Sewer and drain cleaning is an important element of building maintenance, but it is important that it is done properly, which is where CCTV drainage surveys come into play.
It might be tempting to press ahead with trying to clean drains and sewers to get the job done. Drain cleaning rods can be bought from most DIY stores. How hard can it be to use these simple tools for a bit of DIY pipe maintenance?
Therein lies the road to a lot of problems, and sometimes embarrassment for a lot of householders and businesses that try to cut corners when trying to do what is right, which is to carry out drain and sewer cleaning.
These are hidden assets. Problems with drains and sewers can be more complicated than most people understand. The answer is the take a first step of finding out precisely what is going on in your drainage system. That is achieved by carrying out CCTV drainage surveys.
A CCTV drainage survey is an inspection process in which a small video camera, either on the end of a flexible rod, or on a small wheeled vehicle, is sent down the drain or sewer to film the insides of pipes.
This drain video footage can be viewed and analysed to understand exactly the condition of the drain and sewer, what cleaning is needed, and what repairs may be needed.
So, why have a CCTV drainage survey carried out? Here are five reasons they are important:
Drain blockages – the most common reasons drains and sewers go wrong. But there are many different kinds of drain blockages, from single objects being stuck in pipes, to multiple items, such as wet wipes being wrongly disposed of down toilets, or the gradual build-up of material such as scale.
Each reason for the drain blockage can easily need a different approach to curing it. CCTV surveys reveal what kind of blockage you have in your drain or sewer, so you can plan the best approach to cleaning it.
Tree root infestation – another reason drains and sewer do not flow smoothly. Tree roots are very adept at finding their way into drain pipes through joins or cracks. Once inside, they can keep growing to fill the pipe, or they can merely snag other items, like wipes, which starts a drain blockage.
A CCTV drainage survey will tell you if tree roots are the cause of your drain problem. Then you can plan the right course of action, which might include water jetting to cut the roots, or further remedial work on the sewer pipes.
Sewer collapses – a step up from drain blockages, sewer and drain collapses are more serious problems, which are different to identify without taking a closer look. No amount of drain and sewer cleaning will provide a long-term solution to pipe collapses, or partial pipe collapses.
It is important to plan clear remedial drain repairs. The only way to do this is to first carry out a CCTV drain survey. It’s disheartening to think you might have a worse problem than you thought, but not dealing with it, will only make the drainage problem worse and more costly to fix in the long-run.
Damaged pipes – drain and sewer pipes do not last for ever. Over time they become weaker. Also, ground movement, the action of burrowing animals, annual weather patterns and changes, and human activity, such as vehicle movements over pipes, can damage drains and sewers.
Pipes can become cracked, or joints can become displaced. This is not as serious as drain and sewer collapses, but it is a drainage maintenance issue that needs to be understood and dealt with.
CCTV drain surveys can be used to remotely investigate these issues and assess what action must be taken. This might involve urgent repairs, or putting in place a plan to manage the situation. Either way, knowing what you face, by carrying out a CCTV survey, allows you to make the best and most cost-effective decisions about the long-term maintenance of your drains and sewers.
Miss-connected pipes – this could be a serious issue. If your drain and sewer pipes are not connected up properly, waste water from your home or business could get into natural water courses. This is a pollution threat that one day the Environmental Protection Agency could come knocking about.
Having CCTV drainage surveys carried out will allow you to prove that your drains and sewers are both in good condition, and are in good order, so no-one else and no wildlife can be put at risk because of what is leaving your premises down sewer pipes.
As you can see, CCTV drainage surveys play an important part in decision-making about drain and sewer cleaning, and wider drain maintenance plans. They ensure that cleaning is only done when it is needed, which reduced the cost of drainage management.
They also ensure you do not damage your sewer pipes, or make drain blockages worse by taking DIY action that is not thought through as well as it could be.
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