What to Do During a Storm to Prevent Blocked Drains


When a storm hits, it's crucial to take proactive measures to prevent clogged drains and minimise the risk of water damage. Heavy rain and strong winds can easily clog your drains, leading to flooding and water damage. Prepare your drainage system to ensure your home remains safe and functional during a storm. You should also take the steps to handle the issues relevant to storm and blocked drains.

Preparing for a Storm

Before a storm hits, prepare your home and drainage system to minimise the risk of clogged drains. Here are some steps you can take:

Clear debris from gutters and downspouts. Remove leaves, twigs, and other debris that can block the water flow.
Inspect and repair any damage to gutters and downspouts. Ensure they are securely attached and direct water away from your home.
Trim overhanging branches. Cut back any branches that hang over your roof or gutters to prevent them from falling and causing blockages.
Install gutter guards or screens. These can help prevent debris from entering your gutters in the first place.

Actions to Take When the Storm Comes In

When the storm arrives, monitor your drains and take action to prevent clogging. Here are some steps you can take:

Monitor your drains. Monitor your drains during the storm and check for any signs of blockages or overflowing water.
Clear any visible debris. If you notice debris accumulating in your drains, carefully remove it using a tool like a drain snake or plumber's snake.
Avoid using water. Minimise water usage during the storm to prevent further strain on the drainage system.

Dos and Don'ts

Here are some essential dos and don'ts to keep in mind when dealing with storm drains:


Have a plan in place. Know where your main water shut-off valve is in case of flooding.
Keep a drain snake or plumber's snake handy. Doing this can help you quickly clear any blockages that occur.
Consider investing in a sump pump. A sump pump can help remove excess water from your basement or crawl space during heavy storms.
Use natural remedies. Try using baking soda and vinegar to clean your drains, as these can help break down grease and debris.


Attempt to clear drains during the peak of the storm. Wait until the storm has passed or until it's safe to do so.
Use harsh chemicals or drain cleaners. These can damage your pipes and the environment.
Ignore any signs of flooding or water damage. Address issues promptly to prevent further damage.

How Often Should Storm Drains Be Cleaned to Prevent Clogging?

Regular storm drain cleaning is crucial to prevent clogging and ensure proper drainage. Here are some guidelines on how often to clean your storm drains:

Annual cleaning. Clean the storm drains at least once a year to ensure they are free from debris and functioning properly.
High-traffic areas. Areas with high traffic and debris accumulation may require more frequent cleanings, ranging from quarterly to monthly intervals.
Regular inspections. It should happen annually and after major storms or flooding to detect any damage ASAP.

Tools to Use for Clearing Drains During a Storm

When clearing drains during a storm, it's essential to have the right tools to ensure effective and safe debris removal. Here are some tools you can use:

Drain snake or plumber's snake. These tools can help clear blockages in your drains by manually removing debris.
High-pressure water jetting or hydrojetting. This method uses high-pressure water to blast away debris and clear clogs.
Mechanical tools. These include tools like motorised augers, which can clear blockages in drain and sewer lines.
CCTV cameras. They inspect the drain or sewer system to determine the exact cause of the blockage.

Natural Remedies to Prevent Clogged Drains During Heavy Rain

In addition to using tools, there are some natural remedies you can use to prevent clogged drains during heavy rain:

Baking soda and vinegar. Mix equal parts baking soda and vinegar to create a natural cleaning solution to help break down grease and debris in your drains.
Boiling water. Pouring boiling water down your drains can help dissolve grease and other debris that may be causing blockages.
Tree trimming. Regularly trimming your trees can help prevent branches from falling into your gutters and causing blockages.
Regular maintenance. Regularly cleaning your gutters and downspouts can help prevent debris from accumulating and causing blockages.

Safety Precautions When Clearing Drains During a Storm

When clearing drains during a storm, it's essential to prioritise safety to avoid accidents and injuries. Remember these safety measures:

Wear protective gear. Wear gloves, eye protection, and sturdy shoes when clearing drains.
Avoid standing water. Be cautious of standing water because it may be contaminated or electrically charged.
Work with a partner. If possible, have someone assist you when clearing drains to ensure your safety.

Final Thoughts

The tips above can help decrease the chance of water damage during a storm and help proactively prevent clogged drains. Prioritise your safety and seek expert help as needed.

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