While it may not be immediately obvious, the roots of trees and hedges have the potential to cause damage to underground pipe networks. For homeowners, damage to pipes can mean a lot of hassle, so below you will find a rundown of the possible complications you may face from root damage if pipes are not looked after properly and the remedies available to contractors.
The Various Ways Roots Can Cause Drainage Problems
When planting trees or hedges, it’s important to be aware of any pipe networks underground as root structures can cause backups, blockages and even damage to pipes.
Cracks and Loose Connectors
The cause of most root problems is a crack in a pipe or a poor connection. Roots are attracted to the vapours that escape from any structurally compromised piping, so it’s important to make sure there are no trees planted over pipe networks. You can never be sure that sewer laterals, for example, are in perfect condition, but you can make sure roots are kept away.
Roots are always searching for water, oxygen and nutrients. As pipes – especially sewer systems – contain plenty of these things, roots will readily infiltrate where possible. Where a root system has started to grow inside a pipe, there is an increased chance that debris such as tissue paper and fats could become stuck, causing the pipe to flow slower.
In such cases, it’s important to prevent further infiltration before blockages and damage occur. One sign to look out for with drainage flow issues is gurgling noises from the toilet.
If a root structure has been growing for some time in a pipe, it will have taken over the inside space, causing considerable flow issues. Over time, debris will have collected and narrowed or even blocked the flow of drainage contents.
At this point, it’s essential to call out an engineer to remove and replace the affected pipe. In the case of sewage systems, a backed up pipe structure can be particularly unpleasant if the pipe bursts or breaks.
After enough time, the pressure exerted by a growing root structure on a pipe will cause it to break. Whether the pipe is for sewage, drainage or water, one that is broken will serve no function at all as the contents will spill out into the surrounding soil.
For sewer pipes that connect the house drainage system to the main sewer pipes, any damage or blockages are the liability of the homeowner. On the other hand, roots from a council-planted tree are the responsibility of the council, as well as public places.
The Tools Available to Engineers for Tackling Root Problems
To ensure that any pipes on your property are in good condition, it’s advisable to have them checked and serviced regularly. For removing roots, an engineer will use various methods such as high pressure flushing, root sawing and the use of an auger, which is a flexible drill designed to break-up blockages.
Here at Express Drainage Solutions, our expert team are on hand to carry out repairs of all drains suffering from root ingress. With CCTV drain surveys available, allowing us to accurately assess the location and extent of the damage, we provide full repairs and any necessary relining at highly competitive rates.
Get in touch today to find out more.