Autumn is upon us, the nights are drawing in and we’re begrudgingly packing away our shorts and flip-flops for another year in place of cosy jumpers, winter coats and knitted scarves. Whilst autumn has its upsides, those crispy golden leaves can become quite a nuisance. Yes, we’re talking about blocked drains…

A build-up of fallen leaves can clog up your drains, affecting their ability to carry water away from your property. Whilst a small obstruction could cause slow drainage and frustration, a larger blockage could result in the back-up of water and flooding. Long-term, blocked drains can cause serious damage to your property and even the health of the people/animals residing in it.

Not only can a blocked drain emit bad odours throughout your property but it can also cause unseen leaks. This can bring about unwanted excess moisture in the home, often resulting in areas of damp and mould. You may find certain materials such as wooden floors and wallpaper warped or ruined and the stagnant water may attract unwanted visitors such as flies, mosquitos and other pests.

It is not just standard houses that are affected by fallen leaves, blocks of flats and commercial buildings can also fall victim to the consequences of having blocked drains.  The responsibility to clear the drains will fall with the policy holder.

What can you do to prevent this?


The best way to initially reduce the build-up of leaf mulch within your drains is to plan in advance and cut away any branches imposing on your home in the summer months or in the very early stages of the season.  This will reduce the number of leaves falling into or near your drains, leaving you less to manage going forward.

Drain guards defend your drains without affecting water flow. They’re inexpensive, come in all shapes and sizes and are probably the most efficient way to keep your drains free of blowing leaves.


Whilst drain guards should protect from the majority of fallen leaves, all is not lost if you don’t decide to buy one. When the leaves start to fall, there are a few techniques you can implement in order to keep them at bay before the winter sets in. The obvious way is to get stuck in, grab some bin-liners and gloves, put some old clothes on and clear as much as you can. Focus on the areas near your drains but don’t forget the surrounding areas.

Another method is to buy or hire a specialised vacuum which sucks up all your leaves and debris. This is also helpful for pulling any leaves which have already fallen down into the drains. Alternatively, a leaf blower disperses the leaves in heavily-built-up areas but doesn’t get rid of them. This is useful if you don’t want to be left with a lot to clean up once you’re done.

Most issues relating to blocked drains are preventable with some simple maintenance. If left, what may seem a small problem can escalate into a much bigger issue.

If your home insurance provider deems the damage to be due to a result of negligence, improper use or lack of maintenance, they may not pay out for a claim.

About Lansdown

Lansdown Insurance Brokers are specialists in Block of flats insurance, Personal insurance and Business insurance. We are able to provide flexible policies to suit individual client needs and provide advice on what cover is needed. For more information call the team on 01242 524498.

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