Whether by accident or carelessness, concrete in drains can cause huge problems on-site. Not only can a concrete blockage result in costly delays to a project – it also can be tricky to remove, with some methods of concrete removal potentially causing damage to pipes.
In this article, we’ll explore how concrete ends up in drains, how to prevent concrete from entering drains, and what you can do to remove concrete from drains quickly and safely.
How does concrete get down drains?
There are a few different ways that concrete can end up blocking a drain.
- During renovation or construction projects, if building workers are washing off their equipment which has remnants of concrete on it, these smatterings can end up in your drains. If this is repeated, concrete will accumulate in layers to create partial or full blockages as the concrete sets inside the drain.
- More dramatically, during hole boring operations in a construction project, workers may accidentally bore into a drain. This can result in many tons of concrete entering a drainage system, often completely blocking it up.
What happens when there is concrete in a drain?
Ultimately, any blockage of any sort can cause issues for your drainage system. The layers of deposited set concrete can build up to reduce the diameter of your pipes, undoubtedly affecting the flow of water.
It can also make it more likely that other materials will become stuck in the drain, such as debris or food particles, which can further exacerbate the problem. Eventually your drains will be sluggish or backed up.
On occasions when a drain has become blocked with concrete due to a mishap on a construction site, often the entire drain will become blocked and will need an immediate remedy so the project can continue,
How to prevent concrete getting down drains?
Since the appearance of concrete in drains is often caused by absent-mindedness or pure accident, it can often be difficult to pinpoint exactly how to prevent concrete from entering drains. However, here are some tips for keeping tabs on the problem.
- Unsure if your drain is affected by concrete in the first place? It’s wise to get a drain survey from a professional such as Express Drainage Solutions, who will be able to use state-of-the-art cameras to establish if a blockage is building. If the footage confirms there is a problem arising, it can spur you on to put more preventative measures and resolutions.
- A simple step would be to brief any construction workers who are carrying out a project at your site, whether that’s a home renovation or a large-scale commercial build. Just make them aware of how they can avoid concrete going down drains by washing their tools and equipment in designated places, away from drains. These measures will be different depending on your home/site and how it’s laid out. Also request that any leftover wet concrete or cement is not washed into drains, and disposed of in an alternative way.
- Do your research on reputable concrete companies or building professionals who will be more likely to follow best practices, and this way you can trust more in their ability to prevent concrete from ending up in the drains.
- If a concrete blockage is the result of a hole boring, this is done by human error and is very difficult to prevent. The best thing to do is to remove the blockage as soon as possible before the condition of the pipes worsens – especially since concrete gets harder the longer it’s left.
What to do if you discover concrete in a drain on your site
Once you have established that concrete has definitely entered your drains and is causing a problem, which can be done through a professional CCTV drain survey, the next stage is to remove the concrete as soon as possible.
The most popular method is drain jetting, which comes with its own issues. Using water to blast through the concrete is a time-consuming and costly process – in severe cases of concrete blockages, it can actually result in breakage of the pipes, which will then need replacement.
Luckily, there is a modern alternative, known as hydro cutting. Like drain jetting, it still uses water to cut through the concrete. However, hydro cutting is an advanced, precise system which uses computer-controlled hydro cutting robots to accurately remove the concrete in a fraction of the time compared to standard drain jetting. This saves time and labour costs, and thanks to the accuracy of this technique, the likelihood of the pipes breaking is also reduced.
Searching for advanced hydro cutting technology to remove concrete blockages in your drains?
Here at Express Drainage Solutions, we’re one of the only companies in the UK who use this state-of-the-art technology, and we arrive quickly and directly to your location. This swift service means that your project can resume once again with minimal hassle, cost or impact on schedule. To find out more about our hydro cutting services contact us today.