Sewer Pipe Obstruction – Are Tree Roots the Problem?

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Sewer Pipe Obstruction – Are Tree Roots the Problem?

Those massive, gorgeous trees in your backyard provide shade and create a cozy atmosphere. However, they might also be damaging your sewer pipes and you don’t even know it. Every day, plumbers get calls from distressed homeowners because of sewer line ruptures. While sometimes the cause of these problems is due to aging pipes or large clogs, a lot of these issues are related to tree roots growing into sewer pipes.

Here are some signs that tree roots might be damaging your sewer line.

Frequent Clogs

Have you experienced frequent clogs in your home’s toilets? Are you reaching for the plunger more and more but unable to sustain lasting results? The reasons for the increase in clogging could be a direct result of tree roots growing into the sewer pipe and blocking the flow of water.

Slow Drains and Gurgling Toilets

You don’t have to have completely obstructed toilet drains to have a tree root intrusion problem. In fact, the first sign of this problem is usually slow draining toilets and toilets that gurgle. As tree roots begin to break through the sewer pipe, household plumbing tends to experience slow drainage. Don’t ignore slow drains. Even if they’re not part of a tree root problem, they still signify an issue that needs addressed right away.

Visible Sink Holes

Have you noticed parts of your yard that seem to be sinking? Are there areas along the sewer line that are soggy and always wet even when the season is dry? If the answer is yes, have your sewer line inspected immediately. Tree roots may have grown into the side of the pipe and raw sewage is leaking out. This is a health hazard that can’t be ignored.

Offensive Odors

Is your house getting smelly? When offensive odors rise from toilets, sinks, and floor drains, this is never a good sign. Raw sewage often smells like rotten eggs. If this is what you’re smelling, don’t mess around. Call a plumber to have your sewer line inspected right away.

Fixing Tree Root Intrusion

First, your plumber has to identify that this is the problem. In order to do this, he or she will use a sewer video camera to look inside the pipe. If tree root intrusion is present, your plumber will then discuss options with you.

Hydro-jetting service, a pressurized water drain cleaning tool, is powerful enough to break apart roots. However, you still need to deal with the cracked pipe. Thanks to advances in technology plumbers use trenchless pipe repair and replacement options that eliminate excavation and long, drawn out, expensive repairs.

Lastly, getting rid of roots doesn’t mean they won’t grow back. Many people are hesitant to remove mature trees from their property. If you fall into this category, speak with your plumber about preventive measures that can be taken to stop tree roots from infiltrating the pipe in the future.  Also, if you plant trees or large bushes in the future, make sure they’re planted at least 10 feet from the sewer line.

If you suspect you have tree root growth in the sewer line, call your local plumber for a complete sewer line inspection.