Root Removal

Tree roots in drains is one of the biggest cause of blockages within drain, pipe and sewer
systems in the UK. This is due to roots growing towards water sources.

Removing roots from drains

At Maintain Drains, we have a variety of techniques that we can try out for root removal and depending on the location and severity of the root ingress, we can probably sort the issue out without having to do severe excavation.

In many cases roots can simply be cut away if there has been major displacement to the joints or severe fracturing then excavation may be the only answer. Once the removal of the roots is complete the following process would be to use a structural liner to reduce the likelihood of the roots getting into the drain in the future.

Tree roots in drains is one of the biggest cause of blockages within drain, pipe and sewer systems in the UK and a root damaged drainage system can often lead to more severe problems. For this reason most surveyors undertaking a house pre-purchase survey would recommend that the drains be inspected if they are in fairly close proximity to any trees, shrubs or hedges.

Get a FREE Quote

Root Removal from drains

How Do Tree Roots Get Into Your Drains?

The tree roots gain access to the drain system via the pipe joints, fractures, cracks and through inspection chamber walls and benching. The majority of the drainage systems within the UK are constructed from collar and spigot vitrified clay pipes jointed using sand & cement, these joints offer little resistance to fine tree roots which once inside develop into tap roots and root masses which then reduce the internal bore of the pipe.

More modern systems installed using rubber sealed couplings are still prone to root ingress if not protected by a root barrier or surrounded in concrete, though as modern systems are supposed to be flexible surrounding the joint in concrete is generally frowned upon.

Why Tree Roots Enter Your Drains?

Condensation that naturally occurs on the outer wall of the drain pipe, or moisture from leaking drain joints attract tree roots looking for a good nutritious feed.

Disturbed ground such as trenches excavated for drains, services and house foundations make easy traveling for a root system compared to the adjacent virgin ground, the same applies for granular and porous sub-bases for driveways and patios.

When we excavate a root damaged system even at two or three metres deep you can clearly see where the roots have followed the line of the original trench wall down to the drainage system, you will then often find one large tap root running the length of the drain with smaller roots branching off at each collar.

How Do You Repair Root Damaged Drains?

If the roots have accessed the system via its joints and there has been no major displacement to those joints the system can be root cut and in many cases relined, if there has been major displacement to the joints or severe fracturing then excavation may be the only answer.

On most domestic systems given the number of bends and junctions you get over fairly short distances it is often a mixture of the two repair methods are required.

If you have a system that has severe ingress and major displacement of joints but you can not excavate it a pipe bursting method can be used, assuming there are no lateral connections or sharp changes in direction and you can winch a line through the system.

Are You Insured For Tree Root Damage To Drains?

You should be unless you have some obscure bricks and mortar policy that states otherwise, tree root ingress to drains has always been an insurable risk however since the down turn in the economy one or two companies are trying to knock a few tree root removal related drainage claims back.

Get in Touch

At Maintain Drains, we offer a free, no obligation quote!


  • Toilet unblocked

    John came within about half an hour of us phoning to clear the blocked toilet for an elderly friend recently out of hospital. He was fantastic. He found the problem quickly. Was very polite and helpful. We can’t praise him enough. Thank you.

    Checkatrade Customer in Broadstone
  • Drains checked for possible rodents

    Tim was fantastic. We were trying to find out whether rats were using the drains to gain access to our property. We had only moved into the property recently and Jon found a second manhole cover that we didn’t know existed. He was very thorough, even checking under the sink for signs of entry. He also gave us good advice regarding the Water Company’s responsibilities regarding the drains. There is only one company we would use again and that is MAINTAIN DRAINS.

    Checkatrade Customer in Ferndown
  • Very professional job

    Main drain was blocked about 12 meters down the pipe. Tim quickly identified the problem working from both ends of the drain and the blockage was cleared in 30 minutes. Rather than jumping straight to the power jet, he carefully examined the pipe and realized that the pipe was slightly degraded and that drain rods would be the best solution to avoid further damage to the pipe. He explained everything he did and his reasons for doing so. Fixed price so no surprises. A very professional job performed by a genuinely nice man. I recommend this company without reservation.

    Yell Customer in Weymouth
  • Commercial serivces

    I have never used a company that I trusted as much to be on time, do a professional job and give value for money !!!

    Facebook Customer in Blandford
  • Installation of new kicthen drain

    Good communication pre work, estimate was fair, arrived on time and was thoroughly professional whilst also giving that reassuring personal service. Finished within the quoted time and did a first class job. Couldn’t rate this company any higher! Excellent

    Google Customer in Bournemouth
  • Checkatrade Customer in Bournemouth
  • Checkatrade Customer in Poole
  • Checkatrade Customer in Wimborne