In spring and late autumn, garbage accumulates in the elements of the drain of suburban housing — leaves, cones, tree branches. If they are not removed in time, the drainage system will fail, and the water will begin to wash away the base of the house. There are several ways to solve this problem.
The standard drainage system consists of drainage trays with funnels and pipes of various configurations. A properly installed drain has been in operation for decades and does not require special maintenance. But only under one condition — if the house is not located in the forest or is not surrounded by tall trees. Leaves and needles are the main enemies of the drainage system.
Different roofs — different drains
There are two main types of roof — flat with an internal or external drain and inclined with an external drain. When installing flat roof gutters, special protective lattice hoods are installed on the funnels to collect leaves and various debris. That’s what they’re called: leaf catchers. These devices hold the leaves and prevent them from getting into the drainpipes. The area around the funnel must be cleaned manually periodically.
With the gutters of sloping roofs, everything is much more complicated. Leaves, needles and seeds of trees fall immediately into long catchment trays and remain there. Some of them are washed away in drainpipes during heavy downpours. The rest of the garbage accumulates in the gutters and firmly settles there. As a result, their working cross-section gradually decreases, and the water does not go into the system, but overflows over the edge, eroding the walls and Foundation. Then it gets worse. Drainpipes become heavy, their fastenings do not hold, and the entire structure collapses down. Therefore, if your house stands among ancient oaks and pines, its drainage system should be checked and cleaned in a timely manner.
Sometimes they are not needed
Drains of one — story buildings can be easily cleaned from the stairs with improvised tools-brushes, scoops, etc. But with houses with two and three floors, problems may arise: it is more difficult and dangerous to carry out work at a height of 7-8 meters. Some builders cover the elements of the drainage system with special nets, but the effectiveness of this solution is extremely low. Needles and tree seeds still accumulate, and ice also appears on the nets.
It so happened that we purchased a plot in the middle of the forest and from the very beginning observed the difficult procedure of cleaning drains by our neighbors. On a wooden chopped bathhouse, we put drainage trays and downpipes to ensure the durability of the log house.
A small drainage system was also installed on the roof of the well.
And on our two-story house, the drainage system was not installed. To prevent the walls from getting wet, we simply increased the removal of roof eaves to 1.1 meters. To divert rainwater, they made a drainage system at the blind area. Drainage prevents water from getting under the Foundation and eroding the Foundation soil.
How to clean it?
For 20 years of operation of buildings, we annually clean drains from various types of garbage.
At the same time, we use a paint brush and a plastic garden scoop to avoid scratching the paint on the trays.
The scoop can be made from a plastic bottle, choosing the appropriate diameter.
The cleaning process is not difficult, but sometimes your feet get tired of jumping up the stairs.
And at one such moment, I decided to conduct a small inventory upgrade. I took an ordinary brush with a long handle and sawed off the handle at a distance of 20 cm from the tool. Then he connected the brush and sawed-off handle parallel to each other with a plank. It turned out to be a kind of L-shaped device that can easily and easily clean drainpipes directly from the ground.
If you increase the brush handle a little more, it will turn into a very convenient tool for cleaning the drains of high buildings. Our neighbor, for example, has increased the handle to 5 meters and serves the drainage system of his two-story house with this tool.
However, when using such inventory, you must follow several rules.
- Wet leaves and needles are removed with a brush poorly, so it is advisable to choose dry weather for work.
- To prevent debris from accidentally falling into pipes and funnels, move it in the opposite direction from them.
- In autumn, during the fall of leaves, the trays must be cleaned every week, otherwise you will not be able to avoid tracking the foliage.
For raw foliage, it is better to use a wooden scraper instead of a brush. If you don’t have time to clean the trays in the fall, and the garbage has already accumulated over the winter, you will have to go up the stairs and clean it from above. However, once in a heavy rain, we tried to move the leaves with a brush so that they were washed down the pipe, but we did not manage to achieve the desired result.
As for the modified tool, I can’t say that it is very effective. After all, you have to go through each tray several times and do not put side plugs. But it’s easier and safer than working from a high ladder.
Of course, cleaning drains can be carried out in other ways. So, using a garden hose and nozzles with sprinklers, it is easy to wash off organic debris with strong water pressure.
To do this, again, you will have to climb the stairs to the roof level. However, this method is only good for removing dirt, sand, and other small fractions. If the system has accumulated leaves or branches, you can use this method only after preliminary mechanical cleaning, otherwise the drainpipes will clog.
Sometimes even high — pressure car washes are used, but they have one big disadvantage-dirty splashes fall on the walls and roof eaves and stain them. If your home has white or light walls, then this technology can do more harm than good.
Another method is blowing with a powerful air flow using garden blowers.
Special units are produced with long pipes that allow you not to even go up.
Unfortunately, such tools are almost not found in retail sales, and they must be ordered from special catalogs.
Robot vacuum cleaners are also used to remove garbage from drains. These devices move independently along the chute, clearing debris and removing dirt using special brushes. Thanks to the built-in recognition system, smart devices are able to assess the degree of contamination themselves and calculate the necessary number of passes to achieve perfect cleanliness. The robot can even handle wet leaves while being in trays filled with water. The only problem is that it needs to be raised somehow first. And if your house has a complex roof and a dozen trays, physical charging will be quite good.
Still, the easiest and cheapest way to take care of drainpipes is to use various devices like the one I made with my own hands. If you do not want to mess around, you can always buy a similar tool in a specialized store.
As already mentioned, you can independently clean the drains of houses with no more than two floors. In other cases, it is better not to take risks and turn to industrial climbers who have experience at altitude and professional equipment. It will be safer and safer this way.