How to Clean Culvert Pipes Under Your Driveway

Culvert pipes are essential for homeowners whose driveways are constantly washed out during the rains. They are installed under the driveway to allow the flow of water from one side to the other without flooding it. However, sometimes, runoff during heavy rains or after a storm can carry with it stones, sand, mud, and other debris which can easily block your culvert pipes. When this happens, you will have to unblock and clean the pipes to avoid damage to your property.

Effects of clogged culvert pipes

Clogged culvert pipes can cause expensive damages to your driveway. If your driveway is not sealed, water can seep through the material, weaken its structure, and cause small cracks and holes. If these cracks are not repaired in time and the driveway sealed, they will cause large potholes which will cost you even more for repairs. This damage can be avoided by cleaning the pipe once you see any signs of blockage.

Tools for unclogging culvert pipes

The installation of culvert pipes is such that you can easily access the entry and exit points of the runoff.  For cleaning, you will need a shovel, a pipe, and a culvert cleaning tool. A culvert cleaning tool is a hoe-like equipment with a pivoting joint used for pulling debris out of culvert pipes.

Before purchasing a culvert cleaning tool, you should know the size of the culvert pipe under your driveway. This should direct you on the right tool to buy. Pipes are usually available in standard sizes, so getting the ideal tool shouldn't be a problem.

How to unclog a culvert pipe

Follow the following steps to unclog and clean your culvert pipe.

•    Use a shovel to remove debris from the area around the culvert pipe. You can also clear an inch or two inside the pipe depending on how far the shovel can go.

•    Take the culvert cleaning tool and attach it to a pipe that's long enough to reach the middle of the culvert. You can easily access the other half through the opposite side of the culvert pipe.

•    Insert the tool into the pipe and pull out to clear the debris. Repeat this on the opposite side as well until the entire culvert pipe is clean.

Once you are done, ensure the area around the pipe is free from debris which can easily find its way inside the pipe and cause blockage again.

The process of unblocking a culvert pipe under your driveway should be relatively easy. To avoid difficulties, always unclog the pipe immediately when you notice debris in or around it. You don't have to wait till the entire pipe is clogged to have it cleaned.