We’ve covered the reasons your drain pipes might suffer in cold weather already, but did you know that your drains could struggle in the heat as well? A difference in temperature and a whole new set of drainage problems to look out for. Metro Rod looks at and answers some of the most common questions about drainage in a heatwave.
It sounds quite dire, but actually it only takes a little bit of maintenance to keep your drains in ship shape condition no matter the weather. The trouble with drainage, as we’ve said before, is that it predominantly exists out of sight and so as long as it’s working you probably won’t spend too long wondering about it. It’s only when a problem occurs that suddenly you are stuck with a drainage emergency, in which case pick up the phone and call Metro Rod, of course! We want to help our customers not have to cancel plans or stay home from work to ring for a drainage engineer and we want local businesses not to have to limit access to their facilities or worse; close up shop altogether while the problem is resolved! So here are some of the ways your drains might struggle in the current heatwave and how to stop any small problems before they become big ones.
- Why are my drains smelly? — This could be a sign of a blocked drain. When a blockage occurs and stops your drains flushing, whatever is causing the obstruction lingers on in the pipe and a few things start to happen. In the case of a kitchen drain, what can often cause a blockage is food residue or FOG (Fats, Oils, Grease) and when they sit in the drain bacteria starts to grow. Many types of bacteria love the hot weather, which can accelerate its growth, which means more smells; this can often be the reason why the heat brings out the worst smells that might not be so evident or long lasting in colder months.
- How to fix it: buy a sink strainer that sits in the plug hole. This will collect food scraps that can otherwise easily end up down the drain, and always ensure you pour FOG into a container to solidify and throw away. Try to avoid pouring chemical unblockers down the sink though as they can compound the problem they are meant to fix, though in a pinch you can try a baking soda and vinegar solution (no guarantees this will work though!)
- Why is my shower blocked? — It’s hot out there and in order to stay safe, we need to slather on the sun cream, right? This is especially true for the children on their 6 week school holidays, many of whom spend wonderful days outside in the dirt, in the pool and coated in sun cream. That all needs washing off and washing away down the shower drain, which in addition to the excess hair that disappears down the plughole as we all try to stay cool with extra showers, means your drains are taking the strain.
- How to fix it: obviously don’t stop showering or using sun cream! Similarly to kitchen sinks, you can get a drain cover to catch hair and sand and dirt before it enters the pipes. The extra strain on your shower drains might mean you need to don the rubber gloves, lift the drain and do some fishing for hair and soap scum. I know, it’s not the most pleasant of household cleaning activities, but it’s a lot cheaper than calling out a drainage expert. Though of course our number is below if you do need Metro Rod!
- What’s happening underground? — Speaking of the heat, we all need to find some extra shade in this weather and trees are definitely our friends for this! With reduced rainfall and quite often hosepipe bans in place during the hottest weeks, those tree roots are going to be searching for water underground. Your drains might just be the thing they are looking for.
- How to fix it: if your drain is blocked with tree roots, which enter the pipes through small cracks or joint displacements and spread, you really will need to call your local drainage experts (that’s us!). Metro Rod can pinpoint where the problem is using our CCTV drain survey equipment and then send out High Pressure Water Jetting hoses into the pipework with special nozzles on the ends to cut away the roots. Once the drains are clear, we can insert a localised structural repair; a resin impregnated liner is inserted and inflated to create a contiguous covering on the inside of the pipes to prevent those pesky roots from re-invading!
- Should I think about my gutters? — Short answer: yes. We believe in always considering your drainage, which includes the gutters. The advantage you have over these is that you can usually see a bit more of whats going on in there. You might associate the autumn months with gutter cleaning and that’s certainly a time when they are under a lot of strain, but the summer can mean things growing in the gutters or even birds nesting in the dry gutters during summer!
- How to fix it: Keep a weather eye on your gutters as best you can and should they start to look clogged with debris of any kind you can always call our Metro Rod to utilise our innovative Metro Vac to clear your gutters from the ground!
If you are experiencing any of these drainage problems and you need a solution, you can call Metro Rod, but we hope that you all have a lovely summer, staying cool and hydrated, and that your drains carry on doing their vital jobs without cause for concern.
If you require the services of Metro Rod you can get in touch with us in a variety of ways;
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