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How Tree Roots Cause Blocked Drains And What You Should Do About It

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A blocked drain is a nightmare for any property owner. Such blockage may be caused by several factors. However, one of the most common is tree roots. Read on to see how tree roots cause drain blockage and what you need to do about it.

Why tree roots?

To any tree near your property, the plumbing provides the perfect Eco-system to spread their roots. This is because the drain system has plenty of water running through it 24/7, 365 days a year. The drain pipes also contain abundant fertilizer in form of decomposed food and toilet waste. For these reasons, tree roots tend to grow around and towards your drain system.

Factors that may increase chances of tree roots blocking your drain

Although tree roots can naturally detect water and fertilizer and grow towards them, some factors can boost this process. One of them is poorly jointed drain pipes. These tend to create gaps that make it easy for roots to creep in. Loose joints also tend to leak, even if minutely. The leaked waste will encourage vegetation growth and act as an invitation to the tree roots. Damaged drain pipes also make it easy for tree roots to enter your drain pipes. Such damage is often as a result of structural weakness in the pipe.

How tree root cause actual blockage

Once tree roots have encroached the area around your drain pipes, they will then enter through gaps found between joints or on broken pipe walls. In some cases, roots will grow and entwine themselves around your drain pipes, eventually causing breakage. Once inside the pipes, the roots will grow and balloon thanks to the ample nutrition available there. The roots will then take up valuable space, restricting movement of waste. Over time the roots will trap solid waste such as tissue pulp. The solid waste will accumulate and finally cause total blockage in the pipes.

How to deal with drains blocked by tree roots

If your drain system is blocked by tree roots, there are several ways to get the problem fixed:

  1. Water jetting: Water under very high pressure is used to cut the roots and clear the drain.
  2. Pipe cutting: The affected pipes are dug out, cut and replaced.
  3. Relining: Once the tree roots have been removed, a fibreglass membrane is inserted inside the affected part and used to reline the damaged pipe.

In some cases, other drastic measures may be taken. This includes options such as changing the path of the drain, cutting away the encroaching tree roots or even felling the tree. Your drain unblocking technician will best advise you after examining your drain system.