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Stop Your Drains Getting Blocked in Winter

blocked drain with rubble & leaves

The bitterly cold winter months are upon us, and as well as turning up the thermostat, we’re going to need to take extra care to make sure that our drains don’t fall victim to blockages. Blocked drains are an inconvenience at best and a serious problem at worst, and in winter drainage problems can hit a little harder. As we need hot water to keep us warm in the cold months, 1st Call Drain Clearance have created a rundown of the top five most common drain blockages, and how you can prevent them.


Hair falls from our heads every day without us noticing, but when that hair gets down the plughole and into our drains, it can start to cause problems. Hair, combined with our toiletries like soap, shower gel and lotions can form unpleasant solid masses which stick in our drains and block the flow of water. You might be able to remove some hair yourself (although it’s an unpleasant task), but the real risk comes from the hair descending further into the drainage system. Be sure to regularly pour drain cleaner down your plug holes to keep them clean. 


Outdoor drains are particularly susceptible to rogue leaves, especially in the winter months when trees are shedding their foliage. Be sure to keep an eye on any outdoor drains and guttering for build ups of leaves – make sure that drain grates are in place, rather than leaving open gaps – this will help to reduce the number of leaves that slip in. The best preventative measures are regular gutter and drain grate inspections – if you notice a build-up of leaves, clear them out. 

Fats and food

When you’re clearing up after cooking, it can be easy to run plates under the tap even if they have little scraps of food on them. Whilst this looks unproblematic at first sight, the food can stick in the drains. The same goes for fats and oils used when cooking – hot oil will disappear down the plughole, but once it’s in the drains it will start to cool and solidify, which can cause serious blockages. 

Freezing pipes

Pipes can freeze when temperatures are at their lowest, and this can cause serious problems. Firstly, when the water has frozen, it obviously can’t flow through the pipes, which means our taps, showers and toilets will stop working. Another issue is that the pipes themselves can be damaged by the ice, which can lead to costly repairs. On particularly cold days, run warm water over your drains outside to keep the temperatures regulated and to stop them freezing over. 

1st Call Drain Clearance are experts in drain clearance services for commercial and domestic properties alike. We can use our state of the art equipment and years of experience to fix your problem, whether it’s a minor fault or a major issue requiring urgent attention – contact us today and we’ll be happy to help.

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