Removing Invasive Roots from Drains

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    Many drain obstructions occur after people pour or flush away things drainage systems aren’t designed to carry to the sewers, such as cooking oil or nappy liners. But did you know that trees and hedges can also have a detrimental effect on your drains if their roots manage to penetrate the pipework? In fact, the drain unblocking experts here at Mega-Rod provide a specialist drain root cutting service in Bath, Bristol and the surrounding area to resolve this problem and get your drainage system flowing properly again.

    Why Roots Are Attracted to Drains

    Roots happily spread through drains – a phenomenon known as root infiltration – if given half a chance. Why? Because inside the pipes they have access to a steady supply of water, oxygen and nutrients, all of which help them to thrive and also nourish the rest of the tree or hedge. Indeed, a root network can go from strength to strength when it creeps into your drainage system and takes hold – a process that often takes as little as one month.

    As roots grow rapidly, they soon form a dense, tangled obstruction. Wastewater and related material, such as toilet paper, struggle to pass through the drains. To make matters worse, some of that material could easily get caught on the roots and enlarge the blockage.

    roots blocking drains

    Roots Extend Further Than You Might Expect

    Because we have extensive experience of providing Bath and Bristol root cutting and drain cleaning services, we know that roots can be a pressing problem for the owners of residential and commercial properties alike. Houses, office blocks, shops, schools, hospitals and more can all be affected by roots spreading through drains.

    Root infiltration may block your drains even if there aren’t any trees or hedges particularly close to the building. That’s because roots can cover a remarkably large area. For example, a tree’s root network can be up to four times wider than the canopy of leaves.

    Exploiting Weak Spots in Pipework

    Roots can pose a serious threat to drainage systems. However, they don’t tend to break into pipework. They’re only likely to trouble your drains if they find a structural weakness they can exploit. Wastewater seeping out of a cracked pipe or loose connection, for instance, acts as an open invitation to thirsty roots. Indeed, they’re ‘drawn like a magnet to leaky pipes’, remarks the Laidback Gardener blog.

    Even a minor leak can become a major problem when roots get involved. As the root network develops, it exerts ever more pressure on the drains. Cracks widen and pipework may ultimately burst open or collapse.

    If your drainage system is aging, poorly sealed or has weak joints, it’s more vulnerable to root infiltration. But any drain can become structurally unsound (as a result of soil shifting or eroding, for example). That’s why we recommend regular CCTV drain inspections – they help property owners to nip problems in the bud.

    Keeping an eye on your drains is a much better option than digging up all your trees and hedges in case their roots start to invade. What’s more, those plants have many benefits: they provide beauty, colour, privacy and shade, as well as improving the air quality.

    Root Infiltration Warning Signs

    But what if your drains haven’t had regular inspections – how can you tell if roots are blocking them right now? In addition to the typical signs of blocked drains, such as unpleasant smells, gurgling noises and frequent backups, root infiltration is associated with:

    • Trees, hedges and other plants growing unusually quickly and well
    • Soggy, unstable patches of ground where wastewater is leaking from drains
    • Sinkholes – they can appear if the weakened, destabilised ground gives way

    ‘If your drains are blocked by roots, you will need a drainage company to assist,’ emphasises the Arboricultural Association. Successfully removing invasive roots requires specialist drain unblocking skills and equipment.

    Expert Drain Root Cutting from Mega-Rod

    The Mega-Rod team has an impressive track record of removing invasive roots from drains. We identify the location of the problem using advanced CCTV and eradicate the blockage with a powerful combination of root cutting equipment and drain jetting. All the roots are cut into tiny pieces by the rotating cutter and flushed through the pipes.

    The affected drains can then be relined or, if badly damaged, replaced. Robust, watertight pipework with secure joints is your best defence against thirsty roots. Once that’s in place, you can enjoy all the benefits trees and hedges bring to your property without worrying about what’s happening underground.

    You can rely on Mega-Rod to rescue drains from invasive roots – call us today on 01225 422980.


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      Need your drains unblocking? Septic tank need emptying? Need a CCTV Drain Survey? Contact the experts at Mega-Rod on 01225 422980. We offer a prompt, competitive service from a family firm working in Bath, Bristol and the surrounding area.