When is a Drain Survey Essential?

When do You Need a CCTV Survey, and Why?

Our home is the biggest financial investment most of us make, so protecting its value and functionality is hugely important. Our drainage systems, though often unseen, play a vital role in keeping our homes healthy and functioning smoothly. A minor clog or hidden crack can quickly escalate into a major inconvenience, impacting your entire house.

Drainflow, is a drainage specialist serving Beds, Bucks, Herts, and North London. We see the damage that drain blockages, tree-root ingress and damaged pipes can cause, first-hand, so we fully we understand the importance of proactive drain maintenance

This blog post will explain the role of CCTV drain surveys, specifically focusing on when they become essential for homeowners. Whether you’re experiencing blocked drains or planning a home extension, a CCTV drain survey can be an invaluable tool in ensuring your project runs smoothly and protects your investment.


What is a CCTV Drain Survey?

What is a CCTV Drain Survey?

Think of a CCTV drain survey as a high-tech exploration of your hidden plumbing system. It involves a specialised waterproof camera that’s wheel-mounted and remote-controlled in order to travel through the drain’s pipework. As it journeys through the drain system, the CCTV camera transmits live 360° real-time imagery of the drain’s interior to a monitor, giving our drainage experts a real-time look at the inner workings of your pipes.

Why It Matters: CCTV drain surveys provide a fast, non-invasive, and incredibly accurate way to diagnose drain problems.

When is a CCTV Drain Survey Essential?

A CCTV drain survey is an invaluable tool in various situations. Let’s take a closer look at some key moments when it’s not just recommended, but crucial for protecting your home and your investment:

1. Buying a House

While a standard home survey focuses on the visible parts of a property, it won’t offer insight into what lies underground. Your drainage system is a critical part of your home’s infrastructure, and a CCTV drain survey can be a lifesaver. Here’s why:

  • Hidden Issues Uncovered. A drain survey acts like an X-ray for your pipes. Cracked pipes, tree root intrusion, and other potential disasters can remain unnoticed until they cause significant damage. A survey gives you the full picture.
  • Negotiating Power. If a survey reveals necessary repairs, you’ll be informed before the sale is final. Armed with this knowledge, you can potentially negotiate the price with the seller or request that repairs be made prior to completing the purchase.
  • Informed Decision Making. A survey gives you a clear understanding of the state of your potential home’s drains. This helps you make a confident decision about whether to proceed, budget for future maintenance, or walk away if the costs are too high.

2. Planning an Extension

Adding an extension can boost your home’s space and value, but it’s vital to make sure it doesn’t interfere with your drainage system. Regulations on building over drains vary among local authorities, so consulting your council is the first step. Here’s why a CCTV drain survey is crucial in this situation:

  • Build-Over Approval. Many authorities require a CCTV survey as part of your extension planning permission. This ensures your project won’t compromise existing drains.
  • Protecting Your Pipes. The survey pinpoints the location and depth of your drain lines. This allows your architects and builders to work safely and strategically, avoiding costly damage during construction.
  • Spotting Pre-Existing Problems. Older drains may have cracks or other issues that could worsen under the stress of construction. Identifying them early allows for proactive repairs, preventing issues down the line.

While a standard building survey touches on your home’s overall condition, it typically won’t offer a detailed assessment of your drains. A dedicated CCTV drain survey is essential for this level of insight.


3. Rooting Out Vermin

Rat droppings, strange noises under your home, or gnaw marks on pipes… all of these are signs that unwelcome visitors might be lurking within your drainage system. A CCTV drain survey is your best defence, offering a clear investigation of the situation:

  • Confirming the Culprits. Our camera pinpoints exactly where rodents are entering your system and how they’re moving around within your pipes. This takes the guesswork out of the pest control process.
  • Revealing Damage. Rats can cause significant damage through gnawing and nest-building. A survey pinpoints these areas so repairs can be made before they worsen.
  • Targeted Pest Control. Once the entry points and the scope of the problem are known, pest control experts can devise the most effective plan to eliminate the infestation and prevent future invasions.

4. Your Drains Are Blocked

Nobody likes a blocked drain! Persistent bad smells, gurgling noises, and slow-clearing water are signs that it’s time to go beyond DIY methods and get a professional diagnosis. Here’s where a CCTV drain survey is important:

Your Drains Are Blocked
  • Pinpointing the Problem. Is it a simple grease buildup? Root invasion? A collapsed pipe? The survey eliminates guesswork and shows us exactly what’s causing the blockage.
  • Targeted Solutions. Once the issue is identified, we can recommend the most effective solution. This might involve drain jetting to blast away tough clogs, tree root removal, or repair of damaged pipe sections.
  • Restoring Functionality. A clear drain means no more bad smells or slow draining sinks, so you can get back to enjoying your home.
  • Preventing Future Trouble. The survey also alerts us to any potential problem areas developing in your drains. This allows for proactive maintenance to prevent recurring blockages.

Ignoring a blocked drain can lead to far more serious and expensive issues down the line. A CCTV drain survey gives you the power to address it swiftly, saving you hassle and money.


5. Suspected Water Damage

Water damage can quickly escalate from minor inconvenience to a major structural threat. Don’t let it get out of hand! If you notice any of the following warning signs, a CCTV drain survey is a critical first step:

  • Visible Clues. Dark or wet spots on walls, ceilings, or floors, along with cracked, bubbling, or flaking paint or plaster, often indicate hidden water leaks.
  • Unexplained Increase in Bills. A sudden increase in your water bill could signal a leaking drain within your property.
  • The Nose Knows. An unexplained damp or musty smell is a tell-tale sign that moisture is building up where it shouldn’t be.

A CCTV Drain Survey will pinpoint the source of the problem, whether it’s a leaking pipe, broken drain, or another hidden cause. Once the leak is found, we can recommend specific repairs to stop the damage and begin drying out your home. The sooner you act, the better! Ignoring water damage can lead to costly structural issues, mould growth, and even electrical hazards.


Don’t let hidden drain issues damage your home! Book your CCTV Drain Survey today and protect your investment – 01525 718500