3 Things To Know About Sewer Roots

Tree roots can be a big problem with sewer pipes. The roots can break through and be responsible for a clog that is so tough that you won't be able to break up the roots by yourself. Even tree-free yards are not free and clear from the potential damage of sewer roots, since roots from trees in a neighbors yard can grow towards the sewer line over the years. Here is what you need to know about sewer root damage

How Rooting Works

The tree root removal process can be done by using a specialized tool known as a sewer snake. It has the capability of cutting through tree roots thanks to a very sharp blade placed on the end of a cable. The cable is pushed through the sewer line slowly while the blade rotates, which is capable of destroying tree roots that have grown in the path.

While rooting will clear away roots in your sewer pipe, it won't eliminate the problem forever. Those roots have already broken through the pipe and the blade has just cut off the roots that are exposed on the inside. The roots will eventually grow back and cause a clog again.

How Damage Occurs

A tree-root-related clog happens slowly over time. The root is looking for water, and it will seek out any small crack that it can find in the sewer line. Ceramic tiles will be more likely to have these cracks than PVC pipes, but PVC is susceptible to tree roots if cracks have formed.

The tree root makes its way into the pipe and starts growing inside your drain pipe. While the damage starts with a clog, it can eventually cause the entire pipe to collapse. A pipe collapse will happen if the root grows bigger in size and the stability of the pipe is compromised. You will need to have your yard excavated to replace the pipe with a new one.

How To Keep Roots Away

The most effective way that you can prevent roots from getting near a pipe is to remove the nearby trees. This isn't always practical to do, especially since trees in a neighbors yard can be problematic too. You can use chemicals that will dissolve roots and keep the rest of the tree alive, but they won't prevent roots from eventually growing back. Your local plumbing service company may actually suggest pipe replacement. Replacing old ceramic drain pipes with PVC material will stop roots from getting inside, and this will eventually need to be done if the ceramic tile collapses. 

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