Blocked drains can be more than just frustrating for commercial property owners. Clogged or malfunctioning drains can cause business downtime, threaten the health and safety of everyone within the building, and result in expensive pipe repair and maintenance services. Because of this, every commercial premise owner must pay close attention to their building’s drain health. This includes preventing anything that shouldn’t be disposed of via the drains from being poured down the sink or flushed down the toilet.
If you work in an environment that handles oil and grease, such as a pub or restaurant, disposing of these items properly is especially important. Otherwise, you will likely have to deal with one of the most common commercial drainage issues: fat build-ups. To resolve the problems caused by fat build-ups, often known as fatbergs, you will need to begin by sourcing fat removal services from trusted drain clearance professionals.
Here, let’s take a look at what fatbergs are, how they can damage your drains, how to prevent them, and everything you need to know about fat removal and drain cleansing services.
How fatbergs cause drainage problems
First of all, what is a fatberg? Fatberg is the name given to a mass of waste that has clumped together inside a pipe and caused an obstruction. Typically, fatbergs are formed when items that shouldn’t be poured down the sink or flushed down the toilet, such as wet wipes, become stuck together. The glue? You guessed it: fat.
Fatbergs can cause significant damage if left untreated. They will simply keep growing until it’s almost impossible for other liquids to pass through. As you can imagine, this level of obstruction can cause significant drainage damage. Depending on how big the fatberg becomes, or how much the pipe struggles to allow efficient drainage, the undue pressure could lead to waste back-ups and cracked pipes.
There are some examples of large fatbergs that have even affected whole sewage systems, such as a 40-tonne fatberg found in London in 2019. In some areas, the mass of fat, wet wipes and other non-biodegradable items took up to 80% of the sewer’s capacity.
Although build-ups this large are caused by thousands of households and buildings, household and commercial building pipes aren’t immune to smaller fatbergs. Sometimes fat coats the internal lining of a pipe and slowly gets thicker and thicker, which will also restrict the pipe flow and cause many of the same issues as fat blockages.
How fatbergs cause business-related problems
As we’ve mentioned, fatbergs are often caused by items being improperly disposed of via drainage systems. This is common amongst homeowners who may deal with small fatbergs from putting vegetable peelings down the sink or failing to dispose of hardened cooking fat and simply washing it down the drain.
However, the problem is more likely to arise in commercial buildings with lots of staff members and employees using the bathrooms and sinks. For businesses, dealing with a drainage fat build-up could have severe consequences. These include:
- Further drainage issues: Dealing with slow-draining sinks is one thing, but repairing a cracked pipe is quite another! Regular drain maintenance is vital to preventing large-scale (and expensive) drain repairs, and a key part of this is making sure no fat or grease is poured down the sink.
- Business downtime: If your toilets start to back-up or your sinks are draining too slowly to work efficiently, you’ll struggle with business downtime. This might mean losing valuable employee working time or being forced to close your restaurant for a day to have the drains repaired.
- Health and safety issues: Whether you run a hotel or pub, the last thing you want is to compromise the health and safety of your employees and customers. However, fatbergs can cause unsanitary issues, such as toilet back-ups, that could lead to health-related problems.
As you can see, there are many reasons to make fatberg prevention part of your building maintenance routine. The easiest way to prevent fatbergs from forming is to make sure your staff know exactly what can and can’t be disposed of down the drain, and make sure a rule against flushing grease and oil is actively enforced.
Making sure your customers don’t flush unwanted items down the toilet can be more difficult, but it doesn’t hurt to put signage up to remind people what should be binned instead of flushed. If you notice that your toilets or sinks are draining more slowly than usual, this is a sign that it’s time to call your local drainage experts.
How fat removal services work
If you’ve spotted the telltale signs of a fatberg, then it’s time to call local drainage specialists to remove it for you. They’ll do this by using fat removal drain clearance services, which require high-pressured tools to break the mass apart. It’s important to remember that these objects can be almost rock-solid, so no amount of pouring hot water down the sink is likely to budge a large fatberg.
So, how do fat removal services work? At Drainage Consultants, we have the high-tech equipment needed to remove fatbergs efficiently and without causing damage to the pipes. We start by identifying the location of the fat build-up and then using high-powered water jets to weaken the mass of fat and other items. By breaking it apart, we can make sure it doesn’t travel further down the pipe and become more difficult to resolve.
Once the fatberg has been broken apart, our drainage experts can then remove the pieces using the most appropriate technique. The technique we use will depend on the position of the mass; if we can do so manually, then we will. However, depending on the size of the remaining fat build-up, it may need to be excavated using vacuum technology.
Why fat removal services are so important
As we’ve discussed, fat-related blockages could be detrimental to your business - so it’s vital to deal with them as soon as possible. Fat removal services are more effective than any shop-bought drain cleaner, so it’s always best to hire drainage experts to take care of the issue professionally. Remember - trying to deal with the problem yourself (or ignoring it and hoping it will resolve itself) could cause severe pipe damage. On the other hand, your chosen drain specialists will be able to remove fat and any other unwanted items from your pipes safely.
At Drainage Consultants, we are proud to offer convenient and cost-effective fat removal services, but believe that prevention is better than any treatment. If we can prevent fat-related blockages from affecting your drains, then we’ll go above and beyond to try and make this happen. This includes recommending that you fit a grease separator, sometimes known as a grease trap, if you have a treatment plant or are preparing to install a treatment plant.
A grease separator does what the name suggests; it prevents grease and oil from being flushed down your pipes. If fat and oil are somehow washed down your sink, then the grease separator will trap them before they mix with the wastewater. This can prevent fat build-ups from blocking your septic tank or contaminating the wastewater further.
To learn more about our fat removal services or the many other drain maintenance services we offer to pubs, restaurants and other commercial establishments, don’t hesitate to contact us today.
Drainage Consultants: Specialist fat removal services based in Stockport
If you are experiencing drainage problems, then you needn’t look further than Stockport-based Drainage Consultants for reliable and efficient solutions. Our drain experts work across the country providing highly-specialised drain maintenance and repair services to domestic and commercial clients, offering everything from emergency drain clearance to CCTV surveys, leak detection, sonar drain tracing and localised patch lining.
No matter your requirements, you can rely on Drainage Consultants for exceptional service. Please don’t hesitate to contact us today for further information or a free consultation. We look forward to working with you.