Are Drain Problems Putting a Damper on Your Day?

Blocked drains are no fun! That slow trickle of water down the sink, the reluctance of your toilet to flush, or even worse – a bad smells creeping through your home or business. These are all classic signs of a blocked drain, and they can disrupt everything from your morning routine to productivity at work.

If you’re a homeowner in Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, or North London, or you run a small business in the area, a blocked drain can be a real nightmare. Not only are they messy and inconvenient, but they can cause property damage or even health hazards if left untreated.

That’s where Drainflow comes in. As your local experts in drain clearance, we’re available 24/7 to solve your drainage dilemmas. In our time we’ve seen every kind of blockage and can identify the most common reasons for them. So, let’s dive into 7 causes of blocked drains and take a look at what you can do to prevent and fix these troublesome blockages.

1. Accumulation of Leaves and Garden Debris

It’s a problem that’s especially prevalent during the autumn, but garden debris can wreak havoc on drains all year round. Leaves, twigs, and dirt easily slip into drains, especially outdoor ones, creating a matted mass that restricts water flow.

Prevention Made Easy:

  • Keep it clean – rake leaves and clear gutters regularly, paying particular attention to areas near drains.
  • Protective drain covers – simple grate covers over outdoor drains prevent large pieces of debris from entering.

2. Foreign Objects

Our plumbing systems were never designed to be a disposal unit! When items like these accidentally end up in your drains, it’s a recipe for trouble:

  • Children’s toys – small toys sometimes find an exciting ‘adventure’ down the drain.
  • Sanitary products – these items do not break down like toilet paper and can quickly cause clogs.
  • Other odds and ends – hair ties, cotton buds, and even jewellery can slip down the drain, acting as a net for further buildup.

Prevention is Simple:

  • Take care with toilets – everyone needs to know – only toilet paper and human waste should be flushed.
  • Drain guards to the rescue – inexpensive mesh guards in bathrooms and kitchen sinks catch hair, food scraps, and other debris before they wash away.

3. Grease and Fat Build-up

Think of grease and fat as the silent enemies of your pipes; they’re one of the major causes of blocked drains. Those seemingly harmless cooking oils and leftover fats solidify as they cool, clinging to the inside of your pipes. Day after day, this greasy layer thickens, constricting water flow and eventually leading to a stubborn blockage. This issue worsens in kitchens with high grease output, like restaurants.

Prevention is Key:

  • Bin it, don’t drain it – scrape greasy plates into the bin before washing, and collect cooking fats in a container for safe disposal.
  • Grease traps – restaurants should invest in grease traps to stop waste grease before it enters your drainage system.

4. Hair

Anyone with longer hair knows the drain struggle! Hair clumps and tangles easily, especially when mixed with soap residues. Shower and bath drains are classic culprits.


  • Hair catchers – these inexpensive drain guards are lifesavers, catching hair before it slips down the drain.
  • Regular drain cleaning – even with a hair catcher, some buildup is inevitable. A routine hot water flush or gentle drain cleaner can work wonders.

5. Rats in Drains

Yes, it’s an unpleasant thought, but rats pose a real threat to your drains. They’re masters of getting into seemingly impossible places, and unfortunately, drains provide shelter and an occasional food source. Their presence can cause both blockages and pose serious health risks.

Prevention Measures:

  • Seal it up – close up any entry points to your drains, no matter how small.
  • Call the experts – if you suspect rats, professional pest control is essential to safely deal with the infestation.

6. Structural Issues

Like any part of your home, drain pipes aren’t indestructible. As drainage systems age, they can succumb to:

  • Collapsed sections – soil shifting, or wear and tear can cause pipes to cave in, creating a major blockage.
  • Misaligned pipes – poor installation or ground movement can shift pipes, leading to dips where debris collects.
  • Even small cracks – hair cracks can attract roots or allow dirt infiltration, making blockages worse.

Prevention and Early Detection:

  • CCTV drain surveys – CCTV technology allows plumbers to inspect inside your drain system, pinpointing problem areas before major issues arise.
  • Don’t delay repairs – when a suspected structural issue pops up, timely fixes prevent problems from worsening.

7. Tree Roots

Tree roots are constantly seeking moisture and your pipes provide a tempting source. Tiny root hairs may start small, but over time, these roots can infiltrate pipes, growing larger and blocking water flow, or even cracking your pipes! You’d be amazed the number of times tree roots are the causes of blocked drains!

Tree Roots

Prevention Tactics:

  • Know your surroundings – regularly check your garden for tree roots growing close to your drain lines.
  • Proactive root removal – if you’re concerned about roots, consider professional root cutting services to tackle the problem before a blockage occurs.

Spotting the Trouble: Signs of a Blocked Drain

Don’t wait until your kitchen is underwater to seek help! Several red flags can alert you to a blockage brewing beneath the surface. Keep an eye (and nose!) out for the following:

Slow Drainage. Does the water in your sink or shower seem to linger longer than usual before disappearing? That slow trickle is one of the first clues that something is restricting the flow within your pipes.

Gurgling Noises. If you hear strange gurgling or bubbling sounds from your drains, it will be trapped air trying to escape as water struggles to push past a blockage.

Unpleasant Smells. A blocked drain can become a breeding ground for bacteria and rotting debris. A nasty, sewage-like smell creeping up from your drains is a major warning sign.

Drainflow to the Rescue!

When clogged drains bring your daily life to a grinding halt, you need fast and reliable solutions. That’s where Drainflow excels. We understand the headache caused by blockages and we can pinpoint the causes of blocked drains fast! Here’s how we ensure you get the help you need:

24/7 Emergency Service. Drainage disasters don’t work to a 9-to-5 schedule, and neither do we! Our experts are on call around the clock to tackle your drainage emergencies, giving you peace of mind whenever a problem arises.

Cutting-Edge Equipment. From high-pressure drain jetting to CCTV drain inspections, we employ the latest tools and techniques to identify and clear blockages with absolute precision.

No Call Out Fee. We don’t charge you to diagnose your problem. Once we know what we’re dealing with, we’ll give you a no obligation quote and continue with the solution if you’re happy for us to do so.

Commitment to Customer Care. Our team isn’t just trained; they’re dedicated to delivering efficient, long-lasting solutions. We handle even the most stubborn clogs with expertise and care. Beyond unblocking your drain, we believe in offering a service experience that leaves you feeling both relieved and reassured.

If you suspect a problem lurking in your pipes, don’t delay. Contact Drainflow, your local drainage experts, for prompt and effective service, getting your life back to flowing smoothly – 01525 718500.