Below are our 5 most important tips to get your home ready for autumn.  This season’s stunning foliage could spell trouble for your outdoor drains as leaves begin to fall and clog gutters and pipes. Get your pipes autumn-ready with these five steps:

  1. Rake those leaves! It’s a simple first step, but it’s crucial. The best way to ensure your outdoor drains remain clog-free this fall is to remove as much of the potential problem as possible before the clogs begin. It’s not only the leaves that cause a problem, but the mud and debris that can collect in large pockets under the leaves, all waiting to wash into your drains at the next heavy downpour.
  2. Make sure you’re debris-free. Check gutters and downpipes for debris that may have accumulated during the drier months and brush or scrape out as much as you can. For heavier debris, use a high powered spray nozzle on your water hose to flush gutters and pipes clear.
  3. Add screens. When your gutters and downpipes are free of leaves and mud, keep them clean by adding screens to the tops of your gutters and at the mouth of the downpipes. As with most plumbing problems, prevention is much easier and cheaper than repair.
  4. Consider catch basins. In low spots where water collects, adding a catch basin can be effective. Catch basins separate most of the debris from the water flow, allowing the water to disperse unimpeded. Talk to a plumber about the right catch basin for your trouble spot and about whether you’ll be able to install it yourself.
  5. If clogging is inevitable, use hardware cloth. In some places, especially low spots, drain clogging cannot really be avoided. Adding hardware cloth, a sturdy wire mesh, can make clogs more benign and easier to clear. Cut the hardware cloth to sit about 6 inches larger than the drain and place it over the drain mouth or catch basin. It will catch most of the larger bits of debris and can be easily lifted and cleaned with a water hose after a rain.

But perhaps the best tool you can use in fighting outdoor drain clogs is an umbrella; go outside during heavy rains and see how the water flows (or doesn’t flow) away from your house, where it comes from and how much debris it carries. This will help you concentrate on the problem areas more effectively.

While this post on tips to get your home ready for autumn you may find yourself in need of a plumber despite your best efforts, we hope you’ll call Flotechs. We offer 24-hour emergency assistance and we’re the most trusted name in plumbing and heating in Westchester County. Call us at 1-844-FLOTECH anytime.