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Plumbing Maintenance: Stop Tree Roots From Damaging Your Sewer Lines & Pipes

Plumbing Maintenance
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Tree roots can cause significant damage to your sewage system without you realizing something terrible is wrong.

Tree roots are naturally attracted to plumbing lines. This is because pipes hold the water source that they need, as well as oxygen and nutrients. Roots that find a way into a pipe through a leak will grow at a fast pace and cause blockages and damaged pipes. This is another reason why regular plumbing maintenance and inspections are so important.

Not only are sewage leaks unhygienic for your home’s inhabitants, but they allow roots to cause damage that might otherwise have been prevented.

How Do I Prevent Tree Roots From Damaging My Plumbing?

Roots do not invade healthy, well-kept pipes. They attack vulnerable cracks and leaks, which is allowed when regular maintenance is not conducted or trees are planted too close to sewage lines.

  • Locate Your Sewage Lines

    As a homeowner, it’s important to know where your underground pipes, lines, and cables run. This will assist you in future landscaping and planning your planting.

  • Protect Your Sewer Lines

    There are ways to create a barrier to protect your sewer lines from root invasion. In residential areas, chemicals such as potassium hydroxide and copper sulfate are used to inhibit roots growing in the area. It is also common to use wood or metal barriers which are often placed six to 12 inches further down than pipes. They run vertically to the sewer line.

  • Plant Wisely

    Once you have located your sewage line, you can begin to plan and plant. Limit the number of trees you plant close to your sewage lines. You’ll need to be aware of what plants and trees are safe to plant nearby.

    If you can’t avoid planting trees in risky proximity to your sewage lines, make sure you use slow-growth trees with small root balls, that are unlikely to take over your underground plumbing.

    There are alternative ways to achieve shaded areas in your garden while maintaining good aesthetics. Be sure to investigate all avenues if you’re working with a tight space.

  • Regular Maintenance

    The idea of regular maintenance may scream costly bills but the truth is, this actually prevents costly bills.

    How? When conducting maintenance on a regular basis, you’re able to pick up any threatening issues and handle them before they get worse. You’re able to locate potential problems and through consistent inspection, you can monitor their development. Aside from this, your major sewer lines should be cleaned regularly. This will prevent roots from seeping into vulnerable spots.

    If tree root damage has already occurred, it will be picked up through an inspection done by threading a cable through the pipes and unclogging any lodged debris. Once you’ve had your sewer lines inspected by a professional plumber, you can devise a maintenance program that suits your home and your budget.

  • Know The Signs

    Don’t ignore signs like bad odors coming from your drains, toilet blockages, water backups, and overflow.

    Drain or sewer flies are other key indicators that something has gone wrong in your sewage system. It is not always easy to judge from the exterior of your garden that roots are damaging your plumbing lines, but should you notice unearthed ground and pools of collected water in your garden, call a professional to rule out any damage.

Signs Of Roots Causing Damage To Your Sewer Lines

There are a few tell-tale signs that something isn’t functioning properly in your sewage system and your home may have fallen victim to root invasion. Roots that are allowed to continue growing through your pipeline put you at risk for an expensive fix.

  • Bad Odor

    Bad odor is probably the first and most obvious sign that something is not right with your plumbing system.

    When your sewage is clogged by tree roots, debris cannot move through and it will begin to build up. Over time, the debris will rot and bad smells will begin to seep into your home.

  • Sewer Flies

    Collected wastewater that is not filtering properly from your property will attract flies.

    If your drain is blocked further down, water will struggle to drain from kitchen sinks and bathroom drains. Drain flies inside your home are another indication of a problem somewhere along your lines.

  • Toilet Drainage

    Gurgling sounds coming from your toilet when flushing should not happen. Toilet water should flush down quickly and efficiently.

    If you notice that this isn’t the case, there is likely a blockage preventing the contents from passing through your pipes with ease.

  • Water Backups or Overflow

    If water cannot comfortably pass through your drain, it’s a sign of a clog or inefficient drainage.

    If you notice water gurgling back up towards your sink, don’t ignore it and hope that it will eventually drain. Don’t throw harmful chemicals down the drain to try and dislodge contents as this could cause further damage to the integrity of your plumbing pipes. There are at-home remedies to unclog your drain should you not be able to call in a professional, but take note to follow instructions carefully.

At Art Rooter, Sewer & Drain Cleaning, we offer comprehensive rooter services. We cannot stress the importance of regular inspections and maintenance. We like to see well-kept pipes and an efficiently flowing drainage system.

Preventative plumbing maintenance has been proven to be more financially manageable in the long run and ensures that your home does not dwindle in value. After all, the plumbing system is one of the most important elements of a home.

If you’re unsure about the state of your underground pipes or the effect your trees may be having, call Art for an inspection today at 1-888-773-1524. At the end of the day, you’ll be in control of those pesky tree roots before they invade your home.


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