Designing and Maintaining the Drainage System of House

maintaining drainage system for home

The best way that you can maintain and keep your drainage system of house always clean is by following prevention practices. Well, if you are really careful enough about what is going through your drainage systems then it is possible to keep them cleaner for a longer time. There will however always be a time where you will eventually get to experience a small clog. Hence it might really help you if you get to know what the problems are and how to keep your drainage system of house maintained at all times.

The most basic thing to prevent blocked drains is to keep them clean always. In fact, just doing this alone can ward off most of the problems with your drain. However, there can be times when things don’t go according to your plan, in such times understanding drainage system and how problems come in is essential. For the same here are a few drainage maintenance tips which you can follow to make sure you always get a clean drainage system.

Understanding drainage system

Understanding drainage system is the first step when it comes to proper maintenance of the same. A typical drainage system consists of various key components and each of them plays quite a vital role especially in managing the water flow and preventing further problems. Here is a list of its components and their main functions:


A culvert is a connected system that allows water to be passed under roads, railways, or any other obstacles. They are mainly made of boxes, pipes, or reinforced concrete. They especially play an important role in maintaining the continuity of water that flows across various areas.

Grates and Drain Covers

Drain covers and grates are placed over openings in surface drainage systems such that they can prevent leaves, debris, and larger substances from entering and further clogging the system. They also ensure that there is a smooth flow of water while reducing any blockages that occur.

Slope Drainage

Slope drainage mainly helps in the proper grading of land to facilitate water flow. The land is shaped in such a way that it creates a gentle slope which directs the water away from structures and buildings. This type of drainage system mainly relies on the gravity force exerted by the earth to guide water off.

Surface Drainage

Surface drainage systems consist of features such as channels, ditches and catch basins that collect the excess water and drain them away. These components present in the surface drainage help prevent water from pooling and causing further damage.

Detention and Retention Ponds

Detention and retention ponds are commonly found in large-scale drainage systems. Retention ponds tend to permanently hold the water which serves as a water reservoir or as a habitat for aquatic life. On the other hand, detention ponds hold water only temporarily when there is heavy rainfall while slowly releasing it to avoid an overwhelming downstream flow to areas that are a bit inclined.

Downspouts and Gutters

Downspouts and gutters are quite essential for a building’s drainage system to function properly. Gutters collect the rainwater from the roof and direct it to low downspouts which then direct the water to the drainage systems or into the ground. They also prevent water from directly rushing downward to the building and hence protect the foundation of the building and prevent erosion.

Subsurface Drainage

Subsurface drainage systems are installed just beneath the ground and are mainly responsible for removing any excess water that is present in the soil. They mostly utilize drain tiles or perforated pipes that are buried inside trenches. Subsurface drains also help in controlling groundwater levels while preventing waterlogging and soil saturation levels.

Drainage Maintenance Tips

Whether it is to save money by avoiding blockages in your drains or to regularly keep them clean, these drainage maintenance tips given below can help you maintain a healthy drainage system in your house.

Regular Inspections

Issues with drains are often not completely visible until it is too late. Because of this a lot of people tend to run for professional help. Instead of this, you can also visually inspect or smell the drains which will help identify the problem. You can also look for physical signs of leakage or wet patches on your property where it is not supposed to be.

Install Gutter Guards

Gutter guards are a great way to keep out any unwanted objects from going down your drains. It is a small metal or plastic grate-like disk that sits on top of a plughole which helps collect debris such as food. They are also perfect for showers where you can stop loose hair or debris from going down the drain.   

Drain Cleaners

Hair can be one of the major problems when it comes to blockage in drains. Hence you need to ensure that you clean your drains regularly. You can use various drain cleaners or you can also use a DIY option to clean your drains. One of the options includes mixing vinegar and baking soda to clean out the residue or pouring boiling water down the drain. These are absolutely safe to use and do not cause any damage to your drains.

Professional Help

A lot of time it is quite late to fix the issue due to no proper care being provided. In such cases, you need to reach out for professional help. One thing that professional help consists of is knowledge. They know exactly how and where to work to handle all the issues while reducing the expense.

Maintain Outdoor Drains and Catch Basins

While you can inspect your indoor drains you should also pay equal attention to outdoor drains. These can also get blocked by garden debris such as twigs and leaves which might cause flooding. Checking out the outdoor drains and catch basins at least once a week is essential. If it feels like there is too much to clean you can also call out for a professional.

Ensure Proper Slope

Keeping water away from the house as much as possible is essential so that there is no damage to the property. One of the best ways to ensure that all your wastewater goes away from your house is by maintaining a proper slope for your drainage system. This will not just keep your water from clogging but will also ensure there is no damage done to the foundation of your house.

Signs of Drainage Problems

Mild problems could be inconvenient however if you leave it out for too long, it could lead to sufficient damage to your property. Catching a few small signs of drain problems can help prevent these minor problems from getting converted into big problems. Here are a few signs that indicate drain problems in your house:

  • If you notice that the drainage in your property is slow then this could indicate you have drain issues. It could be anywhere from sinks to even outdoor drains.
  • Slow-flowing water from pipes usually indicates that there is some damage within the pipe and this needs to be fixed.
  • Flooding of water is definitely not a good sign especially since it can cause bad smell to develop leaving your area less hygienic.
  • Strange sounds from your pipes are mostly due to trapped air and this can again cause blockage.
  • Brust pipes need to be fixed immediately.

Sustainable Drainage Practices

Sustainable drainage is a concept that includes both social and environmental factors in decisions regarding drainage. It takes into account the quantity and quality of runoff and the aesthetic value of surface water in the urban environment.  A lot of existing urban drainage systems tend to cause problems of flooding pollution or damage to the environment and are not sustainable posing a lot of challenges from urbanization and climate change points of view. Here are a few sustainable drainage practices that can be implemented:

  • Retention basins
  • Green roofs
  • Wetlands
  • Permeable pavements
  • Rain gardens


A drainage system of house is definitely one of the most important parts of your property and hence it needs to be treated with care. They will save a lot of money and time in the long run if maintained properly. For the most part, the goal is to look at the problem with proper inspections before it becomes too expensive to fix it. For this again understanding drainage systems and following drainage maintenance tips is quite important.


What are the signs that my drainage system needs maintenance?

Here are a few signs that indicate your drainage system needs maintenance help:
Water backing up through drains
Slow drainage of water
Bad odor from your drainage
Fruit and drain flies
Strange noises from your drain.

What are some eco-friendly drainage solutions?

A few of the eco-friendly drainage solutions can be provided as follows:
Retention basins
Green roofs
Permeable pavements
Rain gardens

How can I assess the efficiency of my home’s drainage system? 

With the help of two simple tests such as an air test and a water test, you can check for the efficiency of the drainage system.

How can I troubleshoot common drainage system issues?

According to experts, you can completely remove the corroded section of the pipes if you get to know there is such a problem. You can also check for root ingress where plants infiltrate pipe systems. In such cases also you can cut off the parts where plants have grown and install new pipes.

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