Dealing with Problems with Roots

Although they cannot always be seen, roots can cause a lot of damage to a home’s sewage system once they infiltrate the plumbing system. Plumbing professionals have many different solutions to remedy these types of problems and in many cases root infiltration can be prevented if the proper steps are taken. Even though you cannot see the roots or the damage they cause, there are some observable signs that roots are causing damage to a home’s underground plumbing.

Signs of Damaging Roots

Tree roots grow underground and can wreak havoc on the plumbing system of a home. They can cause pipes to break at sectioned joints; or they may cause cracks in the pipe which widen over time. Homeowners might notice these indicators of damaging roots:

  • Sewer backups in the home’s lowest drains
  • Patches of grass that stay wet or are exceptionally green
  • Signs of wet sinkholes
  • Cracked walkways
  • Water coming through basement walls
  • Slow drains

Solutions for Root Problems

Plumbing professionals can provide many different types of solutions to help remedy this damaging problem. The best solution will depend on the severity and nature of the root problem. Here are four options that are commonly used by plumbers:

  • Replace old pipes with newer root resistant pipes
  • Remove trees that may be located near pipes
  • Perform routine pipe cleaning
  • Apply root killing chemicals to the plumbing system

Are there ways that root infiltration can be prevented?

Prevention is often the best solution to these types of costly situations. Sometimes it is easier to pre-plan such as when building a new residence. Homeowners have several options when it comes to preventing root infiltration. Here are four ways to help prevent future problems with plumbing:

  • Mark the sewer line before planting new trees
  • Keep at least 10 feet between underground plumbing and trees
  • Avoid trees with aggressive roots if you have a small piece of property
  • Have a professional plumber apply tree root growth inhibitor to septic or sewer lines

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