HOW PLUMBERS FIX TREE ROOT DAMAGE TO PIPES
MAR 01, 2018
Tree roots can cause significant damage to your plumbing system. Knowing the warning signs of tree root damage can help you address issues early. Better yet, learning how tree roots damage pipes and how to avoid the situation altogether can give homeowners the satisfaction of knowing that is one hassle they will likely avoid.
TREE ROOT DAMAGE TO PIPES
Tree roots have a tendency to gravitate towards water and sewer lines – especially in dry climates like the Arizona desert. Whether you think you may already have tree root damage or want to be proactive in order to keep it from happening, here is what you need to know.
HOW DO PLUMBERS DIAGNOSE TREE ROOT DAMAGE?
A homeowner or plumber may have an inkling of tree root damage based on some telltale signs – though many of the signs are similar to other types of clogs, which is why it is an issue usually diagnosed by a professional. Trees that are obviously growing near the sewer or water lines combined with constant clogs can be just one sign. Slow drains or gurgling toilets can be another indicator of something (such as a tree root) obstructing a line. Obvious sinkholes in the yard are another calling card of tree root damage. In some instances, tree roots can clog pipes to the point that water or sewage actually backs into the home, causing a huge health risk and headache for homeowners.
The primary way that modern plumbers definitively diagnose tree root damage is by using special cameras. Camera inspection and video recording is especially useful because it allows plumbers to pinpoint the precise location of the issue and quickly assess the severity. Knowing what you are up against is the best way to create an efficient game plan to address tree root damage in a manner that will ensure the problem is fixed in its entirety with minimal cost and inconvenience for the homeowner.
CAN TREE ROOT DAMAGE BE PREVENTED?
There are numerous things that homeowners can do to prevent tree root damage to their pipes. The first (and perhaps most obvious) is to know where water and sewer lines are so that the homeowner can avoid planting near there. If you are unsure of where your lines are, contact your local public works department or dial 811, the national “Call Before You Dig” number.
Another useful step is to create barriers between trees and pipes. Some homeowners opt for spreading chemical growth inhibitors near their sewer lines while others prefer physical wooden or metal barriers. If you really want to make sure all of your bases are covered, consider doing both. This can be especially useful if you have moved into a home that already has established landscaping and trees you can foresee encroaching on your water or sewer pipes.
Lastly, if you really want to place plants or bushes near the sewer line, do your research. Opt for plants or shrubs that are slow-growing and that do not have extensive root systems.
HOW DO PLUMBERS FIX TREE ROOT DAMAGE?
The way that a plumber will go about repairing tree root damage will depend on the severity of the damage. In cases of minimal root intrusion, hydro jetting may be an option. In the process of clearing blockages, hydro jetting can also have a rejuvenating effect on pipes.
However, in many cases, trenchless sewer repair or replacement will be the better option. In this process, pipes are completely replaced without the expense and inconvenience of traditional line replacement methods. A method of so-called pipe bursting, trenchless sewer repair works by hydraulically moving a cone through lines, breaking apart old, damaged pipes. As the old pipes are broken up, it is replaced at the same time with high-density polyethylene (HDPE), one of the most durable materials currently on the market. Even cast iron pipes can be replaced using this method.
Luckily, because a plumber is able to use cameras to inspect the issue in the first place, you can rest assured that any work being done by a reputable plumber is necessary.
If you suspect that you currently have tree root damage or would like to rule out any other kind of damage to your plumbing system, schedule a camera-equipped inspection today! Our experts can show you first-hand what the current condition of your pipes is and help identify any problems or potential problems. If it is true that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, then camera inspections are one of the most valuable services a plumber can provide.
And did you know that all of our work is guarantee? Throughout our decades in the Valley, we have built a reputation as one of the best providers of plumbing and HVAC services.
Click here to contact us if you suspect tree root damage or other plumbing issues.