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Unblocking the Great Outdoors: How to Tackle a Blocked Outside Drain

Outdoor drainage problems can be just as troublesome as indoor ones, but they often get less attention. Whether it’s due to leaves, debris, or other obstructions, a blocked outside drain can lead to water pooling, property damage, and even health hazards. In this article, we will explore the common causes of outside drain blockages and discuss effective solutions. Additionally, we’ll address concerns about bamboo toilet paper’s impact on drains and whether building insurance covers blocked drains.

Common Causes of Outside Drain Blockages

  1. Leaves and Debris: One of the most frequent culprits for blocked outside drains is the accumulation of leaves and debris, particularly during the fall season. These items can obstruct the flow of water and cause backups.
  2. Tree Roots: Over time, tree roots can infiltrate drainpipes, causing cracks and blockages. This is a common issue in areas with mature trees near drainage systems.
  3. Silt and Sediment: Over time, sediment and silt can build up in outdoor drains, reducing their capacity and eventually leading to blockages.

Solutions for Outside Drain Blockages

Now that we’ve identified some common causes, let’s explore solutions to tackle a blocked outside drain effectively:

  1. Regular Maintenance: Preventive measures like regular cleaning and debris removal can help keep outside drains clear and functioning correctly.
  2. Root Barriers: If tree roots are a persistent problem, consider installing root barriers to prevent them from infiltrating your drainpipes.
  3. High-Pressure Jetting: For more severe blockages, professional plumbers can use high-pressure jetting equipment to clear obstructions and restore proper drainage.

Does Bamboo Toilet Paper Block Drains?

A common concern among environmentally conscious homeowners is whether bamboo toilet paper can lead to drain blockages. Bamboo toilet paper is generally safe for plumbing systems, as it breaks down more easily than traditional toilet paper. However, if you have an older or fragile plumbing system, it’s still essential to use any type of toilet paper sparingly and avoid excessive flushing to prevent potential clogs.

Does Building Insurance Cover Blocked Drains?

The coverage for blocked drains under your building insurance policy can vary. Some policies include coverage for damage resulting from blocked drains, while others may not. To ensure you have the necessary coverage, it’s advisable to review your insurance policy and, if necessary, discuss options with your insurance provider. Consider adding specific drain blockage coverage if it’s not included in your existing policy.

Understanding the Problem: Blocked Outside Drain

Outside Drain Blocked: When we talk about an outside drain blocked, we are referring to the drainage system that collects rainwater, wastewater from outdoor areas, and sometimes even water from your kitchen or bathroom. These drains can become blocked due to various reasons, such as the accumulation of leaves, debris, dirt, or even tree roots infiltrating the pipes.

Drain Blocked: Drain blockages can occur both inside and outside your home. While indoor drain blockages are often attributed to hair, soap scum, and food particles, outdoor drain blockages are caused by external factors such as fallen leaves, soil, and other debris.

Dealing with a Blocked Outside Drain

Blocked Outside Drain: If you notice that water is not draining properly from your outdoor drain or if you see standing water around it, it’s a clear sign of a blockage. Here’s how you can tackle this issue:

  1. Safety First: Always ensure your safety by wearing gloves and eye protection when dealing with a blocked drain.
  2. Clear the Debris: Start by removing visible debris like leaves, dirt, and branches from the drain opening. Use a garden trowel or a specialized drain snake for this purpose.
  3. Flush with Water: After removing the surface debris, flush the drain with a hose to dislodge any remaining clogs. Use a high-pressure nozzle to improve the effectiveness.
  4. Chemical Drain Cleaners: If the blockage persists, you can try using a chemical drain cleaner specifically designed for outdoor drains. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.

Building Insurance and Blocked Drains

Does Building Insurance Cover Blocked Drains: The coverage for blocked drains can vary depending on your insurance policy. Some building insurance policies may cover the cost of unblocking drains, while others may not. It’s essential to review your policy or contact your insurance provider to understand the specific terms and conditions regarding drain blockage coverage.

In conclusion, a blocked outside drain can disrupt your outdoor space and cause drainage issues. By understanding the problem and taking appropriate measures, you can effectively tackle this common household challenge. Additionally, be mindful of the type of toilet paper you use, and always check your building insurance policy for coverage related to blocked drains. With the right knowledge and action, you can keep your outdoor drains flowing smoothly and enjoy a trouble-free outdoor environment.

What Chemicals Unblock Drains?

When dealing with blocked drains, using the right chemicals can be an effective solution. Here are some common chemicals and solutions that can help unblock drains:

1. Baking Soda and Vinegar: This natural and environmentally friendly combination can work wonders. Start by pouring a pot of boiling water down the drain, followed by a cup of baking soda. After a few minutes, add a mixture of one cup of vinegar and one cup of hot water. Cover the drain and let it sit for about 10-15 minutes, then flush with hot water.

2. Chemical Drain Cleaners: Commercial drain cleaners can be effective for stubborn clogs. These products typically contain strong chemicals that break down the blockage. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and use them sparingly to avoid damaging your pipes.

3. Hydrogen Peroxide and Salt: Mix a cup of hydrogen peroxide with a tablespoon of salt to form a paste. Pour it down the drain, and let it sit for about an hour. Then, flush with hot water. This can help break down organic matter and clear mild blockages.

4. Caustic Soda (Sodium Hydroxide): Caustic soda is a powerful chemical that can dissolve grease and organic materials. However, it should be handled with extreme caution. Wear protective gear and follow safety guidelines when using it.

5. Enzyme-Based Drain Cleaners: These cleaners contain enzymes that break down organic matter. They are less harsh on pipes and the environment compared to chemical alternatives. Follow the product instructions for the best results.

Remember that while chemical solutions can be effective, prevention is the best approach to avoid blocked drains. Proper maintenance, disposal of waste responsibly, and regular inspections can help you keep your drains clear and flowing smoothly. If you find that you’re dealing with frequent or severe blockages, it may be wise to consult a professional plumber or contact your local water board for assistance with more complex drainage issues.


A blocked outside drain can be a headache for homeowners, but with the right knowledge and preventive measures, you can effectively address this issue. Regular maintenance, root barriers, and professional assistance when needed can keep your outdoor drainage system in optimal condition. As for bamboo toilet paper, it’s generally safe for drains, but caution is advised with older plumbing systems. Lastly, review your building insurance policy to ensure you’re adequately covered in case of drain-related issues.

Date: 04/09/2023

Don't Let Blocked Drainage Slow You Down!