A Closer Look Into Tree root intrusion
Tree root intrusion is one of the most common factors causing damage to your sewer line. While trees are pretty standard and desirable in a garden for shade and beauty, they can wreak havoc on your plumbing system!
Tree roots are naturally drawn towards sewerage pipes as they give the roots the moisture they need, nutrients and even Oxygen. Tree roots will grow towards any crack or loose join in an underground sewerage pipe in search of moisture and nutrients. As they force their way into the pipes they will start to form a ‘web’ that fills the whole pipe.
These roots will unfortunately trap anything solid or semi-solid which will slow the flow of your sewerage right down. If these roots are not removed could cause enough pressure to collapse the pipes completely which would be a VERY pricey and inconvenient repair. You can prevent these expensive repairs by taking a few preventative measures.
Are your drain draining slowly?
If you have noticed your drains draining slowly, gurgling noises from your toilets or a less than desirable odour drifting around in your garden, you may have a problem with tree root intrusion in your sewer line. Here is some information on what to watch out for, how to prevent it and how to treat roots in your pipes if they become a problem.
Blocked Sewer Line Warning Signs
Slow or blocked up drains
One of the first signs of a blocked drain is slow draining basins, sinks and showers. Unfortunately most people will reach for the DIY chemical drain cleaner instead of getting a professional plumber in to inspect your drains with state of the art CCTV cameras that get snaked into your drains. Allowing the roots to continue to grow in the pipes will only cause more of a problem later on.
A gurgling toilet is almost always the first sign of a clog and should not be ignored. None of us want the smelly inconvenience of a backed up toilet! Tree root intrusion in your sewer line could become costly, so if you suspect that you may be experiencing this issues, best contact Absolute Plumbing Cape Town and book an assessment as soon as possible.
A healthy drain will flush water through it like it was designed to do. However, if your detect a foul odour coming from your drains it is a sign that there is a clog in your drains as they water that cannot be flushed past the root clog begins to stagnate.
Soggy indented patches of grass on your lawn
Sloshy, soft pieces of lawn are a sure sign that there is a leak in an underground sewerage pipe in your garden. If there is a leak, there is a way for roots to infiltrate the pipes. Call the professionals in sooner rather than later to prevent further damage caused by roots to your already damaged pipes.
Watching out for tree root intrusion warning signs is always a good idea, however, as we all know, prevention is always better than cure. Here are a few ways to prevent root damage to your sewer lines.
How do you prevent roots from growing into your sewerage pipes?
If you are building a house these are ways to prevent future damage from roots
Sewer Line Barriers
There are two ways to prevent roots from becoming a problem for your sewerage line. One is to have slow release chemicals spread near the sewerage lines to prevent root growth. The chemicals used are copper sulfate and potassium hydroxide. The roots avoid the chemicals and grow away from the pipes. The 2nd way is with metal or wood barriers buried vertically along the length of the pipes to prevent roots from reaching the pipes.
Trying your hardest to prevent roots from becoming a problem for your sewerage system is the best and cheapest way. If you are planning on planting a garden or planting a new tree in your exusting garden you should find out where your sewerage pipes are buried below the surface of your garden.
The best is to plant trees and bushes that are slow growing and have shallow root systems, however if you do plant large trees with deep roots plant them further away from any utility lines. If you have a large tree planted near your pipes be sure to get a professional plumber to inspect your plumbing regularly. A CCTV camera inspection done by a professional plumbing service like Pipe Relining Cape Town can detect tree roots in your sewer system before they become a serious problem.
Have regular camera inspections done
You may not have any large trees close to your home, but you should still have your pipes checked regularly with a specialised video camera. Without even knowing it you may have a bush with thick roots or have sprawling roots from a neighbour’s property which could be infiltrating your sewer lines. It is always worth having a professional plumber take a close look at your plumbing system before big, expensive problems arise.
Even if tree root intrusion is not yet a problem, debris from your drains will be easily spotted before they create a blockage.
How to repair root damage done to your sewer line
- Mechanical root extraction: Pipe Relining Cape Town specialises in the identification of root infestations and the mechanical extraction of them using specialised tools. Although this is a temporary solution (roots regrow) it will allow your pipes to flow freely again until you choose to use a more permanent solution.
- Remove the roots chemically: Killing the tree roots is an option, but can be dangerous so is best left to a professional plumbing service.
- Repair your sewer line: sometimes the damage caused by a root infestation is so severe that the only option left is to replace or repair the pipes. Pipe Relining Cape Town uses a revolutionary method of repairing your sewerage pipes using a trenchless method of repair. See more here.
In conclusion, preventing root damage to your new or existing sewer line is preferrable. However, you might already be sitting with a tree root intrusion problem casuing a blockage in your sewerage line. If this is the case, the only way to handle it is to call the professionals in sooner rather than later. Secondly, maintenance of the repaired sewerage line will help to prevent big, expensive repairs in future. So remember to have your plumbing system checked on a regular basis by a plumber.
Give us a call, we’re here to help.