An Outdoor Drain Cleaning Service That Is Dependable and Trusted – Avoid Blocked Outside Drain Flooding And Damage

area drain

An outside drain serves a unique purpose, different than other drain line components inside your building. A blocked outside drain can create havoc if you are a homeowner. A typical plumbing drain system consists of a network of pipes, which can get confusing for a typical property owner. If you need a dependable and expert outdoor drain cleaning service, the Balkan Drain Team is just that.

A house sewer usually runs beneath the garden, driveway, or lawn. The line or pipe delivers wastewater from your home into a city sewer. The city sewer then brings it to a treatment plant. It is at the treatment plant where everything will be chemically treated. It is then released again to the environment.

area drain
A blocked stairwell drain can result in serious basement flooding

Apart from all water fixtures inside the house, a main sewer line is also frequently connected to outside drains. For example, area drains, roof drains, driveway drains, and more. Just like all water fixtures, these outside drains are not invulnerable to clogging.

Leaves, dirt, and heavy rainstorms can be too much for the outside drains to take. Likewise, just like any drain pipe, an outside drain pipe can break or get infested with roots. In some cases curing an outside drain issue is a DIY project, in other cases, a professional outdoor drain cleaning service will be needed

When a blocked outside drain is most likely to occur

While a blocked inside drain can happen any day of the year, a blocked outside drain occurs most commonly during the Fall season. Fall is when leaves from garden shrubs and trees scatter all around the ground. Added to a large volume of water from Fall rainstorms, an accumulation of debris and leaves can easily cause a blocked outside drain. As a result, you have a pool of stagnant water which can become a breeding ground for insects, such as mosquitoes. In either case, you may want to arrange for a drain line cleaning.

The danger of flooding from rainstorms or a heavy snow-melt

A more urgent concern is that such a blockage can cause rainwater to flood your property, or your home itself. The good news is that a blocked outside drain is not too difficult to clear. Interestingly, a freeze-thaw cycle can also cause an outside drain blockage.

When freezing, or a heavy snowstorm occurs, it can block the drain grating. Once ice or snow thaws, it creates a rush of water and possible flooding. This is another reason to periodically check that all outside drains and drain grates are clear and free to accept incoming water.

How to clear a blocked outside drain by hand

Not every clog requires specialty tools. Every outside area drain should have a grate to filter out debris and leaves. This would include anything from a large city catch basin, to a small area drain for a stairwell (which is similar to a floor drain inside a building). Besides cleaning the grate itself, other action is required.

Clearing out debris and sediment

Some small leaves, dirt, and debris, however, will find themselves in the sump of the drain. It can then accumulate to form a clog. To clear the drain, open the grate to see if there is an accumulation of debris directly beneath it. The area directly below the grate is called a sump; the area drain itself. Use a small shovel or your hands (with gloves) to take out the material causing the clog.

Please remember that some drains can be multi-directional, so make sure you clean out each catch basin in every direction. This is not a glorious task indeed. However, a necessary thing to do every once in a while to keep the drain line clean and running properly.

It is better to get your hands dirty for an hour or less, rather than having the annoying and unhygienic water backup problems. Which left untreated, may call for expensive repair or professional drain cleaning down the road.

The importance of regular drain maintenance

If the sump of an outside drain is not cleaned for a long period, debris and sediment will flow into the drain pipe itself. That will create the need to call a professional drain cleaner. Therefore regularly scheduled maintenance will save you money, and prevent possible water damage.

Checking the drain  piping for the drain outlet

Once you clear out the debris, check if the water runs properly through the pipes. Insert a garden hose into the drain piping itself and flush it. A clear pipeline should receive and dispose of water quickly. But if the water stops flowing, there are two possible reasons. Either there is a clog down the line, or the pipe is damaged. Try using a more powerful flush and placing the hose inside the pipe. Water pressure can help push the clog, and free up the line. Pushing the hose back and forth may also help to break a clog loose.

A drain tech from a professional outdoor drain cleaning service.
Outdoor drain cleaning service technician from the Balkan Drain Team

When specialty tools are needed to provide outdoor drain cleaning service

In some cases, a clog is too stubborn for cleaning by hand or using a garden hose to push the clog through. That is when you need to use more powerful equipment operated, typically by a professional outdoor drain cleaning service or storm drain cleaning services. Some examples follow:

  • Rubber Drain Bladder (blow bag)

This tool, commonly called a blow bag, should be attached to the end of your hose. Since this rubber bag fills with water and expands to fit tightly into the pipe, it helps to stop the water from backing up. As a result, all the force and pressure from water only goes forward towards the clog. You can consider this the simple version of hydro-jet.

  • Electric Drain Cleaning Machine

For a tougher clog that renders the drain bladder useless, you may want to consider using a drain machine. Unlike a hydro-jet, which simply flushes water through its nozzle, a drain machine is attached with a specialty blade at the end of the snake. Sometimes the clog is more than the accumulation of leaves and debris. It can be that tree roots have found their way into your pipe. A small hole in the pipe could be the entry point.

Hand-held and smaller-sized drain cleaning machines can be a DIY project, while larger and heavier electric drain cleaning machines require skill and an experienced outdoor drain cleaning service.

Once a small section of the root makes its way in, it continues to grow inside the drain and eventually causes a blockage. Attached with the right cutter of the right size, a drain machine will get rid of anything that blocks the flow of water. After such treatment, there can be debris left from the cutting process. It is a good idea to flush the pipe with a garden hose to clear out the remnants.

  • Hydro-jet

Water jetting takes advantage of high-pressure water to clear out not only debris in the pipe but also dirt on the inner surface of the pipe. A professional plumber has various nozzle types for different purposes. Some nozzles only push water in the forward direction, while others can flush water forward as well as backward at the same time. A rotating nozzle is available, too. Using a hydro-jet will get rid of most clogging issues. This is a job best left to a professional, as using high-pressure water poses dangers in the wrong hands. Using this type of tool is best left to a professional outdoor drain cleaning service.

There are some easy ways to prevent future clogging

  • Use a grate with a fine screen under the grate. It has to be fine enough to keep leaves and debris out, but not too fine that it restricts the flow of water. The same thing applies to roof drains. make sure to clean the drain periodically and especially before a heavy rainstorm.
  • A blocked outside drain probably has something to do with soil permeability and yard topography. Water flows by the force of gravity so it will always end up at a lower point. If your drain is installed at a high point of your property, chances are you have standing water after every rainstorm. You may have to relocate the drain or install an additional drain.

When a professional outdoor drain cleaning service should be contacted

If soil permeability and yard topography are the main problems, you may need professional landscapers to redesign the entire garden or lawn and not an outdoor drain cleaning service. It is also helpful if you have a diagram or map that shows the location of pipeline connections.

In relatively recently built homes plumbing diagrams and plans should be available

In more recent homes a plumbing plan should be available via your local Department Of Buildings. Big trees located near the pipe pose a serious risk of tree root penetration, so a chemical treatment of the soil is probably necessary. If you need a professional to clear a clog or blockage and you live around the New York City area, the Balkan Drain Team will provide the very best drain cleaning services near you.

Because most piping for an outside drain is shallow, it is always best to use the best drain pipe material available (typically extra heavy cast iron pipe). When the area that is clogged is difficult to pinpoint, you need a professional plumber or outdoor drain cleaning service who can utilize a sewer inspection camera. This device can accurately find not only the location of the clog but also the depth of the pipes. It can also determine the type of clog.

When damage occurs due to tree root penetration, a sewer pipe replacement is a viable option. It will be an expensive home sewer repair job, it will involve excavation and inconvenience.