When Should I Clean Out… Grease Traps, Gutters, Drains & Plugholes?

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Cleaning out your grease traps, drains, plugholes and gutters can be hard and horrible work, but proper maintenance of these systems is vital to keeping your home or business clean, safe and free from damage. If you’ve been putting off any of these jobs, or just want to know more about when and how to carry them out, here’s a quick guide:

Gutters

 

When to clean them:

Cleaning out your gutters regularly is important for preventing blockages and damage from misdirected water. The rule of thumb with gutters is to clean them out at least twice a year – at the end of autumn when all the leaves have fallen and at the beginning of spring to prevent the growth of unwanted plants and weeds in any trapped soil and silt. However, there are a few factors that might mean you need to declutter your gutter a bit more regularly – for example, if your house is located in heavily wooded areas where there are lots of trees, or has a complicated roof that provides plenty of opportunity for blockages. In these cases, gutters can need to be cleaned around twice a season during leaf fall.

How to clean them:

Gutter clearing is quite an inexact science. You can use many different tools from leaf-blowers to hose pipes, as long as you’re making sure you clear absolutely all debris and plant life. The biggest issue is safety; make sure your ladder is secure and have someone there to hold it if possible. Avoid standing or leaning on unstable roof tiles and move methodically around the gutter system rather than trying to reach out towards trickier areas.

 

Plugholes

Drainage resolutions 2017

When to clean them:

Lots of people think plugholes can be left alone until signs of blockage, but the truth is that the deadly combination of damp, warmth and darkness can make plugholes a breeding ground for bacteria. Prevention is better than cure, so you really ought to be cleaning plugholes weekly to avoid build-up and germs.

How to clean them:

Luckily, maintaining plugholes can be quite easy as long as you keep on top of it; a simple kettle of boiling water once a week can clear soap scum and grease effectively. If things are a little too far gone for that, however, there are a few more robust options: tweezers, wire coat hangers and plungers can all remove blockages, while a bicarbonate and vinegar solution (or industrial drain cleaner) is a less hands-on option if you’re squeamish.

 

Drains

Drain and sewer responsibility

When to clean them:

Of course, beyond the plughole is an entire drain system that also needs maintaining. As well as avoiding clogging your drains by emptying grease and oil elsewhere, you should be aiming to give your drains a clean at least once a month to avoid blockages.

How to clean them:

Many of the techniques you use to clean your plugholes will work on your drains too: flush them out with boiling water once a week or give them more of a deep clean with some vinegar and bicarb or soda crystals every month.

 

Grease Traps

When to clean them:

The unsung hero of the restaurant world, grease traps are vital for preventing backlogs and costly flooding. In order to keep them in good working order, grease traps ought to be emptied and cleaned once every three months at least – although busier restaurants might need to increase this to monthly.

How to clean them:

This is a job to be left until the end of the day when everything has been cleared and cleaned. Carefully remove your grease trap lid and remove any excess water with a bucket. Then scoop out the grease – making sure to scrape as much as you can from the sides and the bottom – before scrubbing the whole trap and replacing it carefully.

 

Let us do it for you

If you don’t fancy scaling your roof with a dry vac, or if that drain blockage has simply become too much to handle, you can always let us do the hard work for you. Here at Anglia Drain Doctor, we can handle regular drain clearance, grease trap cleaning, and gutter clearing, as well as any maintenance and repairs you need to keep those systems working. Contact us today to organise a visit from your local technician.

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