If you’ve started to notice a strong and foul smell around your property, it might be that you have a blocked outside drain. Because of an exterior drain’s exposure to the elements, including debris from rotten leaves, twigs, and moss and lichen growth, as well as excessive amounts of rainwater it’s easy for outside drains to become blocked.
Causes of blocked exterior drains
Blocked drains can be caused by a number of different things. The most common reason for a blocked exterior drain is as a result of flash flooding from a severe storm. These types of weather phenomenon can create blockages of mud and other debris, such as leaves and even rubbish.
You may find that your outdoor toilet drain is blocked on occasion and it’s these drains that can cause the most problems. The most likely cause of the blockage is as a result of toilet paper and wipes. It’s often these items that are flushed down toilets that cause fatbergs to build-up in our sewer systems.
Identifying the problem
A foul odour is usually the first sign of identifying there’s a problem with an outside drain as well as slow draining on the inside. This could be a slowly draining toilet, sink, or shower. If it’s a sewage drainage that’s blocked you’ll most likely notice a foul eggy smell emanating from the drain and potentially inside the house.
If you’re smelling more of a metallic or decaying smell, it could be that the plumbing lines are eroding and rusting and as a result calcification is occurring. Of course, it might be more obvious and you can see that a drain is blocked from fallen debris!
Finding the solution
Depending on the severity of the blockage there’s an easy home remedy you can try, as well as store bought ones.
Baking soda and hot water is an easy way to unblock a drain both inside and outside the house. Pour a steady stream of hot water down the drain – using a bucket is easiest outside. The hot water will help loosen any of the matter and you can then add a cup or two of baking soda. The baking soda will help neutralise the smell and if left for an hour or two can begin to eat up the bacteria. Then all you have to do is pour hot water down the drain again.
If the baking soda and hot water doesn’t work, you might require a stronger industrialised drain cleaner. But remember to follow the directions on the label. Depending on the severity of the blocked drain, a drain cleaner should work in most cases, however, if the problem is still not resolved, you may need to call in the help of a professional.