Looking After Your Drains in the Winter

When the seasons shift to winter, our drains are more susceptible to damage, blockages, and freezing due to the lower temperatures. If you’re not careful about your drains, then it could lead to extensive damage to your plumbing system and other similar issues that will inconvenience you. So in order to reduce the possibility of this happening, you may want to start looking after your drains before and during the winter.

In this article, we’ll be taking a look at some of the best ways to look after your drain and what you should be doing to keep them in good condition.

How to take care of your drains in winter

When it comes to taking care of your drains in winter, the main goal is to focus on minimising any potential damage that you might cause to the drain. This will involve building up good habits when it comes to how you dispose of liquid and waste, but also knowledge on how to identify if there are drainage problems.

So here are a couple of tips that you should be following.

Let the water run in your kitchen sink for a moment

Let’s face it, lots of us flush things down the kitchen sink that we’re not supposed to. It’s usually not a big deal as the water will eventually wash away all the debris and bits of food. However, it could be a major problem in the winter because pipes can get really cold and eventually cause blockages due to frozen water or liquid debris. This may cause water and bits of food to travel slowly through the plumbing system, raising the chances of a blockage.

The purpose of running the water in your kitchen sink for a moment is to assist in flushing away all the debris before you add more to the build-up. Ideally, you’ll want to be very careful about what you pour down the drain so that you don’t exacerbate the problem and add more.

Avoid pouring fat and oil into the drains

When cleaning up after cooking or meals, it’s common for people to pour fat and oil down their drains to be washed away with bits of food and water. Unfortunately, cold weather can cause these oils and fats to set faster, increasing the risk of blockages. Oil and fat can easily cling to the sides of these pipes, making it difficult for anything to be flushed through the system.

To avoid this, don’t pour any oil or fat into your drains. Instead, dispose of it differently. This can include pouring it into cartons to be thrown away with the rest of your trash. This means less potential for damage to your drains and plumbing system. If you’ve accidentally poured some fat or oil into your drain, then running some hot water and letting it flush through your pipes can help remove any build-up that is clinging to your pipes.

Maintain any exterior drains that you have

Outdoor drains are usually most susceptible to damage because they are exposed to the elements. As such, you should be extra diligent about taking care of any outside drains. First, identify where these drains are so that you don’t miss any. Secondly, make sure you sweep away any debris that could be blocking the drains. This means twigs, leaves, and anything else that could fall into the drains to cause a blockage. Lastly, make sure you use some drain cleaner if you believe that there are blockages or anything else that could obstruct the drain from functioning correctly.

If you’re unsure about the conditions of your outdoor drains then you may want to have them inspected by an expert. A drain repair specialist can help you free any blockages and also give you options for preventing debris from causing a blockage in the future. 

Keeping the temperature warm in your home

If the temperature is one of the leading causes of blockages in your drains during winter, then keeping your home warm can help prevent these weather-related blockages. While it can seem costly to keep your home heated throughout the entire winter, using your home heating system to keep yourself warm helps to melt any ice in the pipes which can lower the chance of blockages. Depending on where your heating system is and where cold spots are, you may need to change the heating in specific rooms to ensure that it’s evenly heated.

For exterior pipes, you may want to consider cheap and effective insulation solutions such as circular foam tubing. This helps to keep the heat inside of the pipes so that they’re less likely to freeze from the outside weather.

Unblock drains as soon as possible

Depending on how cold the season gets, it might be inevitable that you face a frozen or blocked drain. If you notice that water is backing up or that there’s a lot of debris around your drains, then you’ll want to unblock it as quickly and as soon as possible to ensure minimum damage to your drainage system. The longer you leave these problems, the more damage they can cause to your home.

Drain cleaner is one option for lighter blockages, but if it’s particularly bad then calling in an expert is the best option. They’ll ensure that your drains are cleared and also offer advice on how to ensure it doesn’t happen again. This may include adding insulation to your pipes or suggesting regular maintenance tips.


Taking care of your drains in the winter means being diligent about how you use your plumbing system. You have to be more careful about what you pour down your drains, but you also have to be mindful of the temperatures in and around your home to prevent pipes from freezing and debris from getting stuck in them.

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