Disaster can strike very quickly when it comes to blocked stormwater drains. Designed to cope with large amounts of water during heavy storms, when your stormwater can’t drain away it puts your home at risk.
How? With serious flooding and poor drainage, your home’s foundations could shift or weaken. If that happens, walls will tilt – or perhaps the whole house will begin to lean over. Underpinning is an incredibly expensive repair job.
To prevent any and all problems it’s best to know exactly how to look after your stormwater drains. And if there’s an emergency, you know just what to do.
What Does a Stormwater Drain Do?
First up, let’s quickly clarify what stormwater drains are. Because they’re different to your sewer system.
Designed to prevent flooding, stormwater drains funnel and divert rainwater through a serious of gutters on your roof, driveway or pathways. Your personal stormwater ultimately connects with the public gutters and drains found along each street.
This water all runs directly into public waterways and at no point is filtered. That’s the main difference with sewerage. All your waste and sewerage from bathrooms and kitchens is processed through waste treatment plants before being released into public waterways.
Because stormwater is not treated or filtered it’s incredibly important you do not pour chemical cleaners down the stormwater drain.
What Causes a Blocked Stormwater Drain?
Almost 95 per cent of stormwater blockages can be blamed on tree roots. The root systems are drawn to the enticing water and nutrients located inside pipes. Once it has taken hold, the root won’t let go either. As it grows the problem only worsens. This is where heavy duty equipment like a hydro-jet is often the only solution.
Sediment, leaves, stones and sticks can all be washed down, slipping through grates. Even dead animals or kids’ toys have regularly found their way into the drains. Once enough garden matter has made its way in, it’ll clog together and form a natural blockage.
Broken or Damaged Stormwater Pipes
All stormwater drains eventually show signs of age. External factors such as shifting soil or poor installation will impact longevity as well. Once a section has broken it won’t be long until more serious collapses occur. Dirt and debris will fall into the channel, and tree roots will invade. In the case of serious damage, you may have to turn to drainage excavation.
How Do You Prevent Stormwater Disasters?
Regular maintenance. It’s a simple answer and the best one. After any gardening, don’t leave clippings, cuttings or other leftovers lying around. They’ll be washed into the drains during the next heavy rainfall.
Likewise, keep your gutters and downpipes clear as they’ll provide just as big a nuisance.
If you do believe a blockage could eventuate, however, there are a few things you can do yourself. Clean out grates, gutters and drains where you can. Don’t ever use chemical cleaners or other hazardous materials, though.
You can call your local expert from Jim’s Plumbing for routine maintenance, as preparation for the wet season!
They can clear out stormwater drains using the latest equipment in a non-invasive and environmentally friendly manner. This reduces your chances of flooding down the track.
My Stormwater Drain Is Flooding, What Now?
It’s too late to prevent a disaster and your drains are flooding. Maybe with the first serious downpour, the flooding was minimal. But with the next one, it could put your foundations at risk. What do you do?
Call in the experts at Jim’s Plumbing. They can offer you several long term solutions, including:
Hydro-Jet Drain Cleaning
The best way to clear a blocked stormwater drain is with hydro-jet drain cleaning. The hydro-jet is the most advanced and effective drain clearing tool around. It uses highly pressurised jets of water to break down garden material and tree roots.
There’s no need to dig up trenches or tear out your pipes. It can reach far down the drain and remove hard to reach blockages.
Once your Jim’s plumber has cleared the blockage they’ll perform a CCTV drain inspection to confirm the drain’s looking good as new. And if necessary, they can perform pipe relining so everything’s looking crisp and flowing freely.
As a last resort, for when a blockage cannot be cleared or the stormwater drain is beyond repair, drainage excavation will be required. This heavy duty process requires some serious machinery and trench digging. But your local tradies from Jim’s Plumbing are the most knowledgeable around.
They’ll have your drains as good as new in no time, saving you from considerable damage to your home and its foundations in the future.