9 Drainage Problems to Watch Out For

31 December 2019

Poor drainage or blocked pipes can lead to numerous problems within the household.

While a slow draining bathtub can be brushed off as nothing more than an inconvenience, prolonged drainage problems are more likely to evolve into significant issues. These issues can range from foul smells and flooding to health issues and substantial structural damage to the foundations of your home. Fixing drainage problems in advance will save thousands of dollars of in necessary repairs.

Unfortunately, some drainage problems are more noticeable than others. While it’s always recommended that you find an expert local plumber whenever you’re in doubt, here are some signs and effective measures you can take to prevent any plumbing problems around your household.

1. Inspect your gutters

With autumn bringing its dead, dry leaves it might be time to call a professional plumber to give your gutters a good clean, before the next rainy day.

If you’re confused how frequently you should clean your gutters, here are some tips -

  • At least two times a year. Once during late spring and another during early autumn.
  • If trees like pine, cypress, dawn redwood, etc. are near your home, inspections should be carried out every three months.

This number, of course, depends on how many trees are in the area. No trees within 50 feet radius, residences may get away with cleaning out their gutters once during the autumn while even one or two trees will result in a cleanout both in spring and autumn. For anything above this number, it is recommended to check and clean gutters in all four seasons, at least four times a year. This time-frame also applies to anywhere it rains frequently.

2. Storm flooding

A storm can often reveal any problems existing in a drainage system. Despite the system working fine in the past, when rain leaves your backyard or basement flooded, it’s usually the result of a simple blockage. This blockage can occur through any rubbish or debris or could result in the pipes themselves as there is a limit as to how much water a pipeline can carry. A professional can work to correct and repair any issues in your drainage, ensuring no flooding occurs next time storm clouds rollover.

3. Formation of puddles

Finding massive puddles in your yard after a storm has passed, indicates a drainage system in need of repairs. Calling in a professional plumber will rid you of the stagnant rainwater outside of your home as experts in drain blockages may test soil and other factors to ensure the correct drainage solution.

4. Slow drain

Over time clogs and blockages will leave only a small area for any wastewater to drain through. Clogs can often result in the excess build-up of water to resurface throughout other drains within your home.

The cause of a slow drain will differ based on the area of the house, but here are some common causes of slow drainage:

  • Bathroom drains are mostly blocked by hair which forms a net in the pipe, trapping debris and blocking the passage of water.
  • For kitchen drains, food waste and grease are the main culprits leading to slow drains.
  • Sewer lines can also get stuck or obstructed by tree roots, trash and sludge.

5. Leaks without rain

If there has been no rain for days, but you’re still finding puddles in your yard there’s a high chance your pipelines are leaking. You should immediately find a good plumber in your area to inspect and fix the cause of the leak.

6. Water stains in the basement

When a pipe has backed up, you’ll begin notice water stains around the area. These stains are tell-tale signs that indicate that your drainage is clogged, causing water to escape from the pipes through either a leak or defect in the system.

7. A gurgling drains

If you’ve ever experienced a gurgling noise from one drain when flushing the toilet or turning on a tap, then you’ve got a severe problem. An interconnected pipeline means that any blockages that occur will gurgle out of sinks and drains. Ignoring this sound, especially from the toilet, can result in an overflow.

8. The spread of bad odour

Along with the gurgling sound, a foul odour can be smelt within your home, as rubbish and sewage block your pipes. The smell can travel up through floorboards as well as in from the backyard. To remove the blockage and the smell, call in a drain cleaning professional as these situations will only worsen the longer they are left.

9. Look out for mosquitoes

While puddles nearby, will always be the first sign of a blocked or faulty pipe, an increase of mosquitoes around your property can lead to any hidden pools of stagnant water as they act as an ideal breeding ground for the bug.


Odours, mosquito, and any leaks or puddles all point towards severe drainage blockage or problem. Recognising the signs and quickly acting can help you avoid thousands in repairs and further plumbing issues down the road.

As an independent blogger, Chris has been helping local business owners with content strategies for a long time. Also, he actively promotes self-development, green technologies, and sustainable living on Earth. Find his recent works at Neutrino Burst blog and follow him on Twitter @chrisfree208