How Do You Remove Tree Roots from Drains in the UK? image
Drains & Surveys /

How Do You Remove Tree Roots from Drains in the UK?

Tree roots intruding into drainage systems can cause significant issues for homeowners in the UK. These invasive roots can clog pipes, cause blockages, and even lead to costly damage if left untreated. Understanding the impact of tree roots on drains is crucial for maintaining a functional and efficient drainage system. 

1. Understanding the Impact of Tree Roots on Drainage Systems

1.1 How Tree Roots Can Cause Drainage Issues

Tree roots are like little explorers searching for water and nutrients. Unfortunately, they often stumble upon drainage systems and decide to make it their new home. As these roots grow, they can infiltrate pipes and drains, causing blockages and damage. It’s like having unwanted house guests squatting in your plumbing.

1.2 Common Drainage Problems Caused by Tree Roots

When tree roots infiltrate drainage systems, they can create all sorts of problems. One common issue is the roots wrapping around pipes, constricting the flow of wastewater. This can lead to slow draining or even complete blockages. In some cases, the roots can penetrate the pipes, causing cracks and leaks. It’s a nightmare for your plumbing and your sanity.

1.3 The Importance of Identifying Tree Root Intrusion Early

Spotting tree root intrusion early is key to preventing major drainage disasters. The longer those pesky roots have to wreak havoc in your pipes, the worse the situation becomes. So keep an eye out for any signs of trouble, like slow drains or foul odors. Trust me, you don’t want to be dealing with a sewage backup in your basement. No one looks good in waders.

2. Signs and Symptoms of Tree Root Infestation in Drains

2.1 Unusual Drainage System Behaviour

Is your toilet gurgling like it’s trying to communicate with the spirit world? Or maybe your sink is taking its sweet time to drain, leaving a pool of water that’s starting to resemble a miniature lake? These are all signs that tree roots might be causing trouble in your drains. Don’t worry; it’s not a haunted house, just some unruly roots on their plumbing adventure.

2.2 Foul Odors and Sewage Backups

If you’re catching whiffs of something foul emanating from your drains, it’s time to investigate. Tree roots can cause blockages, leading to sewage backups and a stench that could knock out a Sumo wrestler. Trust your nose on this one and address the issue before it becomes a full-blown sewer catastrophe.

2.3 Slow Draining or Standing Water

If your bath or shower resembles a wading pool, it’s not a spa day gone wrong; it’s another sign of tree root invasion. When roots infiltrate drains, they disrupt the flow of water, causing slow drainage or even pooling. It’s not exactly a day at the water park, so let’s get those roots out of there.

3. Prevention and Maintenance Techniques for Tree Root Intrusion

3.1 Choosing Tree Species with Non-Invasive Root Systems

When planting trees near drainage systems, choose your greenery wisely. Opt for tree species with non-invasive root systems that won’t go on a plumbing rampage. Research before you plant, so you don’t end up regretting your horticultural choices later.

3.2 Proper Planting Distance from Drainage Systems

Give your drains some breathing room by planting trees at a safe distance. This reduces the chances of roots making their way into your plumbing. Let’s keep those roots in the ground where they belong, and not in your drains causing mayhem.

3.3 Regular Inspections and Maintenance

Stay on top of your plumbing game by conducting regular inspections and maintenance. Hire a professional to check your drainage systems periodically and catch any potential tree root intrusions before they become a full-on plumbing disaster. Prevention is always more affordable than a sewage-soaked basement. A professional drainage CCTV survey is the best way to find out how much damage has been caused and needs to be cleared.

4. Chemical Solutions for Treating Tree Roots in Drains

4.1 Herbicidal Foams and Solutions

When it comes to battling tree roots in drains, herbicidal foams and solutions can be your secret weapon. These products can be applied directly to the affected area, killing off those invasive roots like the superheroes of the plumbing world. Just remember to follow the instructions and use them safely. No capes required.

4.2 Root Killing Chemicals and Treatments

For those stubborn tree roots that refuse to take a hint, root killing chemicals and treatments can be your go-to solution. These mighty warriors attack the roots, dissolving them into oblivion. But, be cautious and use them responsibly. Remember, we’re fighting roots, not trying to create a chemistry experiment gone wrong.

4.3 Safety Considerations when Using Chemicals

Before going all “mad scientist” on those tree roots, remember to prioritize safety. Wear protective gear, follow the instructions of the products, and keep children and pets away from the chemical warfare zone. We want to get rid of roots, not unintentionally grow a third arm. Safety first.

5. Mechanical Methods of Removing Tree Roots from Drains

5.1 Drain Snakes and Augers

Tree roots in drains can be a stubborn nuisance, but there are mechanical methods available to tackle the problem. One common approach is using drain snakes and augers. These flexible tools are designed to navigate through pipes and break up and remove tree roots. By rotating the snake or auger inside the drain, it can effectively cut through and dislodge the intrusive roots.

5.2 Hydro Jetting and High-Pressure Water Blasting

Another mechanical method for removing tree roots is hydro jetting or high-pressure water blasting. This technique involves using a high-pressure water jet to break apart the roots and flush them out of the drains. The force of the water can effectively clear blockages caused by tree roots and restore normal flow in the pipes.

