Split drainage pipe caused by ingress of tree roots

The purpose of tree roots is to absorb and transport water and minerals from the soil to the rest of the tree. Therefore it is only natural that roots from trees and shrubs grow toward sewer lines. These pipes hold the water source that the plant needs, as well as oxygen and nutrients. Roots that find a way into a tube through a leak will grow fast and cause blockages resulting in damaged pipes. This instance is one of the reasons why regular plumbing inspections and maintenance are necessary. 

Sewage leaks are unhygienic and lead to health problems, and repairing the damage caused by the roots can be very costly. Prevent costly repair bills by taking a few precautionary measures when planting trees and maintaining pipes. 

But first, you must be aware of the signs that the tree roots are the primary culprit in causing damages to your pipes. Here are the symptoms:

  • Bad Odor
  • Sewer Flies
  • Toilet Drainage
  • Water Backups/ Overflow

If you ever noticed these signs, it’s time to get your pipes checked and take precautionary measures to prevent this instance from happening again. 

  1. Locate the Sewage Lines in Your Area

It is essential to know and locate where your underground pipes, lines, and cables run as an establishment owner. This information will help you in future potential planting or landscaping projects in your area. It is also best to limit the amount of plant present next to your sewer line to avoid problems with your pipes. 

2. Have Regular Maintenance and Inspection

When clog drains frequently occur, this can be difficult to clean and emit gurgling noises. Call a plumber to inspect the drain and sewer lines if you notice the signs. With the help of surface mount access panels, a plumber will have easy access to your drainpipes and can use a camera by running it through the pipes to locate injured areas. After the inspection is complete, the plumber will make the necessary recommendations. For regions with significant tree-root damage, you must replace the lines.

In addition, you can also clean sewer lines regularly and inspect the structure of the pipes to avoid significant sewer repairs. Regular maintenance and clearing the lines prevent root growth inside the pipes. Sewer-line care involves threading a cable through the sewer pipe that cuts through tree roots or clogs and cleans the sewer pipe to the inner walls.

3. Safeguard Your Sewer Lines

One of the most helpful methods to keep pesky tree roots out of your sewer pipes is to build a barrier between the trees and the sewer lines. There are various options available for you to create a practical hurdle. One of the common examples is by purchasing slow-release chemical solutions designed for residential properties. These chemicals help stop the growth of roots within the sewer line area, minimizing the probability of tree roots uncovering their way into the water pipes through breaks or cracks. 

You can also use metal barriers and wood by burying them about 6 inches to a foot deeper than your pipes and running them vertically along the sewer line to prevent the roots from getting into the sewer pipes.

4. Plant Wisely 

Planning your landscaping project smartly and thoroughly is the best way to avoid problems that can lead to expensive repair bills. To prevent this instance, you can limit the number of plants you place close to sewer lines. Plant more giant trees far enough away from sewer lines, so the roots are not within reach of the pipes. If you do plant near sewer lines, select slow-growing trees with a small root ball.

Your plumbing pipes are the nutrient source for tree roots. It is why it is vital to be aware of the signs and symptoms if your pipes are damaged from tree roots, for it can impose some potential health risks for your occupants. Be sure to seek help from your local plumbers if ever you notice any damages.

Guest Contributor: Chris Jackson

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