Summer is approaching, which also means storm season is coming. Although Australia’s thunderstorms may seem few and far between, we are prone to what’s known as severe thunderstorms, which means there is hail, flash flooding, strong wind-squalls and even tornadoes, according to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology. And in the 2020-21 summer alone, Australia also saw a total of eight tropical cyclones, which created havoc and created damage to thousands of homes across the country. As storms hit, our outdoor drains cop a beating – which is why it’s more important than ever to prepare your drains for summer before it arrives. Here’s what you need to know:

Prepare Drains for Summer - Service Fox

How To Prepare For Summer

The SES in New South Wales recommends that you keep your yard maintained, clear out your gutters and drains to prevent blockages and to help reduce the risks of leaks. You should also maintain any trees or branches that are close to the home. To ensure you’re ready for summer, you should start preparing early. 

To start with, you need to clean your drains regularly. Every day (or at least once a week throughout the year), clean around the drains to remove any leaves. If you want to make sure the drains won’t take in this sort of debris, you should change the grate over the drain to a smaller one. The smaller it is, the less likely leaves and other debris will enter it (but don’t make it so small water doesn’t flow effectively).

If you have trees nearby, check that the roots aren’t too close to the drain system. An inner city plumbing expert can do this for you with specialised technology. Finally, keep them clean! Don’t flush anything except toilet paper down the loo, keep your leftover food for the compost bin – don’t wash it down the sink, and clear out hair before it hits the drains.

And finally, you need to take care of your gutters!

Your Gutters: Why You Need To Clean Them, And How

One of the key aspects of preparing your outdoor drains is cleaning your gutters. If your gutters are full of debris, they won’t be functioning properly and may clog. If that happens, rainwater won’t flow through the gutters effectively, and can cause damage to your home’s foundations, roofing structure and siding. Not only that but it can also impact your landscaping as pools of excess water fill your gardens, and if storm season is particularly heavy, you risk water damage to the interior of your home as well. 

To prevent this, it’s essential that you clean the gutters regularly. That means at least twice a year, preferably in autumn and spring, so it’s done before and after storm season. If you have lots of trees near the home, you might want to clean them more often (once a season, ideally). So, how do you go about cleaning them? There are two options. 

If you want to DIY your gutters, you’re going to need a stable ladder, thick gloves and safety goggles. Get your safety gear on, and climb the ladder so you can see what’s hiding in the gutters. Use a garden trowel to scoop any debris (you can throw this down to the ground to be collected and binned later) and then use your hose to wash anything that’s left inside the gutter down the drains. If you find that the water isn’t flowing down the drainpipe, it’s likely these are clogged as well (and you’ll need a professional to clear it). 

If you prefer, you can hire a professional roofing or plumbing expert from the get-go. The best part about this option is that they know what they’re doing – so they’ll do the job faster and better than you would do yourself.

How To Tell If Your Outdoor Drains Are Blocked

There are five major signs that your outdoor drains may be blocked:

  1. It smells. The accumulation of fluids and other impurities in your plumbing systems can produce an unpleasant odour.
  2. Your sinks aren’t draining: When a drain is partially or completely blocked, it takes longer for water to drain from your sink.
  3. Toilets aren’t draining: When the water level in the toilet rises after flushing, putting your toilet at risk of overflowing.
  4. Gurgling sounds: If you keep hearing gurgling sounds when you run water through the sinks / pipes.
  5. Pools of water: If you notice water pooling on the ground outside, near the drains, water may not be flowing through efficiently.

If you’re noticing any of these, you need to do something about it as a priority, particularly if summer is approaching or here.

Reasons Your Outdoor Drains May Be Blocked

If your outdoor drains are blocked, there’s really only one reason why – debris. And this presents itself in a few forms, many of which you’ll find are prominent during, and just after, storm season. When built up, the following can cause problems with your drain pipes:

  • Leaves
  • Silt and Mud
  • Tree roots
  • Small rocks
  • Dirt
  • Dust
  • Pollen
  • Plant seed husks
  • Bird’s nests
  • Rodents nests / faeces
  • Grease build-up (from kitchen or workshop)
  • Toilet paper
  • Sanitary products
  • Kitchen towels being flushed
  • Baby wipes
  • Toys

How Service Fox Can Help Unblock Outdoor Drains

Unblocking your outdoor drains can be quite complex, so it’s always a good idea to get a professional in to assist. At Service Fox, we provide plumbing services eastern suburbs, and Manly plumbing service options.

We have many years’ experience in the local area and specialised equipment that allows us to clear any obstructions fast and effectively. We are your local plumber Sutherland Shire and plumber Sydney inner west top choice, and one of the most recommended plumber Cronulla providers. We’re also the go-to for an emergency plumber Sydney Eastern Suburbs. 

We can tackle any type of blocked drain, no matter how big or small, and we’ll work with you to come up with solutions to stop it from happening again. For blocked drains Cronulla or if your outdoor drains need unblocking elsewhere across the region, call a 24 hour plumber Sutherland Shire, emergency plumber eastern suburbs or get in touch with our affordable plumbing Sydney branches. We’re here to help.