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Most homeowners agree that trees enhance the property’s aesthetics and offer multiple practical advantages.

Besides the well-known benefits of increasing oxygen levels and reducing carbon dioxide, trees provide shade in summer. But having trees in or around your home can sometimes lead to certain problems, like damage to your plumbing and sewer lines.

This happens when tree roots break through the piping and start growing within them, which can cause various problems, such as obstructing the water flow and reducing pressure. It can ultimately damage the drain pipes and the entire plumbing infrastructure.

That’s why it is essential to detect such problems at the onset and take effective measures to deal with them. And here in this guide, we’ll share some ways to accomplish both objectives. Let’s begin, then!

Understanding Why Tree Roots Invade Piping Systems

Depending on the size of the tree, tree roots are typically long and highly complex. Larger trees usually have a bigger root system, requiring more nutrients and water. Since plumbing systems carry water, cracks and leaks naturally attract plant and tree roots, which enter the pipes through these cracks.

Once they enter the piping system, they continue to grow and expand, ultimately causing a blockage. If the problem is not resolved timely, this root growth can put the entire sewer system at risk of structural damage.

Thankfully, the following signs of tree roots in plumbing pipes can help prevent such a situation. Let’s look at some of these now.

Seven Common Signs To Spot Tree Roots In Pipes

Tree Roots Drain Pipe

1. Slow Drains

The first sign indicating tree root invasion of the sewer lines is slow emptying drains, which may be visible in several locations. For instance, a toilet that drains slowly after flushing or makes a gurgling noise can indicate tree root obstruction. Or you may be experiencing slow-draining sinks in your kitchen or bathroom.

This problem is more common in older properties or those with lots of large trees.

2. Sinkholes

In some regions, sinkholes are quite common, but they can also occur due to tree root damage. If you notice the formation of a sinkhole in the lawn or yard, the first thing to do is to call a contractor and let him inspect the site.

Sink Hole Yard

The formation of sinkholes is a complicated problem that may indicate that the structure’s foundation is no longer stable.

3. Blocked And Destroyed Piping

When a tree’s root system has invaded your home’s piping, it can cause all sorts of problems. A backed-up toilet is the most common and generally happens when the drain gets clogged up or destroyed by the roots. Without professional help, these issues cannot be resolved and need to be resolved immediately before the roots grow further into nearby drains.

4. Foul Odour

Invading tree roots can damage the sewer line, leading to foul odour within and outside your home. If you experience bad smells such as those of rotten eggs, chances are that tree roots have damaged the sewer line.

5. Reduced Water Pressure

If the water pressure in your home has fallen suddenly, it may indicate blocked drains and a blockage of the plumbing system by tree roots. This is another problem that cannot be fixed using DIY methods and will require the help of a plumber.

6. Gurgling Noises

Drains in your sink or toilet tend to gurgle when an obstruction blocks water flow. Tree root blockage in your drain pipes is among the most common causes of obstructions and a sinister gurgling noise.

Pipe Dug Underground

7. Increase In Water Bills

Have you received an unexpected water bill? An unusual rise in your water bills may also indicate a tree root problem with your plumbing system. This is because when tree roots damage the drain pipes, it can cause leaks, which not only leads to higher bills but also causes water wastage.

Dealing With Tree Root Invasion Of The Piping System

There are a few ways by which you can remove tree roots growing in your piping system, such as:

Blie Water Pipe Leaking Water

1. Using Copper Sulphate

Copper sulphate is a common root killer that can be purchased from local home improvement stores. It can remove small tree roots in pipes, preventing them from entering them.

For this method, pour about half a cup of the crystal into the toilet before flushing it down to kill the roots. But keep in mind that copper sulphate should not be used in the septic system as it can damage it.

2. With Rock Salt

While functioning like copper sulphate, rock salt is a safer alternative that can even be used in septic systems. The only thing to remember when using it is to stick to the right quantity, as a larger quantity can poison the entire tree.

Also, using rock salt will not help you solve the problem permanently, and you will need to rely on other methods for a permanent result.

Permanent Solutions

Unlike the above DIY methods, these tree root removal solutions require professionals’ help.

Person Tool Tighten Pipes

1. Professional Root Removal

For solving plumbing problems caused by the invasion of tree roots, plumbers generally use a mechanical auger, also known as a rooter. It is inserted into the broken pipes and used to cut away the roots, causing an obstruction, after which the cracks and leaks in the pipes can be repaired.

Some plumbers also use a hydro-jet machine which releases water at high pressure to cut through the roots.

2. Pipe Lining

This method ensures that the problem does not occur again once the roots have been removed from the underground pipes. It involves inserting a lining within the broken pipe system so that the roots cannot get in, even if there are cracks in the outer pipe. Unlike traditional pipe repairs, plumbers only need a small hole to reach the water pipes beneath your home.

3. Bursting Of The Sewer Pipes

In situations where the invading tree roots have caused cracking and leaks on a large scale, bursting the old sewer pipe might be the best solution. Here, a new sewer pipe with a pointed head is attached to a winch and passed through the old pipe system.

The pointed head cuts away the tree roots that have entered the pipe while the new pipe blocks all the cracks.

Don’t Let Tree Roots Get in Your Sewer Line

In case of problems caused by tree roots blocking your plumbing system, early detection can help you avoid a lot of hassle. Hopefully, this guide has given you some insight into how to look for signs of a problem like this.

While some of these problems can be solved using various DIY techniques, most require professional assistance. That’s why having the contact number of a reliable plumber at hand can be highly advantageous and help sort out the problem in no time. Speak to our plumbing experts in Melbourne for assistance with your plumbing problem. We can help clear tree roots from your drains today!

With that said, we’ll be wrapping up. Goodbye!

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