Maintain the Drain!

You probably don’t spend much time thinking about indoor plumbing. That’s OK; most of us don’t. Yet, none of us would deny how important it is in our daily lives. All it takes is one clogged pipe or drain to bring stress to our hopefully serene lives. Well, the same is true for landscape drainage.

Despite the fact that we’re experiencing a record drought, when it does rain and, more likely, when we water our landscapes, some of that water is excess. We try not to “overdo it,” but sometimes it happens. Even if we don’t over-water, the water has to go somewhere and if the area we’re watering is “full”, and that somewhere is your drainage system. Yard drains allow you to control the flow of water in a given area; for example, from your back yard to the storm drains in the street. Your house gutters often flow into your yard drain, too.

Take a walk around your home the next time it rains (or you water) and inspect the area. Do you find puddles of water near your foundation, walkways and driveway? You need a drainage system! “But wait!” you say. “I already have a drainage system.” Well, if you’re seeing these signs – and larger pools of water near your drainage system – you still have a problem! Your system needs some attention, most likely in the form of a good cleaning. Failure to have a system or to do the twice annual maintenance on one can result in costly damage.

Unclogging Your Landscape Drain

This is a type of maintenance you can easily do yourself. Just follow our easy guide!

  1. Glove up for safety. The debris in your drains could easily cause scrapes or cuts that could become infected.
  2. Rake up cut grass, leaves and other debris clogging the drain grate. Debris is anything that doesn’t belong there: dirt, rocks, leaves, grass, trash, etc.
  3. Open each grate and clean out the debris that fell through the grate. If you have one, a wet/dry shop vacuum makes this process much easier than doing it by hand. Some drains are multi-directional, so be sure to clean in every direction as well as cleaning the catch basin.
  4. Use an auger or drain snake. Run it from the beginning of the drain until you hit something solid (the clog). Turning the handle rotates the snake through the blockage, breaking it up. Retrieve the snake and repeat to make sure the clog is fully broken apart.
  5. Clean out the termination area, whether it’s at another point in your yard or at the curb. Clogs can occur here, too.
  6. Flush the pipes with running water to ensure they’re clean. You can do this by running water down each drain; using multiple hoses increases the amount of water and provides a better flush. You could actually insert the hose in the drain as you did the snake for the same effect. If you have a power sprayer attachment for your hose, now is a good time to use it.

“Impossible” Clogs

OK, you’ve done everything and your drainage system is still clogged. What next? There are some options for those “impossible” clogs, depending on the level of “impossibility.”

  • Rubber Drain Bladder: This is a rubber bag that tightly fits part of the drain. It forces water to go in one specific direction only. As the bladder extends down the drain, it can push out the clog.
  • Drain Machine: Not all clogs are made of leaves and other matter that can be broken up by a drain snake. Sometimes roots grow into the pipes causing a clog. These handy dandy drain machines have cutters designed to chew through the roots and restore water flow. You’ll need the right machine for your drain lines; most drains are 3” in diameter or larger. You can rent a drain machine or call a local plumber.
  • Hydro jetting: This is for clogs that the snake passes through but doesn’t break apart, things like sludge, grease or built up dirt. This tool uses high-pressure water, which disperses the clog and cleans the area. You’ll need to call a local plumber for this service.

If you don’t have any landscape drainage around your home, you may be setting yourself up for very high repair bills later. Especially if you do have areas around your home that pool up near the foundation of your home. Hydro-Scape carriers all the professional drainage you could imagine for your landscape. From drain pipes, grates, basins and drain fittings – we’ve got you covered. Not to mention our staff can answer your questions and guide you to the correct solutions.