How to tell if you have a collapsed drain.
What is a collapsed drain?
A collapsed drain is when a pipe or drainage system has collapsed in on itself. This can be due to a variety of reasons, including:
- Ground movement – if your pipework is running under your driveway and you keep driving over it, the weight of your car may, over time, cause displaced joints – alternatively, if you have clay pipes, these may also crack due to ground movement.
- Tree roots – can also affect ground movement.
- Building works – affecting pipes underground.
- Blockages to flooding and pressure on the drainage system.
One of the main problems with a collapsed drain is not knowing the drainage system has collapsed. You won’t know for sure what’s causing the collapsed drain until you arrange a CCTV drain survey or a “look-see”. This is a service we provide.
If this problem is something you’re looking to claim from your insurance, they will most likely require DVD footage as evidence to support your claim. Check with your insurance provider for more information.
A strong smell of sewage.
This could be a sign of a collapsed drain. The smell of sewage emanating from the ground or the drains around the exterior of your property could be a sign that something is not working properly. This could be a sign of backed-up wastewater is leaking out of your pipes.
Leaking sewage in your home is certainly not something you should put up with and can pose a threat to your home's health and well-being if you don’t get the problem checked out. This problem can also cause subsidence (this may include cracks in the walls and damage to your foundations).
Signs of damp around the house that may cause structural damage.
Damp that is found inside a property can be the sign of wastewater leaking from underground pipes. The longer you have a collapsed drain that goes unnoticed or untreated, the more severe the signs and symptoms will become. One of the most extreme signs of a collapsed drain is damage to the structure of your property.
Sinking ground in the garden.
Have you noticed that the ground in your garden is sinking, or a void has formed in your driveway? This is a prevalent sign of a collapsed drain and needs to be fixed right away. Sinking ground, otherwise referred to as subsidence, is when water from a leaking pipe leaks into the ground and weakens the soil's support, causing the pipe underneath to collapse or displace.
Trees growing near a drainage system.
Tree roots are known for growing into drains – causing them to crack and break over time. If you have trees growing near your drainage system and you’ve been experiencing any number of the problems listed above, you may have a collapsed drain resulting from tree roots. It is best to have a camera survey to assess the cause of the issue.
Your drainage may be old.
There are many reasons drain pipes can collapse, as we’ve already discussed, and drains simply being old is certainly a common reason. Old clay pipes, for example, may have deteriorated over time, forming cracks that will affect your pipes. Similarly, pitch fibre pipework may also need to be fixed or replaced entirely based on the pipes' condition.
Drain pipes, like everything else, do age and the older your drain pipes are, the more likely they are to collapse. If your drainage system is very old and you want to reduce the likelihood of a collapse, you can contact ASL Limited to carry out a health assessment of your pipes.
If you’ve discovered a collapsed drain, your next step is to call a professional drainage company. Drain specialists are experts in diagnosing drain problems and will ensure your collapsed drain is fixed or professionally replaced.
If you suspect you may have a collapsed drain, call our drainage team to book a CCTV Survey so you can be sure no leaks are undermining the foundations of your property.