As great as it is to have large trees on your property, their roots can wreak havoc on your drainage and sewer system. Your sewer line can be an easy source of water for plants. If any cracks or holes release water into the ground, tree roots will naturally grow toward it. They can invade the pipe, creating blockages and leaks or even causing the entire line to collapse. Fortunately, there are things you can do to protect your pipes from tree roots and solutions for when tree roots do get into the water and sewage lines.

1. Use Pipe Lining

Tree roots can invade sewer pipes through the tiniest cracks and holes and cause numerous problems for your home’s plumbing. Repairing a damaged sewer line as soon as possible is imperative to prevent roots from breaching the pipes.

One of the easiest ways is to install a pipe liner. This is done by inserting a resin-saturated felt liner into the pipe. The resin hardens, creating a solid liner and preventing the pipe from further damage. This only requires our repair technicians to dig a small hole to access your sewer line; there is no need to dig up your yard and potentially damage your landscaping to make repairs.

Installing a new pipe liner is especially helpful if you have an older sewer line. Older lines are particularly vulnerable to damage from tree roots, as they are often made from cast iron, clay, or cement. A new resin liner could be the refresh you need to keep your plumbing safe for years to come.

2. Install Root Barriers

If you have large trees on your property, an expert can install metal, plastic, or stone barriers between their root systems and your sewer line. The roots grow where you want them to grow and won’t interfere with your sewer line or any other structures on your property. In fact, these barriers can help your trees become healthier overall by directing their roots toward natural sources of water and nutrients and away from your existing infrastructure.

This solution often works best for older trees. Barriers can also protect younger trees and help them thrive while keeping them from damaging your water pipes.

3. Have Trees Removed

Of course, if a tree is growing too close to your home’s water or sewer line, you can always have it removed. This is best left to professionals who know how to safely remove a tree without doing too much damage to the surrounding area. This also means eliminating stumps from your property to prevent new roots from growing.

4. Have Tree Roots Trimmed

If you don’t want to remove the trees on your property, you can still have their roots trimmed if they’re getting too close to your underground pipes or your home’s foundation. This job should be left to the professionals, especially if you need to prune the larger roots of older trees. Pruning roots incorrectly can damage the trees, defeating the purpose of pruning the roots instead of removing the trees altogether.

5. Have Your Drains Cleaned Regularly

Cleaning the drains in your home will prevent clogs, reducing the risk of undue stress damaging the sewer pipes. You can do a quick cleaning by pouring a mixture of vinegar and baking soda down your drains, followed by a pot of boiling water once a month. Still, you should also schedule a more thorough drain cleaning at least once a year. Cal’s Plumbing offers various drain cleaning and inspection services to clear your pipes of debris and invasive tree roots. Contact us today if you haven’t had your drains cleaned or your sewer line inspected in the last year.

6. Repair Leaks Quickly

It’s unlikely that anyone will hesitate to fix a major leak that threatens to flood their basement or damage their home. Unfortunately, some leaks can go undetected for some time, especially in a home’s main sewer line. A leak in a sewer line makes it much more attractive to tree roots, which can invade the line and make even minor plumbing problems far worse.

If you’re not sure whether or not you have a leak in your home or in your sewer line, look for the following signs:

  • Higher than usual water bills
  • Water spots on your walls or ceiling
  • Mold and mildew in your home
  • Musty or “wet” smells in your home
  • Unusually lush patches in your yard
  • Puddles, spongy grass, and wet spots in your yard

If you notice these signs, contact Cal’s Plumbing immediately. We provide water leak detection in addition to our other plumbing services. We can find and fix practically any leak in your home before it causes more damage.

7. Install PVC Pipes

If you have an older home that hasn’t been repiped in the last several years, you might still have copper or cast-iron pipes. While these can last several years, they can corrode and leak over time. Consider having these older metal pipes replaced with PVC pipes. PVC pipes are sturdier than many people think, and they are far more resistant to damage from tree roots. They are also easier to repair and more cost-efficient, so they can be a good investment for your home regardless of any large trees on your property.

8. Use Chemical Root Inhibitors to Kill Invasive Roots

Chemical root inhibitors can kill tree roots that have grown into your plumbing. Using them can be a quick solution to your tree root problems. However, it’s not permanent as the chemicals need to be used regularly to be effective. They’re also highly toxic to certain plants, so you might think twice about using them if you don’t want to kill other vegetation on your property.

If you plan on taking this route to eliminate troublesome tree roots, get a professional opinion first. Don’t hesitate to contact us for a more permanent and eco-friendly solution.

Contact Cal’s Plumbing For More Information

Tree roots can cause a lot of problems for your home’s plumbing system. There are clearly a lot of solutions available to you if you’re having root-related plumbing problems. However, they should always be left to professionals. We at Cal’s Plumbing are more than happy to answer your questions and help you deal with any tree roots in your water pipes. We specialize in leak detection, repiping, drain repair, and hydro jetting. All of these solutions can help keep tree roots under control and prevent a serious plumbing disaster in your home. We also provide other services, such as kitchen and bathroom plumbing installation, and we offer traditional and tankless water heater installation and repair. We also offer water softening, filtration, and purification systems.

If you have any questions about our plumbing services or if you have a plumbing emergency that may or may not be related to invasive tree roots, contact Cal’s Plumbing in Tucson, AZ today.

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