Top 10 Drainage Problems That Could Affect Your Home


As a homeowner, you may not think about your drainage system until there is a problem. By then, it may be too late to prevent significant damage to your home. Poor drainage is not only an inconvenience but also a cause of more serious problems, such as soil erosion and compaction.

That’s why it is important to be proactive and familiarise yourself with the most common drainage problems, so you can take steps to avoid them.

Here are the top 10 drainage problems your home may have.

1. Clogged Gutters

Clogged gutters are one of the most common drainage problems. Leaves, twigs, and other debris can build up over time and block the water flow. It can cause water to back up and overflow, severely damaging your foundation, siding, and landscaping.

Overflowing water from clogged gutters may gather near the home’s foundations, which can be problematic. It might cause foundation cracks if it is not checked immediately. And it can eventually harm your home’s structure if the foundation is left unchecked for a long time.

If you are unsure of how often you should clear your blocked sewers, look at the following tips:

  • Clean gutters at least twice per year—once each in the early fall and late spring.
  • Conduct inspections every three months if trees like cypress, pine, dawn redwood, etc., are close to your property.

2. Improper Slope

The second common household drainage problem is the improper slope. Though it might seem trivial, it often leads to several serious issues.

Your yard should have a slight slope that allows water to drain away from your home. If the slope is too steep, water will run off too quickly and cause erosion. If the slope is too gradual, water will pool around your foundation and seep into your basement or crawl space.

3. Poor Grading

Besides having a proper slope, grading your yard is also necessary so water drains away from openings in your foundation (such as doors and windows) and towards the street or storm drain.

In an ideal plumbing system, landscaping would be graded to direct water away from homes and toward a drain, a sump, or the nearby vegetation. However, incorrect grading of outside property spaces and landscaping is very common. It can lead to water trapping or flowing back toward the property.

To solve this issue, plumbers create channels, install new drains, and plumbing to enable proper water flow and drainage.

4. Compacted Soil

Compacted soil does not allow water to penetrate, which can cause runoff and flooding. Compaction raises soil density, compressing the nutrients that move air and water through the soil. It might make your yard appear bare since it prevents the growth of grass and other plants.

So, you may aerate your lawn every few years to prevent soil compaction. This helps alleviate compaction and improve drainage.

5. French Drains

French drains are also called French ditch and sub-soil drainage. This drain system is a trench filled with rocks or gravel. The trench is made of perforated pipes that divert groundwater or surface water from one location to another and into a sewer or storm drains. It is frequently used to stop water damage to building foundations and retaining walls.

These drains are installed around the perimeter of your home to collect water and direct it away from your foundation. They should be installed by a professional and regularly maintained to prevent clogs and blockages.

6. Sump Pumps

Many houses have sump pumps and sump pits, which are crucial to a good plumbing system. A sump pump is a type of submersible PUMP that is mainly used for drainage.

It is used together with a sump pit, which is often located in the basement or crawl space of your home. Its purpose is to collect groundwater that naturally seeps through the earth and drains. And a sump pump drains water out of a sump pit.

So, you should check the sump pumps on a yearly basis to make sure they are working correctly and able to handle any excess water that may collect during periods of heavy rain or snowmelt.

7. Downspouts

Downspouts are essential to any gutter system as they direct water away from your home and help prevent flooding and foundation damage. So, it is necessary they are clear of any debris so they can function properly.

You can also extend them if necessary, so water is directed at least 5 feet away from the foundation of your home.

8. Tree Roots

Tree roots can grow into sewer lines and cause blockages, leading to sewage backup into your home or yard. Be mindful of where you plant trees so their roots will not interfere with sewer lines.

And if you have any trees close to sewer lines, get them checked regularly by a professional arborist or tree service company.

9. Flooding

Flooding can occur due to heavy rains or melting snow if there is nowhere for the water to go, such as blocked gutters or downspouts.

Drainage system issues are often discovered during a storm. When rain floods your lawn or basement, even when the system has worked well for many years, it is typically the consequence of a small blockage. Given that a pipeline can only carry so much water, this obstruction could be caused by any trash, or other waste or it might be the pipes themselves.

So, to help prevent this flooding, make sure the gutters are clean, downspouts are clear, and the yard slopes away from your house. You may also want to purchase flood insurance if you live in an area prone to flooding. And you can get assistance from an expert.

10. Unpleasant Odour

Have you noticed a particularly foul odour in your lawn or garden?—or do you often need to use the plunger for your blocked drains in Melbourne?

The reason for these inconveniences might be a damaged drainage system that needs pipe relining as a fix. Your area plumber will survey, analyse, prepare, repair, and confirm to carry out the job.

Pipe relining is in stark contrast to conventional pipe repairs because you may repair your drain or sewer pipes without disrupting or damaging your lawns, gardens, or driveways.


These are 10 common drainage problems in households. You can surely solve some of them with a plunger or snake, but most need the help of a Professional for Blocked Drains in Melbourne.

By being aware of these common drainage problems, you can take steps to prevent them before they cause serious damage to your home. If you experience any flooding or other drainage issues, make sure to call NLK plumbing right away for drain cleaning in Melbourne.