The Root of the Problem: Tree Roots Ruining Your Sewer System

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PlumberGrass cut too short, pots popping with cluttered colours, plants stripped of lower leaves, and shrubs pruned into balls — these are just some of the most hideous landscaping mistakes that ruin curb appeal. These problems, however, have easy solutions, with  little changes here and there. What most homeowners frequently overlook when it comes to landscaping is the ‘wreck’ under their yard.

Landscaping can cause all kinds of problems in the plumbing system. Tree roots that grow inside sewer lines inevitably lead to drainage issues such as clogged kitchen sinks or overflowing toilets. This is why it is important to take important notice of plumbing factors when planning landscaping. Regular inspection and maintenance are also necessary.

The Trouble with Tree Roots

Tree roots naturally seek out sewer lines — or any water source for that matter — because they have moisture, oxygen, and the nutrients plants need to grow and mature. When a tree is planted too closely to sewer lines, the roots will eventually penetrate little cracks and openings to get the moisture it needs for nourishment.

Plumbing experts from explain that initially, tiny roots get into the pipelines, but as they receive more nutrients, they grow and expand into a web of roots. As they damage sewer lines, they cause major plumbing system issues, including clogged, overflowing and slow-flowing drains.

Pipes may also break if the problem persists. Sewage can back up into your home, which exposes you to a host of health problems.

Prevention and Repair

Because of the risks associated with tree roots getting caught up in your sewer line, maintenance of your plumbing system should be at the top of your considerations when planning landscaping design. Call plumbing contractors before you even dig a hole in your yard; make sure there is a safe distance between the trees and pipelines.

You may also use various types of barriers, such as copper sulphate and potassium hydroxide to prevent root growth near your sewer lines. Be extra careful when choosing trees as well; you may want to avoid planting certain species, such as walnut, willow, and elm trees — at least near the pipe lines.

When you suspect damage in your system, the best thing to do is call plumbers. Usually, experts use a special camera to inspect the pipelines and identify damaged areas. From there, they will either recommend clearing or replacing of the sewer system. To prevent costly issues, clean and maintain the system regularly.

Trees are supposed to beautify your yard — not wreak havoc on and under it. Consider plumbing factors when designing your landscape.

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