Keeping Outdoor Drains Clear of Leaves

By: Samantha Green

Temperatures are dropping, sweaters are being pulled out of storage, and pumpkin spice is running rampant. Yup, it’s almost that wonderful time of the year again. However, the changing of the seasons also means leaves falling from trees and wind blowing debris everywhere! Your outdoor drains become vulnerable to the elements and may suffer blockages that often result in damages.


Every year during the fall, the leaves start to turn brown and drop to the ground. Although, the red, yellow and orange leaves make for a beautiful sight, fall is the worst time of year for clogged outdoor drains. Don’t let decomposing leaves, mulch, and grass clippings wreak havoc on your yard this year. Let us help you prepare in advance to protect the health of your drains!


Effects of Clogged Outdoor Drains

A clogged outdoor drain is very similar to that of a clogged drain. When an outdoor drain is blocked by leaves, rainwater has nowhere to go, resulting in flooding in your yard. Some serious blockages may even cause flooding in your own house. Sometimes minor symptoms, such as slow water drainage, can turn into major issues like corrosion, flooding, and, in extreme cases, sewage backup leading to costly repairs. It is best to take care of these problems as soon as they arise, and even better to take a preventative approach now as warm summer nights transform into cool autumn evenings.


How To Unclog An Outdoor Drain

Most of the time, unclogging an outdoor drain is just as simple as removing leaves from the grates of the drain! However, in a more serious blockage, leaves may get in between the grates and into the actual drain. In this case, a special tool, such as a hydro-jet, may be needed to clear the leaves from the drain. In the case of one of these serious blockages, it’s best to leave it to a professional.

Small leaves, dirt, and debris can gather into the sump (the area beneath the grate) of the drain due of heavy winds. These materials can accumulate over time to form a clog if not removed. In this case, open the grate to see if there is an accumulation of debris directly beneath it. You can use your hands or a small shovel to scoop out the cause of the blocked drain. Make sure. however, that you remove debris in all directions, as some drains can be multi-directional. 


How to Prevent Future Clogs

When it comes to leaves in drains, prevention is always easier than the remediation. During the fall, always be sure to rake leaves and keep them away from your outdoor drains. Regular gutter cleaning can prevent water from backing up in your drains as well.

Whether it be a storm drain, a yard drain or a basement drain, leaf guards or drain covers may also be a huge help. If the drain is on your property, you can have screens

installed under the grate to keep leaves from falling into the drain.

So keep in mind that as seasons change, and especially when the leaves start falling, it’s time to start clearing your drains! Whether through regular maintenance or one-off repairs, the experts at 1-Tom-Plumber can help to keep your drains free from leaves throughout the autumn and winter months. Feel free to call us at 1-866-758-6237 with any of your drain questions!




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