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What do tree roots do to drains?

Tree roots grow close to the surface as they search for nutrients in soil, including water and oxygen. Moisture from drains and pipes are attractive areas for these roots looking for nourishment, especially at this time of year.

Studies have shown tree roots can grow to more than 20 feet (6 meters)!

The ground around pipes has often been disturbed, making it easier for roots to grow and travel along trenches dug for pipes and drains when compared to undisturbed earth.

The ground underneath driveways and patios are also porous and granular, which makes it easier for root systems to thrive underneath hard surfaces. As they grow under a driveway or patio, the pressure roots place under the surface can cause cracks to develop.

There are several points along a drainage system where roots can get in and cause problems. In many cases, roots only enter drains or pipes when they are already damaged or leaking. Over time, cracks and leaks can form from ordinary wear and tear.

A tree root can enter a drain or pipe along joints. Tree roots can also gain access through fractures or cracks that form on the surface of a pipe, causing them to get larger as the root grows. Regardless of where a root gains access, once in a drainage system a growing tree root can lead to blockages, leaks and even ruptured or burst pipes.

If you have large trees in your garden or around the perimeter of your property, a simple drain check or CCTV survey now could save you hassle and a large bill in the future.

Blocked Drain filled with Tree Roots
Blocked Drain filled with Tree Roots

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