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Damage Tree Roots Can Do to Sewer Lines

Tree Root Damage

Beautiful trees not only enhance your landscape but help reduce air pollution, absorb carbon dioxide, and provide important shade during hot summer days. However, when tree roots start to grow into the cracks of sewer lines, it can lead to costly, messy sewer backups.

Why Tree Roots Grow into Sewer Lines

Trees like sewer line cracks because sewer pipes contain all the elements that are essential for tree growth: oxygen, nutrients, and water. The warm water that flows inside a sewer line creates a vapor that escapes into the cooler surrounding soil. Tree roots are attracted to this vapor. If there is a crack in a pipe or a loose joint, the root will enter at these points to get to the good stuff (nutrients, moisture, etc.) to grow.

What Happens When Tree Roots Enter Sewer Lines

First and foremost, tree roots do not invade healthy, well-kept pipes. But when there is a crack, a hole, or an improperly-sealed sewer pipe, it leaves the sewer lines vulnerable to tree root growth. As these roots grow, they combine themselves with grease, toilet tissue, waste, and other debris traveling through the sewer lines causing toilets, sinks, and other drains to become sluggish, back up, and eventually, the pipes break.

How to Prevent Tree Roots in Sewer Lines

The best control of tree root issues in sewer lines is prevention. Be proactive by installing preventive growth barriers between trees and pipes. Preventive growth barriers are wall-like structures placed around tree roots to prevent and redirect the spread of root systems. Working with a landscape professional can help you find dense soil and discover slow-growing plants and shrubs that do not have extensive root systems. Additionally, here’s what you can do to stop tree roots growing in sewer line drain systems before it happens: 

    • Locate sewage lines – Know where the underground pipes, lines, and cables are buried. This will assist in future landscaping and planting.
    • Landscape wisely – Avoid planting trees directly above or near the pipe. Limit the number of trees you plant close to your sewage lines. 
    • Regular maintenance & inspections – Hire a licensed plumber to inspect your sewer drain system every other year. When conducting maintenance on a regular basis, any threatening issues can be handled before they get worse. Aside from this, major sewer lines should be cleaned regularly which prevents roots from seeping into vulnerable spots. 
    • Know the Signs
      • Slow running drains or gurgling toilets
      • Bad odors coming from drains, toilet blockages, water backups, and overflow
      • Visible sinkholes in the yard  
      • Frequent clogs
      • Sewer flies

Tree roots can cause significant damage to a sewer line system without you realizing something terrible is wrong. If you suspect there may be tree roots in pipes or would like to rule out any other kind of damage to your plumbing system, have one of our professional plumbers inspect your sewer system today! Our experts will show you the current condition of your pipes and identify any problems or potential problems. From there, you can take appropriate steps to help keep your plumbing in top shape for years to come. Contact the professionals at Tony’s Drain & Sewer Cleaning, our goal is to solve your plumbing issues and repair them in a timely manner. Contact us today!