Common causes of drain problems
Blockages in pipework are not uncommon and can usually be remedied by using drain rods, though sometimes general deterioration of pipework may be a more serious underlying problem.
In old Victorian houses, the pipework will usually be made from salt-glazed clay or even cast iron. Drains of this age are highly likely to have cracks, porous joints can occur and cast iron pipes can become badly corroded.
Properties constructed during the late 50’s and through the 60’s used pitch fibre pipes which gradually deteriorate, over time they change shape, becoming ovular, sometimes blistering or even collapsing.
Sometimes drains are just badly constructed, with poorly designed manholes or an inadequate fall angle created from the pipes.
Collapsed, broken, deformed or cracked pipes can result from ground movement caused by certain soil types or from leakage, pipes can also be fractured by a heavy vehicle driving over the ground above them.
As the water leaks away from a pipe, it takes soil with it, resulting in soft ground and sometimes subsidence. If neighbouring properties are also affected by drain problems, or if there’s widespread flooding, the problem could be from the sewer.
Commonly the fibrous roots of trees and shrubs can invade drains through pipe joints, cracked pipes or from manhole walls.