Pipe Relining Blog

What can happen if you don't fix a leak in your drain?

What can happen if you don't fix a leak in your drain?

Unfortunately, leaky drains don't receive as much attention as split mains water pipes. Obviously, the fact that the water pipe is probably increasing the water bill creates a lot of urgency, however, in reality, both issues could cost you in the short and definitely in the long term.

Fix a leaky drain

We all know what can happen if a water main breaks inside your house. Flood damage. Even if the leak is very small it can lead to significant damage over a few days or weeks within a wall or cabinet.

A leaking drain can have just as damaging an effect on your home and garden as a cracked pipe, the difference is the problems are usually not immediately visible so will often go unnoticed for weeks, months or extreme cases, years. By then they could have affected extensive damage to your property or caused a range of issues which you might not even realise are related to the leak.

The sneaky symptoms of a leaky drain can include bad odours around the house, termites, repeated blocked drains, as well as a host of other problems.


If you were to design a perfect termite home it would be in a warm, moist environment with plenty of nearby damp decaying wood for food. This is the exact habitat which can develop around a leak in your drain. Timber walls or decking, other wooden structures or even dead logs and stumps in your yard can quickly become infested with termites when water is escaping keeping the area constantly wet.

Blocked drains

How can something moving out of an object possibly block it up? A few things can cause this to happen.

The first being a break or rough surface around a crack in an otherwise smooth pipe can cause objects or substances moving along the drain to catch. Even if in the beginning it is only a few small bits, they, in turn, cause more stuff to become stuck on the crack eventually creating a partial or fully blocked drain.

Usually, this is easily cleared by your plumber but because of the crack, it will continue to occur, meaning your drain will clog up over and over until the break in the pipe is repaired.

The second cause can be tree root intrusion, this occurs when nearby trees, bushes or plants discover the moisture and nutrient source coming from the broken drain and follow it to the crack itself. At first, the roots can cause other bits floating along the drain to become stuck gradually filling the drain. However, eventually, the roots can grow within the pipe blocking it totally.

This type of blockage will also reoccur even after being cut out by a drain specialist because the roots will just grow back through the original crack.

Smelly drains

The beauty of a modern plumbing system is it takes all the stuff we really don't want to have to deal with and quickly moves it away from our homes into a very efficient system which sorts it all out for us. A leaky drain is a flaw in this super adept system which enables some of the unpleasant stuff to stick around in your drains or the area around the crack causing a pong of epic proportions.

Ground movement

Liquids seeping through the ground within your property can bring about all sorts of trouble and if left for long enough even a slow leaking drain can potentially undermine the stability of:

  • paving
  • gardens
  • garden beds or structures
  • lawns
  • large trees
  • retaining walls. holes in the lawn sinkholes

The lesson in all this is to keep a diligent eye on what's going on around your property and to repair drain leaks as soon as you discover them which can prevent a lot of other issues developing in the future.

Speak to your drain repair specialist if you suspect there are problems with your drains a leak detection inspection can quickly pick up cracks and pipe patching provides straightforward repairs for even the most hard to reach drains.

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