Is Your Property’s Trees Causing Problems in Your Sewer Line?

Trees beautify a yard, provide shade, and add value to your property. As wonderful as trees are, they aren’t always so great for your plumbing system, particularly your home’s sewer line. Every day, at Wise Choice Plumbing & Rooter, we see the effects of tree roots on residential plumbing systems. When root bases reach sewer pipes, they cause significant damage and expensive repairs.

The last thing we want is for homeowners to have these problems. Keep reading to learn more about the “root” of the problem and what you need to do to keep your sewer system root-free.

Why Roots Are a Problem

Everyone knows trees need water to grow. Unfortunately, sewer pipes have plenty of water and roots aren’t shy about seeking water sources. When planting a tree close to a sewer line, root infiltration is likely.

The reason so many Southern California homes experience root infiltration is because they have old sewer pipes made from clay. Clay pipes are prone to root damage because they crack and crumble easier than PVC pipes. However, any pipe, regardless of the material it’s constructed from, can develop cracks and loose joints. Any time there is a weakness in the pipe, it creates the perfect situation for root problems. Sometimes, root growth is so aggressive, that the roots puncture intact pipes and create an issue.

When tree roots get into sewer pipes, they cause not only pipe damage. They also contribute to sewer leaks and sewer clogs. The longer these conditions remain, the more likely it is for homeowners to experience serious sewer issues that set the stage for health problems and costly sewer repair or sewer replacement.

Warning Signs of Root Intrusion

The reason sewer problems seem to happen suddenly is that you don’t see the pipes bringing water into your house. Many people don’t realize a problem exists until there’s raw sewage backing up into their homes or overflowing in their yards.

We want you to know, though, there are warning signs that help homeowners get the help they need before the problems get out of control. Here are some typical signs you might have root intrusion:

  • Slow flowing drains that don’t respond to plunging or snaking
  • Gurgling noises coming from the toilet and other drains in the house
  • Toilets that frequently clog when used correctly
  • Raw sewage odors
  • Raw sewage backing up into the toilet and other drains

If you notice any of these signs in your home, be proactive, especially if you have large trees on your property. Don’t wait because this only creates more problems and adds to the repair costs.

Before You Plant

Maybe you’re reading this post and don’t have trees in your yard, but you’re considering planting new bushes and trees. Before you plant in the yard, contact a plumber for sewer line locating services. Ideally, you don’t want to plant trees within ten feet of your sewer line. If you have no other choice because you have a small lot, choose trees with small root bases.

Managing Root Intrusion

Homeowners who’ve had problems because of root intrusion aren’t always keen on cutting down mature trees on the property causing the problem. So what can you do if you’re in this situation?

If you have a cracked sewer pipe, but there aren’t roots growing into it at the moment, you have a couple options. The first option is a maintenance option that uses hydro-jetting equipment to clean out the pipe once a year. The hydro-jetting process is power enough to break up roots and keep clogs from forming. This is a budget-friendly option.

The other option costs more money, but it’s more than just preventive maintenance. Ask your plumber about pipe relining. This process relines the existing sewer line, sealing up cracks and strengthens the pipes to make it less susceptible to breakage.

If you’re in a situation where you believe root intrusion is affecting your sewer line, contact Wise Choice Plumbing & Rooter. We’ll send a licensed plumber to your home to perform a sewer camera inspection and see what’s going on inside the line. After the inspection, your plumber will go over your options and help you find the most affordable way to keep your sewer line in great condition.

To schedule a sewer camera inspection, contact us at (888) 668-8922.