Tree Roots and Plumbing Pipes Don't Mix


If your tree roots have infiltrated your plumbing system, you know that it doesn't take long for them to make an unwelcome home in your pipes. A tiny crack can lead to the breakdown of one of more pipes and these broken pipes make a perfect environment for tree roots to thrive and grown.

With a tiny crack in sewer pipes comes the irresistible temptation of water and nutrients. Tree roots can't help themselves. Many of our favorite trees and shrubs are also the same trees and shrubs that will seek out the moisture, oxygen, and nutrients that even an intact sewer line can give off.

Older homes contain clay pipes that are porous and better attract roots. In some older homes, clay pipes were simply laid end to end with no seal, providing a perfect entry point for tree roots. PVC pipes are not easily penetrated, but once a root is introduced to the inside of the pipe, it can thrive and ultimately grow, putting a lot of pressure on the walls of that pipe. Once a pipe is filled with roots, it can break and cost the of excavation and repair can be costly.

Symptoms of Tree Root Problems

If you are unsure if you have problems with roots, consider the symptoms. If your drains clog regularly or are slow to drain, and your toilet bubbles upon flushing, you might have root problems. It may be time to have the professionals in to inspect your pipes. A camera will be placed in your pipes and if a mass is detected, can be cut out and flushed from the system. Once the culprit is removed, there are products such as copper sulfate that can be applied to prevent roots from entering your pipes again.

Correcting and Preventing Tree Root Damage

If roots are wreaking havoc on your plumbing there are things you can do to correct the problem and avoid further damage. Prevention is key, as repairs to plumbing are expensive.

Get your locates done. In many municipalities, these are free. The city will come out, locate sewer lines, gas lines, and hydro lines. This mapping is valuable. This map will help you in knowing what and where to plant.

Plant wisely. Pay a visit to your local nursery and select shrubs and trees with a smaller root base. Ensure you plant away from your sewer lines.

Planting a physical barrier can prevent roots from entering you plumbing pipes can be a big job and may require the help of a plumbing professional. Considering applying a compound around your pipes that will deter tree roots from entering your pipes. These chemicals can be found at your local hardware store.

While sewer breaks due to roots on the outside perimeter of your property are the responsibility of the jurisdiction you live in, any plumbing issues, including those caused by trees roots on the homeowner's property is the responsibility of the homeowner. Yearly inspection of your pipes is always a good idea and in the long run, can save a load of money and provide peace of mind.

If you live near Oakville or the surrounding area, A. McKenna Plumbing can get your pipes back to normal in no time. Just Contact Us!