Drainage specialist Drain Claim is urging homeowners in the South of England to get to know their properties by carrying out a CCTV survey of their drainage systems. Unique to homes built in the South are pitch fibre pipes, used in the 1950s until the 1970s, they were cheaper, easier to lay and came in longer lengths than clay pipes. However, they have weak ‘push-fit’ connecting joints and collapse, flatten or deform with external pressure.
“If you live in the South it is wise to find out what your drains are made of,” says Drain Claim CEO David Hayes. “Have a CCTV survey of your drainage system carried out check for pitch fibre and, should you be unlucky enough to have a problem, contact a specialist like Drain Claim.”
In addition, pitch fibre often suffers from inappropriate and inadequately compacted surround material, or the use of bricks or other hard objects to set the line of the pipe, which damage the joints over time.
Consequently pitch fibre pipes are highly susceptible to damage from tree roots, sharp edges from bricks and masonry that can protrude through pipe walls, vehicle movement above the pipes and subsidence. This leads to a multitude of problems, including repeated blockages, toilets that won’t flush and flooding both inside and outside a property.
“If you have accidental damage cover you should be able to claim on your home insurance but check the policy wording carefully,” continues David. “Insurers will often try to wriggle out of paying, leaving you with a massive bill. We manage insurance claims for customers and negotiate with insurers to secure settlements in legitimate cases, so it is always worth giving us a call.
“Also, if you are buying a property in the South, especially an older one, then carrying out a CCTV survey of the drainage system is essential because buildings insurance does not tend to cover problems that originated during the tenancy of the previous owner. This means you could end up liable for any damage.”