Keeping Outdoor Drains Clear of Leaves

Keeping Outdoor Drains Clear of Leaves

The falling leaves may be pretty but don't let them clog up your drains! Click here for more from our local plumbing expert!

Temperatures are dropping, sweaters are being pulled out of storage, and pumpkin spice is running rampant. Yup, it’s 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.

The question everyone is asking is, “How do I prevent leaves from clogging my drains?”

Every year during the fall, leaves start to turn all sorts of beautiful colors and drop to the ground. Although, the red, yellow and orange leaves make for a beautiful sight, autumn is the worst time of year for clogged outdoor drains. Don’t let decomposing leaves, mulch, and grass clippings wreak havoc on your yard drains this year. Let us help you prepare in advance to keep your outside drain from clogging with leaves.

Everyone know, an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure. Fortunately, drains clogged with leaves are fairly easy to unclog and future clogs are even easier to prevent! But first, let’s start with the basics.

Joe, 1-Tom-Plumber’s drain specialist, using a hydro-jet to unclog an outside drain.

Effects of Clogged Outdoor Drains

A clogged outdoor drain is similar to that of a clogged indoor 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. In extreme cases, sewage backup can lead 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, the drain needs to be snaked.

A drain snake uses a metal cable to grind up and push the leaves through the drain. If the snake fails, a special tool, such as a hydro-jet, may be needed to clear the leaves from the drain. A hydro-jet uses 3000-4000 psi water to pressure wash the pipes from the inside. It is so powerful, it will disintegrate any of the leaves it comes in contact with. In the case of one of these serious blockages, it’s best to leave it to a professional drain specialist.

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. 

An UltraTech Ultra-Drain Guard will catch all soil, leaves, and silt washed down your drain.

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 and flooding your yard, pushing debris into your yard drain.

Whether you have a storm drain, a yard drain or a basement drain, leaf guards or drain guard may be able to completely prevent your yard drain from clogging.

So keep in mind that as seasons change, and especially when the leaves start falling, it’s time to start thinking about how to keep your outside yard drain from clogging!