How to Properly Clean Your Home’s Storm Drain

Storm drains are a vital part of streets, sidewalks, and other paved surfaces that help to prevent flooding. Despite what Hollywood might have you believe, the biggest issue you’re likely to have with your storm drain isn’t an evil clown. It’s nasty clogs. When you’re faced with a situation that requires storm drain cleaning, several questions may come to mind, including:

  • Who is responsible for cleaning a storm drain? 
  • How do you properly and safely clean a storm drain? 
  • When do you need to call in a professional?

Go Green Plumbing provides drain cleaning in Greensboro, NC, and we can help you answer those questions.

What Can Happen if You Don’t Clean a Clogged Storm Drain?

When you spot a clogged storm drain, it’s essential to address it immediately. Ignoring a clogged storm drain can lead to several consequences, including:

  • Flooding: The most visible and common issue with clogged drains is that they cause water to back up onto streets and sidewalks.
  • Property damage: Flooding from clogged storm drains can cause excess water to make its way into the home, leading to water damage.
  • Public health risks: Standing flood waters caused by clogged storm drains can become breeding grounds for mosquitoes or other insects that can spread diseases.
  • Environmental damage: Rain or water that has been running along streets can become polluted, and if it can’t make its way into a storm drain, it can wind up flowing into local waterways — polluting the environment and harming aquatic life
  • Legal liabilities: Homeowners may be liable for any damage or injuries if the clogged drain is located on their property.

Who Is Responsible For Fixing a Clogged Storm Drain?

Before proceeding with any storm drain cleaning, it’s essential to know that who is responsible for that storm drain can vary depending on its location and local regulations. In most cases, when storm drains are located on public sidewalks or in a parking lot, it’s the city’s responsibility to maintain them and ensure they’re free of debris. However, it’s usually the homeowner’s responsibility when the storm drain is located on private property, such as a driveway or yard. If you’re unsure who should maintain a drain, it’s essential to check with your municipality before planning any storm drain cleaning.

What Can Clog a Storm Drain?

Deciding how to clean a storm drain depends on what’s clogging it. Here are some common reasons a storm drain might become clogged:

  • Debris: A storm drain or catch basin might be clogged due to leaves, dirt, trash, or other debris blocking the water flow.
  • Tree roots: Tree roots growing into the storm drain pipes can damage them and cause blockages.
  • Structural damage: Old storm drains can become worn, crack, and collapse — leading to blockages that keep stormwater from flowing — and require a professional to repair.
  • Construction debris: Materials such as concrete or gravel can accidentally enter the storm drain during construction and clog the storm drain.

Grease: A buildup of grease from cooking oils and fats dumped down the drain can also cause blockages where sewer systems are connected to the storm drain.

How to Clean a Storm Drain

Regular preventive maintenance to keep a storm drain clean and free from debris is the best way to prevent clogs. However, when there is a clog, it’s helpful to know how to clean a storm drain properly. The best way a homeowner can clean a clogged storm drain is by removing the blockage manually.

If you spot a pile of leaves, twigs, or trash blocking a storm drain system, the quickest way to remove debris is by carefully using a pair of gloves and a rake or shovel to move them aside, scoop them up, and dump them in a garbage can.

You can also consider using a hose or a power washer on the storm drain can help wash away a clog and dislodge debris.

When Should You Call in a Professional?

If those tips don’t work on your drain or you spot any physical damage to the storm drain, then calling a professional is a good idea. Some storm drain cleaning may require tools and advanced methods to remove more severe blockages and repair any damage to the drain. 

Go Green Plumbing technicians know how to clean your home’s storm drain. We provide expert plumbing services in Greensboro, NC. Some of the methods we might use to clear a storm drain blockage include:

  • Mechanical tools: Our technicians come equipped with tools, such as high-powered augers, that can drill through any clogs in your storm drain.
  • High-pressure water jetting: We can insert a high-pressure hose into the drain to blast through clogs. This process can remove grease, tree roots, debris, and other solid obstructions.

Video inspection: We can use specially designed cameras to inspect the drain or sewer system to determine the exact cause of the blockage. Then we can come up with an effective solution for fixing it.

Call Us Today for Drain Cleaning Service

A clogged drainage system on your property can be a complicated and messy challenge, especially if you can’t see everything that might be causing it. Knowing how to clean a storm drain quickly and effectively is what we do at Go Green Plumbing, Heating and Air. No matter what’s causing the clog in your storm drain, we can help you clear it and get it flowing again — even if the problem turns out to be an evil clown. So don’t wait. Call us today for storm drain cleaning services.

Go Green Will Be Closed on Monday, September 4th for Labor Day. Emergency Services Are available for Members Only.