Autumn is coming and generally I have found it a good time to clean out drains and gullys around the house from leaves and other materials collecting in them.  It was a few years ago, our drains would regularly block around xmas, this was in the space between the house and the main sewer out in the road.  Principally this was as a consequence of the trees around the house shedding their leaves and them entering into the drainage system.  Combined with the wet weather in Cumbria, this caused a blockage in the surface water system which required clearing.

It was not until United Utilities were in the area one day inspecting the main sewer did I asked them to look at the pipe between the house and the sewer.  They sent the camera down, and found a set of old rods used for unblocking trapped between the main sewer and the house pipe.  The former occupants of the house had obviously had the same problem and ended up getting a set of rods stuck down there.

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10 mins later, the old rods are in the bin and drains are running clear.  At the time, I was unsure about the responsibility for the drains between the house and the sewer and the guys from UU, well lets just say a cup of tea and some biscuits sorted that out.  Now United Utilities have released a handy guide with clear guidance on the responsibilities for drains.

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Ensuring your drains are cleaned out, in particular before the onset of winter is recommended.  Blocked drains, gutters and downpipes can result in long term damage to a property, especially if damp penetrates the fabric of the property and damages fixtures and fittings.  When you have visible damage to your property it is generally too late for preventative action to be taken.