage issues seriously before they escalate into something worse.

2. Damaged drains

Drain pipes can develop defects due to long-term wear and tear or due to incorrect installation. Here are some examples of defects commonly found whilst carrying out a CCTV survey of the drainage system:-

  • Cracks or Fractures
  • Displaced or Open Joints
  • Root Ingress

Root ingress usually occurs due to the cracks or fractures etc. in the pipework which allows the roots into the drainage system. We have the specialist tools to remove the roots and fully trained engineers to carry out the necessary repairs to the cracks and fractures etc. using CIPP lining or patch repairs. .

3. Collapsed Drain Pipe

Collapsed drain pipes are usually found when called out for a blocked drain that cannot be fully cleared using manual or machinery methods. Unfortunately, old drain pipes can collapse, especially if previous defects have been left and not monitored.

A collapsed drain pipe on your property will usually need to be excavated so that the damaged pipework can be cut out and replaced.

The signs of a collapsed drain pipe will be more than apparent as soon as it occurs. Then you can react quickly by calling our professional drain repair company to replace your collapsed drain pipe.

4. Homebuyer and Condition CCTV Surveys

Using our drain reporting software, Wincan, and our specialist drainage cameras, we are able to produce Homebuyer and Condition CCTV drain surveys giving a detailed condition survey of your underground drainage system. We would always recommend having a survey carried out when buying a property or if you start to experience on-going issues with your drainage system.

Call a Professional

London Drains Direct offers a 24/7 drainage repair service to residents and businesses in London and surrounding areas. Never take any chances regarding drainage issues because they can escalate into something much worse and much more expensive to fix if you do.

Are you ready to call a professional drain clearance company to help resolve your drainage issues? Call us at 020 7118 0999 to submit your service request today. London Drains Direct has technicians on standby to address your concerns 24 hours per day.

Why Do My Drains Keep Blocking

Most people will encounter a blocked drain in their home at some point. Anytime you wash away dirt, food particles, grease, oil, hair and other debris elements into your drainage system, it will accumulate over time if you don’t properly maintain it.

Blocked drains can lead to slow water drainage, foul smells and flooding if left unresolved.

Understand the Causes of Frequent Drain Blockages

Do your drains regularly get blocked? If so, you need to understand why your drains get blocked to prevent it from happening again.

Firstly you need to identify where the blockages keep recurring, is it the shower always draining slowly or the kitchen gully overflowing when the washing machine empties?

Everything you flush or pour down the drain will ultimately affect the health and stability of your pipes and plumbing.

Here is a closer examination of each drain and how they tend to get blocked frequently:

Kitchen Sink Drain

To prevent your kitchen sink and/or waste pipe from blocking up you will need to be vigilant about what you are flushing away in the sink, dishwasher or washing machine.

As a result of washing your dishes, pots and pans all kinds of food particles, grease, oils, and fats get washed into the kitchen sink drain. These organic elements may start as liquids or soft material, but they can quickly harden inside your pipes after settling in them for a short time. Once hardened, this organic matter can easily clog your drainage pipes if you regularly pour grease, oils, and fats into them daily.

Little tasks like these can help prevent blockages:-

  • Scrape leftover food from your dishes, pots and pans
  • Once cooled, pour fats and oils into an old container to be disposed of in the bin
  • Remove grease from pans using paper towels
  • Use a sink strainer to prevent any food waste going down the plug hole after washing up

Bathroom Basin, Bath and Shower

Soaps and hair build up are the main causes for these blockages, although scale can also play a part. When washing your hands, body and hair all the dirt, soap and hair washes into the pipework which can cause the pipework to start draining slowly and eventually may block completely.

A home remedy like boiling water or baking soda can dissolve soap scum accumulation in the pipes and if you think hair may be the culprit then it would be worth purchasing a bath strainer to prevent the hair from washing down the plug hole.

Toilet Drain

Toilets are designed to remove human waste and toilet paper, nothing more.

Most toilet blockages occur due to items not designed to be flushed down the toilet, such as baby wipes, nappies, sanitary items, children’s toys and toilet rim blocks. Even using too much toilet paper can cause your toilet to block.

The best way to prevent toilet drain blockages is to stop flushing anything but human waste and toilet paper. If you notice that your toilet is starting to drain slowly then take action quickly.

Call a Professional

If simple home remedies are not unblocking your drains, then contact a professional drainage clearance company like London Drains Direct. We have the skills, experience, and tools to remove the most stubborn blockages from your drain.

Call us at 020 7118 0999 to request drain clearance assistance 24 hours per day, seven days per week.

Blocked Drains – Who Is Responsible?

