How to Keep Tree Roots Out of Drains

Failure to consider landscape while installing your French Drain or Yard Drain can damage even the best system.  Here’s how to keep tree roots out of drains and prevent tree roots from wrecking havoc on your system.

Avoid Greenhouse Effect by Using Correct Drainage Pipe

We’re going to go over how to build a French drain system when you’re going by trees and shrubs. If you know you’re going to have root intrusion, you want to build a system that’s going to work for you and fight against the roots.

How to keep tree roots out of drains with perforated pipe

We will use a pipe with holes 360 degrees around it. You can see right through it. We want to make sure that we’re not going to create what is known as the greenhouse effect. If you just have holes on the bottom, you will end up with condensation and moisture building up on the top of the pipe. This is going to be ideal for tree roots as well as iron ochre. All kinds of things grow in the greenhouse effect.

How to Keep Tree Roots Out of Drains by Circulating Air

We’re running down a fence line that has a lot of shrubberies. We’re close to the root systems; we have trees as well. We’re going to build this system with two giant voids, two big four-inch pipes at the bottom that have holes all the way around them. That way, we’re moving air. We’re circulating air through the pipe and not causing condensation to build on top of the line, which creates the greenhouse effect.

Meanwhile, we’ll also drop a few downspouts on a solid pipe. Now, with a solid pipe, if you use the super sticky tile tape, you’re not going to get any root intrusion. Roots can only get in right at the fittings, where you put the pipe together with a fitting. So, you want to tape that up really good.

Use super sticky tile tape on joints to prevent roots

When building your French drain system, you want to have as much air circulating through the drainpipe as possible. That way, during the wet season, when there’s some root intrusion, you will eventually hit a drought season. If you’re moving air through this system and you dry it out, you won’t have the greenhouse effect. You’re going to air prune any roots. Those tiny fine roots that have penetrated during the wet season will dry out and crumble. They’re just going to become dust and washout in the next heavy rain.

Set Up Your French Drain Grid to Work with Your Yard

Now, if you have a yard that’s not just wet in a couple of different areas or doesn’t have potholes where you can just run your pipe in some potholes and pick up all the water, you can do what we’re doing here. We’re running parallels every so many feet because the entire yard was spongy and soft. This is the only way to do a whole yard and tighten it up.

Running parallels can prevent soggy soil

This yard had sand subsoil, so we ran these lines 20 feet apart. But if it were clay, I would tighten that up. I would recommend running them closer than that. Every situation is a little different, and there is no set distance. It all depends on how tight you want to get the yard.

If you have a considerable yard, you’ll probably have to space them out just to be realistic. If you have a smaller yard, you might have the luxury to run them a little tighter. That way, your system’s not going to be that big anyway. So, these are just some of the things that we have to consider when we’re doing a French drain grid. Or, in this case, we’re just running a bunch of parallel lines tied into a main. We’re taking the system out to the front yard, draining all the water out of the backyard before it can saturate the subsoil and turn the yard soft and squishy.

Keep Roots Out of Drains and More

French Drain Man teaches DIYers how to keep roots out of drains and more by creating helpful how to videos and providing a one stop shop for all your drainage supply needs. But if you prefer full-service downspout installation, don’t hesitate to call the FDM crew and get on our schedule. Remember, when you want it done right the first time, give French Drain Man a call!