Why Are There Tree Roots in the Sewer Line?
When something does go wrong with the sewer line, you can usually blame it on tree roots. Unfortunately, one of the most common causes of a sewer line backup are because tree roots have broken, or are growing in, the sewer pipe.
But why do tree roots migrate to your sewer lines? How do you know if they’ve invaded? And what can you do about it? Let’s start with why tree roots in the sewer line in the first place.
Roots Grow Toward a Water Source
Trees need a natural source of water and oxygen to grow. Roots are naturally hardwired to grow in the direction of a water and oxygen source. This means that the trees in your yard are instinctively growing towards your sewer line.
What Happens If You Have Tree Roots in The Sewer Line?
But why exactly is it such a problem? How bad is the damage caused by tree roots in the sewer line? Here is a small list of what you can expect:
A tree is a robust force of nature. They need to be for their survival. This strength is everywhere, including their roots. With that in mind, if you have even the smallest of cracks in your pipes, the tree root will find a way in.
If you have a broken pipe, it’s only a matter of time before you notice leaks. Unfortunately, small leaks lead to big problems.
If you spot a small sinkhole, do not wait to call for help. A small problem can quickly balloon into a much larger one. Just like everything else in your plumbing system, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Ignoring a sinkhole can result is property damage and even loss.
It is a fact that, if you have tree roots in your sewer line, you will need repairs. The longer the problem is left, the more damage you’ll receive. So, the key is to act quickly. Repairs can be costly, but they quickly add up in extreme circumstances.
Signs You Have Tree Roots in Your Sewer Line
The next step is how to diagnose the problem. Since you can’t open the hood of your plumbing system and take a look inside, you’ll need to be mindful of these issues:
Soft or Flooded Parts of the Lawn
One of the most obvious signs there something wrong with your main sewer line is if there are any number of random soggy patches in your lawn.
Recurring Drain Clogs
Oftentimes a clogged drain can be caused by hair, grease, or other substances. Most homeowners think they can pour a chemical drain cleaner down their pipes and call it a day. When it comes to tree roots, and most other clogs, a chemical drain cleaner will do more harm than good.
Sewer smells are usually the issue that causes most distress and pushes homeowners into action. If you notice the smell of sewage, get in touch with a licensed plumber as soon as possible.
What To Do If You Have Tree Roots in Your Sewer Line
By now, you understand the consequences of having tree roots in your sewer line, and you can spot the common signs. Now you’re asking what can you do about tree roots in the sewer line?
Do Not Treat Tree Roots with Chemicals
When you’re living with a clogged sewer line, the scent of sewage can be more than you can bear. So, it can be tempting to try and dial it down with a solution from your gardening or home improvement store.
How to Avoid Tree Roots in the Sewer Line
Once your sewer line has been treated and your system is tree-root-free, you’re probably in a position where you’ll go the extra mile to avoid this happening again. Here are some tips to help avoid this in the future.
Be Mindful with Landscaping
You now understand that trees will spread their roots to find water and oxygen. While that’s a fact of nature and can’t be changed, you can regain a little control by landscaping carefully.
Replace Any Broken Pipes
Even if you have a tiny fracture, any holes in your pipes are a “welcome home” sign to tree roots. They have the ability to widen the hole until they can fit in and spread. So, if you have any broken pipes, don’t wait. Replace them.
Consider a Plumbing Inspection
The final preventative measure you can put in place is to schedule a plumbing inspection. During a plumbing inspection, a trained and licensed plumber will send a camera down your pipes to make sure everything is looking ok.