Dealing with a collapsed drain

Drainage systems are generally robust and rarely need much looking after as long as they are maintained well. However, if you have noticed problems in and around your home such as blockages or drains overflowing you may well be dealing with a collapsed drain.

Here we explore how to recognise the signs of a collapsed drain and what you should do.

How does a drain collapse?

There can be several reasons as to why a drain may collapse but perhaps the most common reason is through blockages in the pipes from a result of poor drain maintenance, which in turn causes water to be lost into the ground. This continual flooding puts pressure on the drainage system as a whole and eventually causes the drain to collapse.

If you live in an old property you may encounter drainage issues simply because they are old. If a drain does collapse simply through old age it may be better to completely replace the drain. If this should happen make sure you get a quote from a reputable company who will be able to discuss your drainage options and suggest products such as the Harmer SML below ground drainage systems with you.

Key signs to identify a collapsed drain


Blockages and backed up sewers

If your drain has collapsed your sewage will not be able to move through the pipe which will cause it to back up. If this is the case you will almost definitely be able to smell a strong smell of sewage in and around your home. You should try unblocking your drains as a first port of call as a blockage can also cause these issues. If the blockage is removed the smell of sewage and any back up will disappear, whereas with a collapsed drain these issues will remain.


Another tell tale sign that all may not be well with your drains is the presence of rodents on your property. Rats love drains for obvious reasons and if the system is accessible then they will start to take up residence moving closer and closer to your home, especially if the sewers are backed up. Deal with the infestation as a priority and then you should look into sorting the drainage problem out immediately. You can find out more about how to get rid of rats by following the link –


If you start noticing damp patches on your floors or walls this too could be a sign of a drainage problem. Damp can often be a sign that waste water is not leaving the property as it should be and instead is pooling in and under your home.

clogged sink in house - release the blockage with rubber plunger

Drainage issues

Slow running drains can also be a common sign of a drainage collapse. This could be from anywhere in your home so make sure you check your kitchen sinks, bathroom sinks, showers and baths. A one time blockage tends to build up over time so explore this avenue first and see if you can solve the problem by unblocking your drain first. You can also arrange a CCTV survey of your drains if you are in doubt as to what is causing your drainage problem.

If your property does have a collapsed drain, check your buildings insurance policy to see if you can claim on your insurance –