Once you start seeing that your sink in the kitchen is draining slowly, or if you hear a loud bubbling sound from your toilet, it can be a sign that your sewer lines have been damaged by tree roots. A careful root invasion will only irritate you, but if it’s disregarded, the issue could get even worse.
Misconception about the Root Invasion in Sewer Lines
Many people have the impression that roots can break or rupture sewer pipes. This is wrong. The main reason you would have roots in your system is a crack or hole in a pipe. Tree roots are attracted to water and oxygen. So in the event that a root detects some moisture, it leans towards it. Root systems are composed of several parts including bigger, old roots that support the trees or plants and hair roots that look for and provide nutrients and water.
Signs of Roots in Drain Pipes
Although the roots underneath a tree or plant are quite large, the roots at the edge of a tree’s root system are thin. In fact, they are so small that they can penetrate easily to a crack or a hole in a water pipe. When a root has invaded a pipe, it will continue to grow and create bigger cracks in the pipes.
Gradual or Bubbling Drains
When your sink, tub, or toilet is draining gradually, then it could be a sign that you have a clog in the drain pipe. The tree root invasions will have the same mechanism, though.
Intense or Unpleasant Smells
If you have a severe case of clogs, you may begin to observe some spoiled smells coming from all your drains.
Sinkholes On Your Property
As root invasions break your sewer lines, water will start to seep out into the soil on the pipe. Then the extra moisture can result in the surface of your property to get bogged down. It’s a glaring sign you might have tree roots in your water pipes.
Foliage On Your Property
The presence of foliage is regarded as a long-term indicator, but tree roots that have completely invaded your pipe system will get more sustenance than the other side of the foliage on your property. This results in an area that is greener than the other part of your ground.
Four Ways to Keep Roots Away from Your Sewer Line
Roots are attracted to sewer lines as they contain water, oxygen, and nutrients, which are all the necessary components that plants and trees need to grow. Drain pipes that are damaged will contribute to this issue because water that drips into the ground will attract roots toward your pipes. When left untreated, root infiltration can break your pipes and result in a complete malfunction of your home or business sewer system.
The invasion of the tree or plant roots into your drain pipes is an issue that can lead you to replace the pipes. The roots thrive in an environment that is rich in moisture and nutrients in the pipes, and can get in through hairline breaks or partially sealed joints. After the roots have grown large enough to clog the pipes and form drainage issues, eliminating them can cost an arm and a leg, so it’s highly recommended to remove them out of the pipes immediately. Below are the ways on how to keep tree roots out of a sewer line:
Cultural Root Control
The simplest method of root constraint is to plant far from your sewer lines and field lines. This can be completed when constructing a new house, making an additional landscape, or planting a tree to your yard, but for properties with trees and plants already, the cultural method may not be more practical for you to use. Prior to planting, identify where your sewer lines are. Select slow-growing types of plant and trees, and plant them more than 10 feet away from your sewer pipes. This will prevent roots from getting into your sewer pipes.
Physical Root Control
When roots have started getting in the holes and breaks in the loose pipes, you can manually fix the situation by changing or sealing the pipes, or uprooting the trees. Changing the pipes may be the best solution when the pipes are worn and in danger of corroding or breaking, but you can apply one of two methods to line them when they are appropriate. You can either furnish a seamless liner through the pipes, a process is known as slip-lining, or you can put in an expandable liner. Lining pipes can be more expensive than replacing them and is best regarded when replacement or tree uprooting is unnecessary.
Mechanical Root Control
While removing trees or plant roots from your drain pipes is not a practical action, it may be a necessary mechanism for uncluttering your pipes for repair. With the use of augers and cutters, root removal experts can clear out the pipes of debris. The technicians also have the choice to utilize a device that sticks up with scrapers and brushes that are drawn through your pipes with a powered tool. Hydro jetting also can declutter a sewer pipe of invasive roots considering it as a power cleaning machine for the inside walls of your sewer line. Another benefit of this strong stream is that it will clear the inside of your pipes of any residual muds and root fragments.
Chemical Root Control
There are available chemicals that can stop roots from growing into pipes. However, it can also eliminate the plants and may pose an environmental problem. Copper sulfate is one root-control substance that many countries and states consider safe for the residential waste systems, and homeowners and plumbers often manage roots by putting it into sinks or toilets. Its effectiveness is restricted by the fact that it often doesn’t settle in the pipes over time. Filling the pipes with a foam that contains metam-sodium and dichlobenil may be more practical. The foam settles in the roots and walls of the pipe, and eliminates roots within hours, although it may take months or a year for them to degenerate and fail.
There are various reasons that you may have a worn sewer pipe. Pipes, roots, collapsing, and inefficiently installed or maintained sewer lines can result in clogged pipes. If you have blocked pipes that are not acting on a plunger, contact 5 Star Plumbing today. We can diagnose the problem, repair it promptly, and get your water flowing smoothly.