The Top Causes of Blocked Drains and How to Avoid Them


At Maintain Drains, we understand the inconvenience and disruption that blocked drains can cause. As a well-established, reliable, and professional drainage company in Poole, we’ve seen it all. Over the years, we’ve identified the top causes of blocked drains and have gathered invaluable insights on how to prevent them. In this article, we’ll share these insights with you, so you can enjoy a hassle-free drainage system.

Grease and Fat Build-up

Grease and fat are notorious for sticking to the walls of pipes, gradually accumulating over time and leading to significant blockages. This is especially common in households where cooking fats are frequently washed down the sink, a leading blocked drain cause, and in restaurants where the volume of grease is much higher.

How to Avoid Grease and Fat Build-up

  • Always dispose of grease and fat in the bin rather than pouring it down the sink.
  • For restaurants, invest in grease traps and ensure regular maintenance to prevent grease build-up.

Foreign Objects

From children’s toys to sanitary products, various foreign objects can accidentally find their way into our drainage systems, leading to immediate or gradual blocked drains.

How to Avoid Foreign Objects

  • Be mindful of what goes down the toilet. Only flush toilet paper and human waste.
  • Use drain guards in sinks to catch debris like food particles and hair.

Tree Roots

Tree roots are naturally drawn to the moisture in drainage pipes, another common blocked drain cause. Over time, they can grow and expand, causing blockages and even breaking the pipes in their quest for water.

How to Avoid Tree Roots

  • Regularly inspect the area around your drains for any signs of root ingress.
  • Consider root removal services if you notice any intrusion.

Structural Issues

Drainage systems, like any infrastructure, can wear out over time. Collapses, misaligned pipes, or even minor cracks can lead to significant blockages and other drainage issues, often contributing to blocked drains.

How to Avoid Structural Issues

  • Invest in CCTV drain surveys to identify any structural issues early on.
  • Ensure timely repairs to avoid further complications.

Rats in Drains

Rats are opportunistic creatures that often seek shelter in drainage systems. Not only can they cause blockages, but they also pose health risks due to the diseases they carry.

How to Avoid Rats in Drains

  • Seal any gaps or openings in your drainage system.
  • If you suspect a rat infestation, seek professional help immediately.

Accumulation of Leaves and Garden Debris

During certain times of the year, especially autumn, our gardens shed leaves and debris, a significant blocked drain cause when these find their way into drains.

How to Avoid Accumulation of Leaves and Garden Debris

  • Regularly clear your garden and surrounding areas of leaves and debris.
  • Consider installing guards over outside drains to prevent debris from entering.

Signs of a Blocked Drain

Are your drains starting to smell? Is your shower or kitchen sink draining slower than usual? These are clear indications of a blocked drain. If you notice any of these signs, it’s essential to address the issue promptly. At Maintain Drains, we offer a range of fast and efficient drain unblocking services to tackle your drainage emergencies 24/7.


Blocked drains can be a nuisance, but with the right knowledge and preventive measures, you can keep your drainage system running smoothly. At Maintain Drains, we’re always here to assist you with any drainage problems, whether it’s a simple blockage or a more complex issue. Remember, prevention is always better than cure. By being mindful of what goes down your drains and investing in regular maintenance, you can avoid the hassle of blocked drains.

For more tips and advice on maintaining your drains, check out some more of our blog posts. If you have any concerns or require professional assistance, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re available 24/7 to meet your needs.


Q: What should I do if I need 24-hour drain unblocking services?

A: If you’re facing a drainage emergency and need assistance at any hour, Maintain Drains is here to help with our 24-hour drain unblocking services.

Q: How can I handle a situation where all toilets are clogged in my property?

A: Start by refraining from flushing any additional toilets to prevent further backups. Next, attempt to clear the blockage using a plunger, focusing on one toilet at a time. If plunging doesn’t resolve the issue, it’s best to avoid using chemical drain cleaners, as they can damage pipes and worsen the problem. Instead, contact Maintain Drains for professional assistance. 

Q: What should I do if I have a badly blocked toilet that won’t clear with standard methods?

A: If you’re dealing with a badly blocked toilet that won’t clear with standard methods like plunging, it’s time to seek professional assistance. 

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