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Five Tell-Tale Signs You Might Have A Collapsed Drain

Suspect you might have a collapsed drainpipe? Here are 5 ways you’ll be able to tell if you do.

Drainage systems: the unsung heroes that help keep our homes intact.

Many homeowners overlook their importance and neglect drain maintenance – yet it still comes as a surprise when something goes wrong.

A collapsed drain is one of the most extreme yet most common issues, and is usually the result of years’ worth of poor maintenance.

But how can you tell if there is a collapsed drain?

In this article, the drainage experts at Total Pipeline Systems reveal five tell-tale signs that you might have a collapsed drain.

1. Strong sewage smells

This is one of the earliest warning signs that your drainpipes are damaged. You might notice a sewage smell around the drain cover or inside your home.

The smell is caused by backups and blockages, and if it still lingers after intense cleaning, you likely have a collapsed pipe on your hands.

2. Signs of damp or mould

When drains are damaged, the flow of water through your home will be affected, which inevitably leads to the wastewater creating damp patches on your walls and ceilings.

And we all know what damp spots can lead to. Mould.

Mould creates an extremely unhealthy living environment – especially for young children and the elderly.

If mould, accompanied by a strong stench of sewage, has started to appear around your home, your drainpipe has likely collapsed, and you should get it checked out as soon as possible.

3. Sewage backups

As you can probably guess, collapsed drainpipes don’t work very well.

There’s no way that sewage can move through a collapsed pipe, so naturally, it gets backed up.

A one-off blockage isn't usually something to worry about, but if they're happening regularly, a collapsed drain is likely the culprit.

A thorough inspection of your drains will allow you to identify any damaged or misaligned pipes and sort the problem before it gets any worse.

4. Cracks and structural damage

Believe it or not, problematic drains can cause serious structural damage to your property.

In particularly severe cases, where the pipe sits underneath the structural points of the property, cracks may form – either along the floors or up the walls.

This will only happen if a collapsed drainpipe has been left in a state of disrepair for a considerable amount of time. It’s vital to investigate as soon as you notice any structural damage – rather than just repairing the cracks themselves. They’ll only continue to reappear if your drainpipe remains collapsed.

5. Poor drainage

One of the first signs of damaged drains is a sudden drop in performance.

Slow or poor drainage suggests a blockage somewhere down the line, which often is caused by a collapsed drainpipe.

Once the blockage has been cleared, the pipe will need to be repaired or replaced to counter your drainage issue.

Build an effective drainage system with Total Pipes

The only real remedy for collapsed drains is replacing the affected pipes altogether – and we can help here at Total Pipeline Systems.

We stock an impressive selection of high-quality underground drainage supplies – including chambers, twin-wall pipes, gullies, and traps.

To find out more about our underground drainage supplies, or for expert recommendations, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team.

Call 01254 382 000 to chat with us directly, or send us an email at and we’ll be in touch as soon as we can!