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Dealing With Tree Roots

Dealing With Tree Roots

Tree roots are one of the most major causes of blockages within drains, pipes, and sewers throughout Britain. They are in many ways similar to a regular blockage and have the same warning signs such as backed up pipes or slowed draining. However, they are much more likely to lead to worse problems such as drain collapses.

This blog will attempt to explain the phenomenon of tree root damage within drain systems, by answering what the roots will do, why roots are attracted to drainage systems, and what can be done about them. If you suspect that tree roots might have invaded your pipes and caused an issue, call Clark Drainage out for an inspection or CCTV survey on 0808 164 0776.

How Tree Roots Harm Drainage Systems

Tree root intrusion is an incredibly common problem in regards to drainage and sewage systems. This problem can lead to severe and expensive issues within your property and will get progressively worse if left unattended.


As trees grow and spread their roots, they will find compromised areas of your pipework to enter through. For example, they may find room to enter around the pipe joints as well as cracks and fractures throughout the pipe. As the roots grow inside the pipe, this will provide an increasingly substantial obstacle for the water to make its way past, limiting the flow.

Once they are inside the pipe, they will continue to grow. After enough time, the roots will ultimately take over your sewage system. This means that the vast majority of grease, household waste, grit, and plant matter will get caught up in the roots. It does not take long for a substantial root-based clog to have built up.

As the roots grow inside the crack that they entered, they will cause it to begin leaking, causing wastewater to soak the surrounding ground. As the invading roots continue to grow and get a foothold, the entire structure of the pipe is compromised. As this growth continues the pipe becomes so weak that the weight of the soil above causes an all-out collapse.

What Can Be Done About Tree Roots

When it comes to dealing with troublesome tree roots, it really is a job for professional drainage technicians. Not only are we required to diagnose and find the problem, but we have the cutting-edge technology to deal with the issue appropriately.

When our technicians arrive at your property, they will undertake an inspection to try and identify exactly where the problem is. Due to our practical expertise in this area, this is often possible. In fact, occasionally the signs are so apparent that you might even be able to show us exactly where it is!

However, every case is different. From time to time the location of the clog could be so elusive that we need to get a much closer look to actually pinpoint its location. When this takes place, our technicians have the skills and technology to carry out a full CCTV drain survey. This involves guiding a camera on the end of a long sturdy wire through the system; giving is a high-definition view of where and what the problem is.

Why Do Tree Roots Go for Drain Pipes?

While many people assume that merely removing a nearby tree will fix the problem, this is not the case. The drain will remain damaged and compromised by the invasive roots, which will mean any pre-existing leakage problems will simply continue. Furthermore, the gap already created by the previous roots are absolutely ripe to be entered again.

Instead, we will use out high-pressure water jetting technology to cut through the roots. By using a high enough setting, the water will slice the roots clean apart, washing them away down the pipe. In addition, the water will do no damage at all to the pipe itself.

Depending on the severity of gap the tree has created, it may be possible to seal the damage using a drain liner. This ‘in situ’ lining does not require excavation, therefore avoiding disruption. Instead, the lining is inserted into the drain in order to seal the gap and prevent roots from re-entering from the same place.

However, it may be the case that the damage is so severe that the drain has collapsed. Naturally, no amount of drain liner will fix this issue. In this event, we will have to undertake excavation in order to remove the broken section of pipe and replace it. Modern pipes are designed in order to resist invasive tree roots, which is a practical long-term solution.

While excavation can be a disruptive and expensive ordeal with many companies, Clark Drainage is committed to providing the most cost-effective and efficient solutions to drainage problems. Excavation is never good news, but with us, it certainly isn’t bad news!

Why Do Tree Roots Go for Drain Pipes?

For a start, tree roots can grow several metres in length, and it is not unusual to find some that measure in at over ten metres. This means that it is not always clear what tree is the problematic one. Furthermore, while they may not actively seek out cracks and fractures, they cover a lot of ground and will find them eventually.

Roots naturally relish in drain pipes, however, because it provides a constant source of water filled with nutrients. In addition, any water that has condensed on the outside of the pipe or that has escaped through the leak is a sign to exploring roots that they are close to a dream food source.

Need Some Tree Roots Removed?

If you think you might be facing a root-related clog, it is time to bring in some professionals. We will have the blockage located and destroyed in a matter of no time and will take any necessary further steps to ensure the problem does not reoccur.

To make an enquiry or organise a job, call us now on 0808 164 0776.

Alternatively, fill in the contact form to the right of this page, and we will be in touch as soon as we can.

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25th January 2019

Very Helpful

Clark Drainage were very helpful when I called, they handled the problem promptly and friendly, our drainage system is in a very tight location and I was impressed they managed to resolve it so quickly.

John Taylor
25th January 2019

Great Work

Professional Job, fixed in no time at all.

Laura McDonald
25th January 2019

Highly Recommendable

Would certainly recommend Clark Drainage to friends and family.

Kim Phelps

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