Did you know underground drains have been used for thousands of years to prevent flooding and water damage? From ancient civilizations to modern-day cities, these systems have proven effective in keeping our homes and streets dry.
However, as with any system, underground drains can become clogged over time. These minor sewer snags cause water to back up and may escalate into irreparable damages when neglected. It’s crucial to keep an eye out for signs of a clogged underground drain and take action promptly.
Drain Magic is the number one partner of South Central Pennsylvania homeowners in dealing with clogged drains. This article explores the five signs of clogged underground drains and what you can do to prevent and address them.
What Are Underground Drains?
Underground drains are an essential part of any modern drainage system. These drains constitute a series of underground pipes designed to carry water away from your property. This prevents flooding and water damage by directing excess water to a designated location.
The way underground drains work is straightforward. Drain and rainwater are carried away through pipes and released into the sidewalk or sewers. Eventually, they undergo filtration in your community’s water treatment facility. The water may travel into your home’s septic tank without a water treatment plant.
Every pipe in an underground drainage network is necessary to keep the system working. And a clogged drain compromises the entire operation. This may happen because of several reasons:
- Grease and fat buildup
- Root intrusion
- Solid debris
Underground drains are hidden in plain sight, which means they don’t detract from the appearance of your property. However, this also means not knowing if you’re dealing with clogged underground drains.
Thankfully, there are tell-tale signs to know if your drain is clogged, and that’s what we’ll uncover below.
How to Know if Your Underground Drain is Clogged?
Unless you hire underground drain experts to examine your pipes, there’s no accurate way to know what you’re dealing with. While a clog is possible, it may even be something worse entirely. It’s always best to consult the pros for your underground drain problems.
Here are signs that you may have clogged underground drains on your hands:
Slow draining is the easiest-to-track sign of a clogged underground drain. This happens when there is a partial blockage in the pipe, causing water to drain more slowly than usual. If left unaddressed, slow drains can lead to complete blockage, causing water to back up and cause damage.
An excellent preventive measure is to avoid pouring, throwing or neglecting objects that may clog your drain. Grease and toilet papers are usual suspects behind drain blockage.
You may opt for at-home remedies to address a slow drain issue and see if they fix it. For example, a drain cleaning solution may break the blockage and clear the pipe. Regularly pouring hot water into drains may also work, but ensure your pipe can handle extreme temperatures first.
Water backup is another common sign of a clogged underground drain. This happens when water that should be draining starts to flow back up, often accompanied by gurgling sounds. Water backup is often caused by a complete blockage, which can lead to severe water damage if not addressed promptly.
Like pouring hot water or baking soda-vinegar mixture, other regular maintenance practices can prevent clogged drains. But if you’re already experiencing one, locating the blockage source is the best way forward.
A drain snake may be enough to remove it if it’s near the access point. Otherwise, calling in the pros is the only other workaround.
Water fixtures and toilets are not the only culprits behind clogged underground drains. Even leaves, dirt and other debris in your gutter can block your drainage system. This leads to gutter overflow, which may damage your roof and the foundation of your household.
Regularly maintaining your gutters is the best solution to ensure proper water flow. Gutter guards can also prevent debris from entering the system. Unfortunately, when gutter cleanup comes too late, you may need to call a drain professional instead.
Downspouts and gutters are two peas in a pod, but downspouts deserve their own feature in this article. Sometimes, you may have perfectly fine gutters yet still get leaky downspouts.
Downspouts connected to underground drains using adapters, helping water flow seamlessly between the two pipes. However, downspout leaks occur when water gushes out of the adapter seams.
Note: you will only observe this when it’s raining, so check your downspouts for any leaks during a drizzle.
It’s best to call professionals to fix any clogs in your underground drains, especially when downspouts are involved.
Water leak in your property
A water leak is another sign of a clogged underground drain, as excess water forcefully exits through the pipe. This creates cracks or crevices in your drainage system, which may occur anywhere within the network. Unfortunately, water leaks may present themselves in several ways:
- Mysterious formation of puddles or standing water
- Damp spots on walls or floors
- Water stains or discoloration on walls or ceilings
- Musty odors or a wet feeling in the air
- Cracks in the foundation or walls
It is only possible to repair a water leak with an expert’s help. Using modern solutions like pipe relining, they can execute repairs with little to no property damage.
Drain Magic specializes in modern trenchless solutions to clogged underground drains. If you’re a South Central Pennsylvania homeowner that needs a service, don’t hesitate to call.