Keeping our customers maintenance costs to absolute minimum is very important to us as a business,this generally means we are doing our job properly.Nice-n-whites BLOG is to HELP the public spot small problems that will all lead to expensive repair bills in the future,most of which if caught early should be very cheap to repair, or if your safe and capable on ladders can be done by yourselves.
Blocked and cracked rain-water systems are all to common,this is due to out of sight and all that, and if the waters not coming through your door, it must all be working fine and in some cases that will be true.For those that are not sure what this is all about,its your drains at the bottom of your down-pipes that come off your roof and not only water comes down them,e.g. sand off roof tiles,pointing that's starting to break down,pieces of roof tile's that break off,small ball's,debris from birds and their nests and mosses.All this over time in old type drains will collect at the bottom and eventually block your drain altogether,easy to spot, you may think,they'll overflow and water will be everywhere,yes in some cases,in others a real bad winter and a blockage can cause them to crack,also quiet common,probably the worst thing that can happen due to the fact the crack allows the water an escape route ,so all will seem to be working just fine.
The cheapest and easiest way to work this out without waiting for cracks to appear in your brickwork,is to remove the small square grate and put a gloved hand down and have a feel about,if its been unchecked for many years there will be debris in the bottom,clear it out and have a careful feel of the sides of the drain for cracks,usually easily felt and if so they will need replacing not an expensive job to do,but very crucial to replace.If you suspect your drain maybe cracked and the pot seems fine you can lift the manhole cover and trickle a little water from your hose into it and see how much appears,if nothing appears or just a very small amount there could be a crack,then its best to get a camera down to be sure.
Sometimes patios and new drives will totally block access to these,never a very well thought out practise,due to not being able to clean them out,but its not impossible.What you need to do is cut the downpipe 6in from the floor so you can put a adaptor on to re attach the pipe when done.All you need is a thin rod to poke down and have a feel about carefully,if there is a build-up of sand,mosses and general dirt you'll feel it,you could try jetting it yourself,your probably best to get the pro's in ,then have a drain fitted you can access to clean out,debris will always come down the down-pipe.
Cracked drains will cause subsidence,so be aware of this.