A popular question for many residential customers, one which we generally don’t think about until there is a blockage to be dealt with!

If your drains are private then they are your responsibility to maintain and repair, however, if they are shared then any repairs or maintenance, such as clearing blockages, would be the responsibility of your local water authority i.e. Thames Water.

Private and Shared Drainage Systems

For the most part, any drains that are within the boundary of your property are classed as private and are your responsibility and shared drains located out in the street or shared between terraced houses are the responsibility of the local water authority.

For anyone who lives in a detached house, it is quite straightforward, any drains within your property boundary are yours to maintain and anything outside of this is down to the local water authority.

If you live in a block of flats or an apartment then the property management company would be responsible for all drains up to the property boundary.

If your home is terraced or semi-detached and you have a drain that is shared with your neighbour then the local water authority will be responsible for maintaining this along with any lateral drains that may run along the property boundaries taking yours and your neighbours waste water into the public sewer. Any drains or pipework on your property boundary that take only your waste water will be your responsibility.

Public and Private Sewers

If the public sewer is blocked then this would be down to the local water authority to clear. If there is a blockage in a private sewer then the responsibility and costs lie with all of the property owners connected to this sewer.

Legislation Changes

In October 2011, the UK Government made changes to legislation requiring the local water authorities to take over the responsibility for maintaining shared and lateral drains from homeowners.

Call a Professional

Do you have questions about your responsibility to unblock a drain on your property? London Drains Direct can help you answer your questions and provide professional drain unblocking services if it is determined it is your responsibility to clear the drain or sewer linked to your home.

Call us on 020 7118 0999 to speak with one of our customer service representatives. We can assist you 24 hours per day, seven days per week.

What Chemicals Can Be Used To Unblock Drains?

Blocked drains are never pleasant because they can lead to flooding, foul smells and leaking pipework if not resolved quickly.

Whilst there are various home remedies for blocked drains, such as baking soda and vinegar or boiling water, they are usually only good for clearing minor blockages and you’ll probably need something more substantial if you have too much debris causing a blockage in your pipes.

Chemical drain cleaners can be used for clearing the drains of showers, toilets, kitchen sinks and bathroom basins. All the chemicals have some level of acidity for dissolving debris. It is up to you to determine which one is best for your needs.

When using chemical drain cleaners you should ensure you are suitably protected, i.e. gloves, goggles etc. with windows open to keep the area well ventilated, and always follow the instructions provided.

Baking Soda and Vinegar

Baking soda and vinegar has been a home remedy for unclogging drains for many years. But have you ever wondered how combining baking soda and vinegar can unclog drains in the first place?

Baking soda is a layman’s term for the chemical sodium bicarbonate, an antacid often used by people who want to relieve acid indigestion and heartburn in their bodies. Vinegar is an acetic acid that causes a particular chemical reaction when combined with baking soda.

The combination produces water and carbon dioxide. Inside a clogged drainage pipe, the water and carbon dioxide will loosen and break down minor debris particles and help flush them away.

Unfortunately, baking soda and vinegar may not be powerful enough to unclog large quantities of debris stuck inside a drainage system.

Hydrochloric Acid

Hydrochloric acid can be found in numerous over-the-counter commercial drain cleaning products, and can be an effective way to break down debris and food particles stuck inside the pipework.

Hydrochloric acid can break down and dissolve grease, soap scum, food scraps, oils, hair, etc.

It is not recommended for use on metal pipes as prolonged or improper use can corrode or damage the pipework.

Caustic Soda

Caustic Soda is another popular drain cleaning chemical for unblocking drains of organic matter like hair, food, and dirt, but this does not mean it is safer to use!

It is a highly corrosive chemical that can damage your pipes and drainage system over time. If you decide to use caustic soda, we suggest purchasing a drain cleaner containing caustic soda rather than mixing yourself. The product should come with safety instructions, so you know how to use it in your drainage system correctly.

Sulfuric Acid

Sulfuric acid might sound like an extreme chemical to dissolve a drain blockage, but it can be a very effective chemical for unclogging drains and it can melt away the most stubborn solids, oils, and grease from drain pipes within 60 minutes or less.

We would recommend other chemical cleaning solutions and home remedies before using sulfuric acid because it should only be reserved for the most extreme drain blockages.

Call a Professional

Are chemical drain cleaners still not working to unclog your drains? If so, contact a professional drain cleaning company like London Drains Direct to help you out. We have all the professional tools to clear your blocked drainage system 24/7.

Call us at 020 7118 0999 to get started.

Why Do I Have Drain Flies and How to Get Rid of Them?

