Though mature trees add shade and beauty to landscapes their roots can affect your plumbing. Roots grow into sewer pipes because they contain essential elements for tree growth like oxygen, water, and nutrients. This leads to expensive maintenance costs of the pipes. Tree roots growing on parkways and private property often cause damage to sewer pipes and sanitary sewer backup services. This commonly affects homeowners who have no idea of the potential problems until it is too late to maintain their laterals.
How do Tree Roots Affect Your Plumbing Pipes?
Tree roots usually grow through sewer pipe openings like loose joints and crack in the pipes. These openings release vapor to the cooler soil around the pipe allowing tree roots to grow toward the vapor’s source. Once inside the pipe, roots will grow further in order to reach more moisture and plentiful nutrients. If they are not disturbed, the roots will eventually fully block the pipes with (hair-like) root masses. The masses trap oils, grit (FOGG), grease, tissue paper, household fats, and other material discharged from the residence.
Maintenance of Plumbing Pipes
Homeowners need to do regular maintenance of the sewer pipes to avoid blockage. You can notice problems in the system by checking on the pipes for slow flowing drains. If you hear gurgling noises from the toilet bowls, you should take immediate action because this is one of the first signs of a system with slow-flowing drainage. A complete blockage occurs if no action is taken to remove the blockage or roots.
The continuous growth of roots inside the pipe expands and exerts considerable force at the point of entry. The pressure exerted on the joint and crack can break the pipe and result to the pipe’s total collapse. This structural damage of the pipes due to severe root intrusion is far much worse for it will require full replacement of the system pipes.
Planting along Plumbing Pipes
Homeowners should be able to locate their sewer cleanout pipe and laterals and avoid planting hedges and trees close to the sewer line for easier maintenance and prevent any future damage. To minimize root intrusion, trees should be planted more than 10-feet from the sewer lines. Furthermore, homeowners should select small, slow-growing plant species with root systems that are less aggressive, and replace them before they grow too large than their planting area.
Cleaning Plumbing Pipes
If the blockage is caused by roots in your laterals, you need to clean your sewer laterals regularly using root saws, augers and high-pressure which are very effective in removing the roots. Try to maintain your sewer laterals as much as possible to keep them structurally sound avoiding entry of roots. You can hire a plumber to check on the condition of your sewer lateral and do any repairs if necessary.
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