How Do I Find Out If Tree Roots Are Blocking My Drains?

Tree roots

Trees line our gardens and our roads, adding some colour to our surroundings and helping to make the outdoors look that little bit nicer. However, as well as being pleasing to the eye , tree roots are not exactly the best of friends with the drains that run under our homes and roads. Tree root ingress can cause serious, expensive and even dangerous problems in drainage systems, and in this article we are going to look at how you can spot tree root ingress on your property.

How tree roots get into your drains

Tree roots, by their very nature, are constantly seeking water and nourishment, which means they snake through the soil until they find the nutrients they need. However, tree roots won’t be put off by a pipe blocking their way, and that means they will end up forcing their way through it. Once they are inside the pipe or drain, they will then slowly fill the pipe with various offshoots. Now, it may seem like the only course of action in the event of root ingress is to remove the tree from which the roots are coming. This isn’t always the best course of action, but if the roots have already broken through your pipes, then unfortunately there is no resolution, apart from total drain replacement.

What damage can tree roots do to your drains?

Unfortunately, tree roots can cause serious damage to your drains if ingress is not caught and dealt with before it’s too late. As mentioned above, if the roots are able to break into the pipes, they will fill said pipe with offshoots at the point of entry. It won’t be noticeable at first, but soon there will be signals: slow drainage and low water pressure being two of the key indicators. While the drains are still working in some capacity, and things like toilet paper and grease are sent down the pipes, the roots will catch them and form some almighty blockages. These blockages, if not fixed quickly, can soon lead to pipes bursting – the worst possible outcome for drainage systems.

At best, there will be leaks and some foul-smelling waste that needs to be cleaned up. Repairs and replacements will likely be required for your drains if it’s more serious. At worst, your property and those around it are at risk of flooding, which can cost eye-watering amounts of money to come back from, as well as putting you/your family/your staff/visitors/neighbours in danger.

How can a drainage company help me find out if tree roots are blocking my drains?

The perfect people to assist with tree root issues in drainage systems are professional drainage engineers. We offer a CCTV drain survey service which is the most accurate and effective way of locating and identifying the sources of drainage problems. Using state of the art remote cameras, we will locate the epicentre of your issue and devise a solution for it, as well as dealing with your insurance company directly, providing a fixed quotation and all necessary evidence required to validate your claim.

If you think your drains have a problem but you are unsure what or where the problem exists, it is highly unlikely that a DIY job will be able to resolve it. Instead, it is recommended that you contact a professional, qualified drainage expert, who will be  on hand, fully equipped with the tools to identify and solve your issue safely and effectively. Even if you are not experiencing drainage issues, but nearby trees present a risk of root ingress, contacting a professional can help to identify the risk of  problems occurring in future, meaning costly work can be avoided, too.

Express Drainage Surveys offer a wide range of drain services, including CCTV drain surveys. We offer two packages for our drain survey services: Look & See and Comprehensive, so whether you’re a homeowner, a building manager or a business owner, we have the tools and the skills to help you with any and all drainage problems. For more information, please get in touch with us today and we’ll be more than happy to help.