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Tree Root Cutting: How and Why?

21st June 2021

Tree Root Cutting: How and Why?

Trees are one of the most valuable elements of the world’s ecosystem. Not only do they provide oxygen, but they also improve the air we breathe by absorbing carbon dioxide, help prevent soil erosion and provide a vital habitat for wildlife. However, for all the amazing benefits trees offer to the world around them, their roots can cause your drainage system considerable problems. Leaving you in need of specialist tree root cutting to remove them.

Tree Roots and Your Drainage System

Drains and sewers provide the perfect environment for tree roots to flourish as they contain oxygen, nutrients, and water. If your drains are damaged or cracked, the moisture generated within the drain will seep into the surrounding soil. The moisture then acts as a homing beacon for tree roots, notifying them where they can gain access to your drainage system. Once the tree roots obtain entry into your drains, they can cause several concerns.

Drain Blockages

The most common problem caused by tree roots is drain blockages. Once tree roots have invaded drains, they will start to grow within the system, considering they’ve just been given a perfect food source and living accommodation to thrive. After continued growth, the roots will begin to act as a fishing net collecting fats, grease, oils, and any other waste exiting your premises. Over time, this collection of waste will form a blockage within your drain.

Pipework Damage

In some cases, a more severe concern of tree roots entering your drainage system is the structural damage they can cause. If the tree root has entered your drains through a small crack or fissure, this will become much bigger over time as the roots grow and expand, creating additional pressure on your drains and leading to a drain collapse.

How Do You Detect and Repair a Tree Root Blockage?

If your water flow is much slower than usual, it’s a sign that your drains are blocking or have become blocked or damaged possibly due to overgrown tree roots. To fully understand what is causing the blockage within your drainage system, a CCTV drain survey will be required. A CCTV drain survey will assess the current condition of your drains, identify any damage to your pipework, and verify if tree roots are the cause of the blockage.

Once the CCTV drain survey has been completed, the next step is to remove the tree roots from the drain. Usually, a drain jetting unit, utilising a high-pressure water jet, will be used to clear the overgrown roots and any fats, grease, oils or other waste caught by the roots. However, if the tree roots have been left untouched for a substantial period, they may have become too thick for a high-pressure drain jet to remove. If this is the case, specialist jetting equipment will be required.

Specialist drain jetting equipment, like a hydraulic cutter, will cut the roots into a more manageable size to easily remove them from the drain. This is often a much more affordable option to deal with tree roots than a pipe replacement or excavation, as these are time-consuming and expensive.

What is Robotic Cutting?

Robotic cutting is a specialist service that utilises bespoke cutting equipment to remove drain blockages when conventional high-pressure drain jetting equipment isn’t capable of doing so. Although robotic cutters are primarily used to remove concrete and other hard debris from drains, they can be used to remove tree roots. If we encounter a drainage defect that contributes to root ingress, such as intruding connections, we will use a robot cutter to remove the tree roots and prepare the pipe for repair. Robotic cutting allows for root cutting in drains and drainage systems, keeping your drains clean and clear from blockages.

How Robotic Cutting Works

Robotic cutters are controlled by a drainage specialist and have a built-in camera that allows them to navigate the cutting equipment through the drainage system until they find the cause of the blockage. Then, utilising the powerful cutting motors, the robotic cutter will grind the tree roots into manageable sizes for a much easier removal from the drain.

After the tree roots have been removed, the section in which they entered the drain will need to be repaired. Pipe Lining is often the most preferred drain repair method as it is a “no-dig” technique; essentially it does not require an excavation to carry out. Pipe lining involves installing a new protective sleeve inside the damaged drain, effectively repairing the structure of the drain, and providing a barrier to prevent further damages from tree root ingress.

Contact a Tree Root Cutting Specialist

At Metro Rod, we understand the inconvenience tree roots can cause when entering your drainage system. With over 35 years of experience within the drainage industry, Metro Rod is the tree root cutting specialist you can rely on to identify and resolve any damages, cracks or blockages caused by tree roots. If pipe lining isn’t enough to fix the damaged pipe, we also offer patch repair and excavation as a drain repair technique.

If you are experiencing a blockage and suspect it may be due to an ingress of tree roots, contact your local Metro Rod depot or call us on 0800 66 8800.


Talk to you local metrorod specialist

Talk to your local Metro Rod specialist

We are always happy to arrange a free site assessment and no obligation quotations for any work you might need. Alternatively, you can call our emergency hotline number on 0800 66 88 00

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