Tree roots are probably the biggest cause of blocked drains, pipes and sewer systems in the UK. Tree roots thrive on oxygen, and don’t grow in pipes that are full of water. They love warm, moist, and nutrient rich environments. If you have roots in your system water will not be able to flow through your drains easily and will cause a build-up of waste in your pipes. This will in turn cause slow drainage to your sewer system. The drain damage from having this happen can be both vast and expensive.

Seeing signs visually is difficult due to the pipework being underground, so knowing what else to look for is key to getting the problem sorted.

Some facts and contributing factors to ingress roots are:

  • Old pipes with joints, shallow, or small pipes are more prone to root growth
  • The fewer joints in sewer lines, the less possibility for root growth
  • Large, fast growing trees are the biggest contributor to root growth in drains
  • Tree roots that penetrate deep within the drain are called ‘anchor roots’. They can surround pipes that are intact without causing issues. The damage occurs when there is a crack in the pipe as this allows the roots to get in there and begin to thrive.

What are the biggest signs of having tree roots in your drains?

A big sign of having tree roots in your drains is water in your home draining slower than usual. Waste will combine and get tangled in tree roots which causes everything to slow down as the water finds it difficult to pass through and is unable to flow through the system. This will result in sinks, showers baths and toilets to drain slowly.

Sinkholes can also be an indication tree roots are in your pipes. Tree roots cause holes in your drainpipe and cause water to leak out onto your garden. Areas of your garden will then be saturated with wastewater which will create muddy areas. You’ll get soft spots, and these will eventually sink in and cause sinkholes.

How Do Tree Roots Get Into Your Drains?

Tree roots gain access to your drain system via the pipe joints, fractures, cracks and through inspection chamber walls and benching. The majority of the drainage systems within the UK are constructed from clay pipes, jointed using sand & cement. These joints offer little resistance to fine tree roots which once inside develop into tap roots and root masses which then reduce the internal bore of the pipe. More modern systems installed using rubber-sealed couplings are still prone to root ingress.

How To Repair Root Damaged Drains?

At Ecoflow we have multiple methods that we can use to remove tree roots from drains. Our specialist engineers will start by running a CCTV survey of the systems pipes to determine the extent and severity of the damage. This process can show you the exact issues and location of any root’s ingress. The engineers will fully clear out the pipe. If the tree roots have accessed the system via its joints, and there has been no major displacement to those joints, the system can be root cut and in many cases relined with a pipe liner, sometimes referred to as trenchless pipe repair. Lining the drains eliminates having nay joins in the pipework of a system and will therefore reduce the likeliness of the roots getting back into your drains. If there has been major displacement to the joints or severe fracturing, then excavation may be the only resolution. Our expert engineers will assess the damage after the CCTV and advice the best option for your system

Have tree root ingress? Contact Ecoflow

If you’re unsure as to whether you have tree roots in your drains, you can give us a call to arrange for one of our expert engineers to perform a CCTV survey. We carry out CCTV drain surveys and drain repairs in all locations throughout the south of England.

If you need drain repair due to tree root ingress, contact us today on 0330 133 4104 and book an appointment.