5.3 Root Cutting and Removal Equipment

Specialized root cutting and removal equipment can also be used to tackle tree roots in drains. These tools are designed to access the affected area and cut through the roots, allowing them to be extracted from the drain. This method requires precision and expertise to ensure the roots are completely removed without causing further damage to the pipes.

Professional Services for Tree Root Removal in the UK

6.1 Hiring Certified Drainage Specialists

When dealing with tree roots in drains, it is often best to seek the help of certified drainage specialists. These professionals have the knowledge, experience, and specialized equipment needed to effectively remove tree roots and restore proper drainage function. Hiring experts ensures that the job is done correctly and reduces the risk of further issues down the line.

6.2 Evaluating Drainage Companies and Services

When looking for professional services for tree root removal, it is important to evaluate different drainage companies. Consider factors such as their reputation, customer reviews, and the services they offer. Look for companies that have experience in dealing with tree root intrusion and can provide a comprehensive solution tailored to your specific needs.

Take a look at Draindivisons reviews here.

6.3 Costs and Considerations for Professional Removal

It is essential to consider the costs and other factors involved in hiring professional services for tree root removal. The cost can vary depending on the severity of the root intrusion and the extent of the necessary repairs. It is advisable to obtain multiple quotes and discuss the details with the drainage specialists to understand the scope of the work and any potential additional expenses.

7. Repairing and Restoring Drains Affected by Tree Root Intrusion

7.1 Assessing the Extent of Damage

Once the tree roots have been removed, assessing the extent of any damage caused to the drains is crucial. This evaluation helps determine the necessary repairs and restoration needed to ensure the drains function properly. It may involve inspecting the pipes using cameras or other advanced techniques to identify any cracks, leaks, or structural issues.

7.2 Drain Repair Techniques and Materials

Repairing drains affected by tree root intrusion may involve various techniques and materials. These can include pipe relining, where a new pipe is inserted within the existing damaged pipe, or excavation and replacement of the affected section of the drain. The choice of repair method depends on the severity of the damage and the recommendations of the drainage specialists.

7.3 Reinstating Drainage Functionality

After the necessary repairs have been completed, the focus shifts towards reinstating proper drainage functionality. This may involve additional steps such as flushing the drains, conducting post-repair inspections, and ensuring that any landscaping or paving is properly restored. By following these steps, the drains can return to their optimal performance and effectively prevent future tree root intrusion.

8. Preventing Further Tree Root Intrusion in Drains

8.1 Implementing Preventive Measures

To avoid future tree root intrusion in drains, implementing preventive measures is crucial. These can include installing physical barriers, such as root barriers or metal grates, to prevent roots from accessing the drains. Additionally, strategic planting of trees away from drainpipes and regular maintenance of surrounding vegetation can reduce the risk of root intrusion.

8.2 Regular Maintenance and Inspections

Regular maintenance and inspections are essential for identifying and addressing potential tree root intrusion in its early stages. By scheduling routine checks, any signs of root growth can be detected and promptly dealt with before they cause significant damage. Regular cleaning and flushing of drains can also help prevent root blockages and maintain optimal drainage.

8.3 Tips for Landscaping Near Drains

When landscaping near drains, it is important to take precautions to prevent tree root intrusion. Avoid planting trees or shrubs with aggressive root systems close to drainpipes. Instead, opt for species that have less invasive roots or plant them at a safe distance from the drains. Additionally, consider consulting with drainage specialists or arborists for expert advice on landscaping practices that minimize the risk of root intrusion.

In conclusion, dealing with tree root intrusion in drains is a common challenge faced by homeowners in the UK. By understanding the impact of tree roots, recognizing the signs of infestation, and implementing preventative measures, individuals can minimize the risk of drain blockages and damage. Whether utilizing chemical treatments, mechanical methods, or seeking professional assistance, there are effective solutions available for removing tree roots from drains. It is essential to prioritize regular inspections, prompt action, and proper repair and restoration techniques to maintain the long-term functionality of drainage systems. With the knowledge gained from this article, homeowners can confidently address tree root issues and ensure the smooth flow of their drains for years to come.


  1. Can tree roots really cause damage to drain pipes?

Yes, tree roots can infiltrate drain pipes and cause significant damage. As trees seek out moisture and nutrients, their roots can grow towards drains, penetrating small openings or cracks in the pipes. Over time, these roots can expand, causing blockages, pipe misalignment, or even pipe collapse.

  1. How can I prevent tree roots from intruding into my drains?

There are a few preventative measures you can take to minimize the risk of tree root intrusion. Choose trees with non-invasive root systems when planting near your drainage system. Maintain proper planting distances from drains and consider installing root barriers. Regularly inspect your drains for any signs of root intrusion and address them promptly to prevent further damage.

  1. Are chemical treatments safe for removing tree roots from drains?

Chemical treatments can be effective in killing tree roots in drains. However, it is essential to use them carefully and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Some chemicals can be harmful to the environment or pose health risks, so it’s crucial to consider safety precautions and consult with professionals if needed.

  1. When should I consider hiring professional services for tree root removal?

If you have tried DIY methods but still experience recurring tree root issues in your drains, or if the damage is extensive, it may be wise to hire professional drainage specialists. They have the expertise, specialized equipment, and knowledge to effectively remove tree roots and restore the functionality of your drains safely and efficiently.

For expert advice and help please contact us



Contact our team of experts today. Our offices are open 6am to midnight 7 days a week.


Business Directory