Tips for Keeping Your Outdoor Drains Clear and Flowing

As a homeowner, it’s important to keep your outdoor drains clear and flowing, so you don’t end up with drainage problems and pricey fixes. Just follow a few easy tips and tricks, and you’ll keep your outdoor drains in tip-top shape and working just as they should.

Here are some effective tips for keeping your outdoor drains clear and flowing.

  • Regular Cleaning: Make sure to regularly clear away leaves, twigs, and other bits from around your outdoor drains to avoid nasty blockages. Here’s how to clean the area around a drain like a pro:
  • Grab your tools: You’ll need gloves, a garden trowel or small shovel, a stiff-bristled brush, a garden hose or pressure washer, and a bin bag or container for the mess.
  • Pop on your gloves: Gloves will keep your hands safe from dirt, germs, and any sharp objects while you’re cleaning around the drain.
  • Get rid of the debris: Use the trowel or small shovel to scoop up leaves, twigs, dirt, and any other bits around the drain. Stick the mess into a bin bag or container to chuck out later.
  • Scrub the grate or drain cover: If your drain’s got a grate or cover, whip it off and give it a good scrub with the stiff-bristled brush. If needed, use some warm, soapy water to shift any stubborn muck.
  • Sort out the drain opening: With the cover or grate off, use the brush to clean around the drain opening. Make sure you get rid of any debris or dirt that might be stuck in there.
  • Flush it out: Grab your garden hose or pressure washer and blast some water through the drain to clear any leftover debris and check the water flow. If you’re using a pressure washer, pop on some protective eyewear to keep your peepers safe.
  • Put the grate or cover back: Once the drain is clean and working like a dream, stick the grate or drain cover back on.
  • Bin the mess: Dispose of the debris in a bin bag or container, following your local waste disposal rules.


Proper landscaping around your outdoor drains can really help keep blockages at bay. Here’s what to do:

  • Get the water flow right: Make sure the area around your drain slopes away from your home and towards the drain, so the water flows just as it should.
  • Keep your grass in check: Don’t let your grass get too long, as it can get stuck in the drain and cause blockages.
  • Pick the right plants: Go for plants with shallow root systems that won’t mess with your drain or cause any issues. Steer clear of planting trees and bushes close to your drains, as their roots can grow into the drain and cause all sorts of problems.
  • Set up a buffer zone: Keep a 3-5 foot buffer zone around the drain, free of plants. This helps stop roots from growing into the drain and keeps debris to a minimum.
  • Use ground covers or grasses: Plant low-growing ground covers or grasses near the drain to help soak up excess water and keep the soil stable. Pick plants that can handle a bit of wet.
  • Go for permeable surfaces: Think about using permeable pavers, gravel, or other porous materials for any paths or patios near the drain. These let water seep through, so you won’t end up with big puddles overwhelming the drain.
  • Be smart with mulch: Pop a layer of mulch around your plants to hold onto moisture and stop erosion. Just be careful not to pile it too close to the drain, as it can wash into the drain during heavy rain and cause blockages.

Follow these tips and you’ll have a lovely, functional landscape around your drain, with proper drainage and no nasty blockages to deal with.

Use a Drain Cover

A drain cover is a nifty little gadget you pop on top of the opening of a drain to keep large bits of debris and unwanted objects from getting into the drainage system. You can buy these online or in your local DIY store. Here’s how a drain cover helps keep those pesky blockages at bay:

  • Catching debris: Drain covers usually have a mesh, grate, or a design with holes in it, so water can pass through while trapping leaves, twigs, rubbish, and other bulky debris. This stops them from getting into the drain and causing a right mess in the pipes.
  • Keeping sediment in check: By grabbing hold of the bigger debris, a drain cover cuts down the amount of sediment sneaking into the drainage system. Too much sediment buildup can cause clogs over time, so a drain cover helps keep your drain working like a charm.
  • Scaring off wildlife: Drain covers can also give small critters, like rodents or frogs, second thoughts about venturing into the drain, where they might get stuck and cause blockages.
  • Making maintenance a breeze: With a drain cover doing its job, less debris and sediment will make their way into the drain, so you won’t need to clean and maintain it as often. Plus, it makes cleaning the drain easier—you just need to remove the cover and clean the debris that’s gathered on it.
  • Protecting from larger objects: Drain covers can stop bigger objects, like toys or balls, from accidentally tumbling into the drain and causing blockages.

Just remember to give the drain cover a good clean every now and then, removing any debris that’s built up. And keep an eye on it for any damage or wear—replace it when needed to keep your drain in tip-top shape.

Regular Maintenance

Having regular check-ups by a professional plumber or drainage expert  can be a real help. They can spot and sort out any blockages or issues messing with your drainage system. Just make sure you pick a reliable and experienced drain unblocking service that uses the latest kit and knows what they’re doing, so your outdoor drains keep running smoothly.

Avoid Dumping Waste

Be careful what you pour down your drains, as this can cause blockages and damage to your drainage system.

  • Don’t pour cooking grease, oils, or other liquids down the sink.
  • Steer clear of flushing stuff like paper towels, baby wipes, and other non-degradable things down the loo, as they can cause blockages in your sewer system.

Install Gutter Guards

Gutter guards are great at stopping leaves and rubbish from piling up in your gutters, which could clog up your downspouts and drains. Stick some gutter guards on, and you’ll cut down on the maintenance needed to keep your outdoor drainage system clear and flowing like a dream.

Just follow these easy tips and tricks, and you’ll keep your outdoor drains clear and flowing, saving yourself from costly repairs. And remember, if you need a hand, don’t hesitate to call in the pros to make sure your drains are working as they should.

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