The Trouble with Tree Roots - Lindstrom Air Conditioning & Plumbing

The Trouble with Tree Roots

Tree roots in sewer and water lines are one of the top plumbing problems for homeowners, with devastating results.  Tree roots seek out moisture and large roots will tangle and breakdown pipes over time.  Roots can cause your lines to back up, sending raw sewage into the house. If they grow big enough, they may rupture sewer lines, meaning a lot of expensive and messy clean-up work.

Sewer pipes and tree roots do not make a happy marriage due to the thirsty nature of roots.  Trees are brilliant at finding water, their roots can travel a hundred feet to get to the nourishment they need.  People often have a false sense of security when they don’t have any trees in their yard, but even trees from a neighboring yard can cause you problems.  Homeowners should, however, be aware of the location of their sewer service and refrain from planting certain types of trees and hedges near the sewer lines.

Your sewer line can be compromised by several factors which will leave your pipes vulnerable to root invasion: by the type of pipe, which may deteriorate over time, from the ground shifting in your yard or even from the pressure roots exert on your pipes.  The pressure from the roots on your plumbing or septic pipes can be tremendous and over time will move, disrupt or destroy your pipes. 

As roots continue to grow, they expand and exert considerable, consistent pressure at the crack or joint where they entered the pipe.  Once inside your pipes, roots will continue to grow and, if not disturbed, they will completely fill the pipe with multiple hair like root masses at each point of entry.  The root mass inside the pipe becomes matted with debris discharged from your home and causes a clog.  The force exerted by root growth can even break the pipe and result in a total collapse of the pipe.

Homeowners will notice the first signs of slow flowing drainage system by hearing gurgling noises from toilet bowls or observing wet areas around floor drains after completing laundry.  Eventually a complete blockage will occur if no remedial action is taken to remove the roots/blockage.  Homeowners will often try to cut the roots out or use chemicals, both of which are temporary fixes.  The only real fix for this problem is to have your pipes repaired or replaced.

If you suspect that your sewer or septic lines are being clogged by roots and are experiencing any of the above mentioned problems, contact a professional plumber immediately.   

Make sure your plumber uses state-of-the-art video equipment. This invaluable tool accurately diagnoses and helps fix your sewer problem at the source.  Running the camera down the line and following the flow of water, helps identify sections of pipe that have lost grade, collapsed, become infiltrated with roots, or disjointed; helping the technician systematically diagnose and fix the problem.


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