Sometimes drainage problems aren’t manmade. Nature can be the cause of drainage damage and when this occurs the consequences can be wide-ranging and significantly harmful. Trees are one of the biggest causes of blockages to drainage and sewage pipe networks. Tree roots can damage drains leading to blockages, leaks and, in some cases if left untreated, building subsidence.
Trees are attracted to drains. It’s a far from ideal match but the moisture from condensation on drainpipes, and sometimes leaking from joints, attracts roots. If there are excavations for building or drainage, these provide easier means for roots to burrow down towards pipework, following the course of the trenches originally dug to lay pipes.
Tree roots can enter the drain system through the pipe joints, or through cracks and fractures. At its worst, this sort of damage can mean major excavation to remedy the displacement of pipe joints or fracturing by tree root incursion.
In the UK, most drainage networks use clay pipes with sand and cement joints. Tree roots can get into this kind of pipework, ultimately reducing the diameter, or bore, of the pipe, and affecting the ability of the drainage system to perform the way it was designed to do. Or they can fracture the pipework leading to leaks.
Clearly, a drain survey is an essential prerequisite for certain properties if they are located near trees, or have trees included in their boundary. This might be a case of undertaking a survey for preventative measures. But a drain survey is also a crucial element when seeking to remedy drainage problems. Where preliminary excavation would be difficult without causing major disruption, the drain survey can provide many answers in advance.
It’s important for property owners to have the right means at their disposal to tackle drainage problems. Our drain survey can provide reassurance and indicate what action needs to be taken to safeguard the property against drainage damage caused by tree root incursion.