What is a collapsed drain?

A drain that is broken or collapsed due to the heavy pressure of water is known as the collapsed drain. This majorly happens to the drain pipes that have suffered enough wear and tear. Drain pipes that are usually meant to lead the water away from the building, with collapsed drains, the exact opposite happens. Water builds up and causes the foundation to rot.

What causes collapsed drains?

  • Root Ingress Tree roots can grow into the drain pipes and lead them to crack. Over time, the crack can aggravate and cause your drainage pipes to collapse.
  • Wear and Tear As the building becomes older the pipelines also suffer wear and tear prominent enough to cause a collapsed drain.
  • Ground Movement Any misalignment of the drains due to ground movement caused by structural settings or flood can lead to the collapse of the drains.
  • Cold Weather The phenomenon of groundwater freezing during winter and melting again when it’s warm can lead to the sagging of the drains. Sagged drains are prone to get collapsed.

Signs of collapsed drains

The detrimental effects of collapsed drains on a building are drastic. From rotting of the foundation, sewage leaking to damp and mould formation, collapsed drains if not rectified or left ignored can be catastrophic to the building. So here are some signs that you must watch out for:

  • Slow-moving drain: If drains are collapsed, then water in the pipes may empty very slow. So if you face this issue, approach a professional to find the cause.
  • Sewage smells: Foul smell coming from the kitchen, toilet and bathroom could be a very possible sign of collapsed drains. This can also happen due to other drainage issues but it’s always worthwhile to get it checked.
  • Damp or mould on the building: Water from the collapsed drain can seep into the building causing patches or spots of mould or dampness.
  • Subsidence: Sinking of the building could be a sign of an underlying drainage problem such as collapsed drainage pipes.
  • Cracks in wall or floor: Due to foundation rot there can be structural damage, so look for damages inside and outside your building.
  • On another note, do you pour cooking oil & grease down the drain? Stop doing that right away. Know how oil or grease can clog your drain?

On another note, do you pour cooking oil & grease down the drain? Stop doing that right away. Know how oil or grease can clog your drain?


Prevention of drains from getting collapsed is possible. Get your drainage system regularly monitored and checked through a CCTV drain survey. By doing this, you will know what is happening in every nook and corner of your drainage system. So add a CCTV drain survey into your yearly home maintenance plan and get yourself free from the catastrophic damages caused by collapsed drains.
Need to know more about CCTV drain surveys? Tap here.