Drain flies are attracted to standing water and decaying organic matter found in your drains and sewers, they will eventually make their way up and come out of your kitchen or bathroom sinks and bath/shower drains.

They are more likely to appear in areas not used frequently or if you have been away from home. Drain flies don’t bite or cause harm to people, but they are still annoying pests that you’ll want to eliminate so you could try a few home remedies first.

Boiling Water

The most popular home remedy is to pour boiling water down the drain. Not only will it eliminate minor debris, but it will eliminate the bacteria that drain flies love so much. You will need to pour boiling water down the drain at least once a day for a week.

Bicarbonate of Soda, Salt and Vinegar

Mix up the above cupboard staples to create a natural solution, pour it down your drain and leave it overnight. The bicarbonate of soda will expand with the vinegar meaning it can reach more areas than the boiling water. The next morning, flush it out with boiling water.

Call a Professional

If neither of the above remedies resolve your issues with pesky drain flies then give us a call! There could be a blockage or build up of decaying organic matter that needs to be removed.

Do you want to request a drainage inspection or clearance service to eliminate your drain flies? Contact London Drains Direct at 020 7118 0999 for further assistance.

Common Signs That Your Drains Need Repairing

There are several tell tale signs that there may be issues with your drainage system. It’s always best to act sooner rather than later, as no-one wants foul water backing up into their property!

Here are some common signs that your drains may be in need of some TLC!

1) Water Drains Slowly

If water drains slowly in your sink, toilet, shower, or bath, it could be the first sign of a drainage problem. You may only need a simple unblock of your drains if you catch the problem early enough. But if you continue to let the problem persist without clearing your drains, it could eventually lead to pipe damage and leakage.

2) Nasty Odours

Do you smell something foul or nasty around your drains or water fixtures? If you have clogged drains, it could indicate that waste particles are clogging your drains or sewer lines. You must remove these particles to eliminate the odours.

3) Pest Infestations

Have you noticed small flies coming up from your sink? Or have a rodent problem but not sure where they are coming from? Then take a look at your drainage system first! A build up of organic matter or stagnant water in your drains can cause drain flies. If you have any damage to the drains the rodents can then make their way into your property! Not to fear though, a thorough clean or installing a Rat Gate can likely resolve these issues!

Contact us

Do you need a professional drainage clearance or repair company? Contact the engineers and specialists of London Drains Direct at 020 7118 0999.

What are the Consequences of Putting Fat and Oil Down the Drain?

Do you do a lot of cooking in your kitchen? If so, you likely dispose of grease, fats, and oils frequently.

Unfortunately, many people make the mistake of pouring fats and oils down their kitchen sink and into their drains. Fats and oils are liquids when you pour them down the drain, but they tend to harden rather quickly. This could have serious consequences for your drainage system because it will then cause blockages inside your drainage system.

If you continue to pour fats and oils down the sink, the first signs of an impending blockage would be:-

  • Water draining slowly or not at all
  • Foul smells coming up from your sink outlet
  • Washing machine or dishwasher backing up into the kitchen sink

Please avoid pouring vegetable oil, meat fats, margarine, butter, salad dressings, and anything else with grease or oil. If you need to dispose of these items, pour the fats and oils into an old container or tin and dispose of them in your rubbish bin rather than your kitchen sink.

If you are experiencing drainage issues London Drains Direct can assist you with this problem by clearing the grease and fat deposits from your drains and pipes. Contact us at 020 7118 0999 to request our drain clearance services today.

Why Do Sewers Need to be Upgraded?

A sewer is an underground system that collects all the waste and foul water which flows from the drains of a home or building. If you live in an urban environment, your property probably relies on a public sewer system. The benefit of a public sewer system is that the local water authority maintains it for you.

However, some property owners don’t have the convenience of using a public sewage system. Instead, they must depend on a private sewage system i.e. a septic tank, which they are responsible for maintaining themselves. If you find yourself in this situation, you can still pay a local sewage or drainage company to help you maintain the system but if it hasn’t been upgraded in the last 50 years or so, then now may be the time.

General binding rules for private sewage systems were introduced in 2015 and updated in 2020, so if you are living in or looking to buy a property with a septic tank, cesspit or small treatment plant then make sure it complies with the updated rules.

Older sewage systems tend to experience problems, such as leaky sewer lines and pipes. Once the internal components of the sewer system begin to deteriorate and fall apart, you will notice several unwanted signs of a pending sewer problem. These signs include:

  • Clogged drains
  • Rat or bug infestations
  • A foul-smelling odour coming from your drains and water

Do you notice any of these problems on your residential or commercial property? If so, it may mean you need to upgrade your sewer system. If your property drains into a public sewer system, your local water authority should be able to take care of it.