Storm drains are a crucial but often overlooked aspect of a home’s overall drainage system. Keeping storm drains clean and clear is essential to protecting your home, and that means regular inspections, routine maintenance, and occasional storm drain cleaning. Here’s what you need to know about your storm drain.
What exactly is my storm drain?
Our modern world is paved over with a lot of surfaces that water and melted snow cannot penetrate. All the water that falls on roads, driveways, rooftop, and sidewalks needs somewhere to go.
The typical city street is lined with storm drains that take in this water. The storm drain channels then channels it directly into the nearest body of water, which could be a pond, stream, wetland, or lake. The water that goes into a storm drain is not treated like sewer water and storm drains and sewers do not connect.
You can typically identify your storm drain by looking in the street outside your home for an angled inlet with a large metal grate covering it. The grate is meant to keep debris like leaves, rocks, and trash from going down the drain.
How does the storm drain protect property?
Storm drains are the first line of defense against flooding. When the water has some place to go, you can be sure it is not going into your foundation or pooling on other parts of your property where it can cause damage.
Pooled water can damage your driveway or garage, as well as your home. If you live where there are heavy freezes in the winter, flooding can also exacerbate frost heave, which is when expanding frozen water drives up against pavement and cracks it.
How to protect your storm drain
Keep an eye on the grate: The simplest way of caring for your drain is to keep the grate clear. When the grate is completely covered in debris, either water will not drain properly or debris will begin to enter the storm drain. This could cause a serious and potentially disastrous clog.
Be sure to check the grates on a regular basis and especially after a big storm. It’s also important to check the grates more often during the fall, when leaves can clog the grate. If an event on your street generates a lot of trash, this is another good time to check the grates.
Do preventative maintenance: It is important to do occasional inspections of the drain itself for leaks or cracks. It is also possible for sediment and debris to build up in the drain, and this needs to be cleaned out periodically.
When you have other routine drainage and sewer work done, it is a good idea to schedule an inspection of the storm drains around your house to make sure you and your property remain safe. Professional plumbing services can use video inspections to make sure the drain is in good shape.
Get the storm drain cleaned: Regular storm drain cleaning ensures that debris never builds up to the point that your drain overflows or develops cracks. While small cleaning issues can sometimes be taken care of by individual homeowners, it’s always better to call in professionals. Only professionals can fully flush the system, which is important to ensure efficient drainage.
Professional plumbers can see precisely where any issues are in your drain. They remove gunk and debris near the grate and inside the drain, and then they use a hydrojet to flush the storm drain and break up any larger pieces of debris.
The storm drain protects your home and property from dangerous floods and costly water damage. Keeping the drain clean and clear isn’t hard. It just takes consistent watching and the occasional cleaning.