A structural survey is a good idea if you are experiencing any foundation problems. It will help you determine the extent of the damage and the best course of action. It can also help you avoid future problems. Blocked drains can occur for many reasons. Here are a few common causes: Tree roots, Baby wipes, and leaking pipes.
Damage caused by blocked drains
If you’ve ever noticed a blocked drain, you may be wondering who’s responsible for clearing it and what you can do to prevent further damage. The good news is that there are a number of different companies in the UK that can help. If you’re unsure of who to contact, you can contact your local water sewerage company or EHO, which will be able to provide you with the necessary information and advice.
Sewer blockages cost water utilities millions of pounds every year. Most are caused by inappropriate waste disposal. Toilet paper, food waste, and other solid wastes don’t dissolve in water and can cause a blockage. Even ‘flushable’ wet wipes can block a drain. Another common cause of blockage is the disposal of fats, oils, and greases down the sink. These substances solidify when they cool and can lead to a blockage.
If a blockage is not treated immediately, it can cause significant damage. Not only does it cause water to flood, it can also lead to permanent damage to pipework and the drainage system. It can also cause a foul smell and cause your drain to run slower than normal. Keeping the drain free of debris is essential to prevent any damage, as it will only make the problem worse.
Roots from trees and shrubs
There are two different ways in which roots from trees and shrubs can affect a building’s foundation: directly and indirectly. While direct damage is often obvious, indirect damage is less obvious. For example, trees growing near a building may be too close to the building, which can cause the foundation to fail. This could cause power lines, vehicles, and people to strike the building or ground below.
Most people would not consider the influence of shrubs on the ground below a building, but the presence of nearby shrubs could make a big difference. Shrubs tend to be less visible than trees, but they can be equally as large as trees. The average trunk/stem diameter of a shrub is around 30 cm, while that of a tree is about a meter or more.
Trees and shrubs need to absorb water through their roots to maintain their health and function. They also need to replace moisture lost through their leaves. Some trees are more thirsty than others, such as oaks, poplars, and willows. Many clay soils shrink during the Summer, and tree roots can exacerbate this shrinkage.
According to a survey conducted by Water UK, baby wipes are a common cause of blocked drains in the UK. Even if they are labelled as flushable, wipes can cause serious damage to our sewer system. Wipes can mass together into fatbergs that cause blockages.
According to the report, wipes can clog sewers, which can lead to subsidence. In fact, it costs the water industry PS100 million a year to clear fatbergs, which are often caused by non-flushable wipes. Wipes are commonly sold as surface cleaners and make-up removers, but they can also cause blockages in the sewer. The government is working on developing a plastic-free alternative.
Many wet wipes claim to be flushable, but the BBC investigation found that none met the criteria for this claim. Instead, they will cling to other debris and to the walls of pipes, eventually causing larger blockages.
In the UK, leaks from underground mains pipes can cause subsidence. The ground can become so saturated with water that it begins to erode, and a significant leak can only affect a particular area. A leaking pipe can also soften the soil underneath a building, causing cracks to appear around windows and doors. Fortunately, buildings insurance covers this type of damage.
Leaking pipes can be the cause of up to 15% of subsidence claims. These leaks soften the soil around a building, causing the foundation to sink. Old homes are particularly vulnerable, as they are made of softer materials that do not hold as much weight.
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