Tree roots grow slowly, but they are living things that are constantly in search of the material the tree needs to survive and continue growing. A tree root that senses a source of water or nutrients close by will grow in that direction. If the water is coming from a small leak in a water pipe, for example, the root will enter the opening and grow into the pipe, slowly but with constant pressure and strength. The root enters the pipe and makes the leak larger. Over time, the invading root could create a physical clog that is very difficult to remove. The growing roots can also break the pipes open completely. Sewer and drain pipes can also be susceptible to this type of damage.
Preventing Pipe Damage from Tree Roots
Preventing pipe damage from tree roots is largely a matter of keeping potentially damaging trees away from underground pipes and drains.
- Find out where your plumbing and sewer lines are located: Call your local utility company to pinpoint the location of underground lines before planting trees. Make sure to plant trees well away from existing plumbing pipes, sewers, and drains.
- Landscape with plants that won’t cause damage: In the vicinity of underground plumbing pipes, landscape with plants and trees that won’t be likely to harm pipes. Choose slow-growing trees with small root systems.
- Protect sewer lines: Install metal or wood barriers designed to prevent roots from getting to pipes and sewer lines. Use chemicals such as potassium hydroxide or copper sulfate to keep roots from growing near pipes.
- Call for maintenance: If you’re experiencing frequent clogs or notice signs of leaks such as wet areas in your lawn, contact your local trusted plumbing professional for a maintenance visit. Your plumber can inspect your pipes with video equipment and perform other tests to isolate and repair tree root damage.
Aqua Plumbing and Air is a top choice for heating, cooling, and plumbing in Sarasota, Bradenton, and Manatee County. Contact us today for more information on preventing pipe damage from tree roots and for expert prevention and repair services when needed.
Written by John Miller
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