How to Tackle Root Intrusion in Sewers

Root intrusion in sewers is one of the most common problems associated with homes that run on sewer systems. It is so common, in fact, that tree roots cause more than 50 percent of sewer blockages, according to the United States Forest Service.

Risk factors for root intrusion in sewers

Homes can be at risk for problems if any of these exist:

  • Old sewer systems
  • Outdated pipe materials
  • Pipes with multiple or loose joints
  • Small pipes
  • Pipes that already have cracks in them, even small ones
  • Fast-growing tree species
  • Drought-prone areas
  • Yards with several trees or large, older trees

Why roots grow in sewers

Trees naturally gravitate toward moist environments. Sewer lines that drain from homes provide the tree with water and nutrient-dense fertilizer. The process of root intrusion is gradual, so most sewer system owners do not realize it is a problem until the pipe is completely overrun and clogged by the roots.

Signs of root intrusion

Watch out for these signs of a problem, and then call a plumber:

  • Backups in sewer lines
  • Multiple seemingly clogged drains
  • Slow draining tubs, showers and sinks
  • Sewer gas odors in the home
  • Plungers no longer help the issue

Precautions to take to reduce intrusion

Since root intrusion in sewer systems often causes significant and costly pipe damage, it is important to take precautions to avoid this issue from occurring again. Since older pipes are more prone to root intrusion, it is necessary to keep up to date with routine maintenance and possibly remove trees in properties that have older sewer systems. It may even be cost-effective to replace multijoint sewer lines with longer lines that have fewer joints to reduce the likelihood of intrusion. Outdated lines may also need replacing, especially if a property owner is planning on remaining in the property long-term. It is also beneficial to inspect pipes routinely for cracks since cracks often lead to the presence of roots in the system. Plant sewer safe trees rather than those that are likely to grow quickly.

Root removal could be necessary

Properties that have existing root intrusion in sewers should schedule repairs quickly to prevent further damage. More damage will occur to the piping underground, and the clogs could worsen and lead to water damage inside any buildings attached to the compromised sewer lines. Addressing the problem addressed as soon as it occurs can prevent further costly issues from developing.

The ways to fix sewers with roots growing in them

At first, it is best to try less invasive solutions like hydro jetting. Hydrojetting is the process of shooting highly pressurized water into piping to flush out any debris. This process may include a chemical that will kill any existing roots within the piping. Once the roots are taken care of, repairs can occur.

If removal of the roots with hydrojetting or other specialized inner pipe tools is not possible, manual removal may be necessary. Digging out the sewer lines and removing the roots precede any necessary repairs. After repairs are made, killing the nearby tree roots with specialized chemicals so they will not grow back is a likely step.

Getting help is your best option

The sooner you address this problem, the better it will be for your wallet and sewer system. If root intrusion in sewers is a problem you are experiencing, do not wait to contact us. Call (562) 413-1928 today to reach Prodigy Plumbing Inc.

Recent Posts

Residental Plumbing Inspection Checklist

Residental Plumbing Inspection Checklist

It to hire a professional plumber yearly for a thorough inspection of residential plumbing. A professional has the tools and skills to detect issues that a non-plumber might miss. However, this does not mean you always have to get a pro plumber to notice common plumbing issues. Keep an eye out for these things.For a…

Signs Your Office&#    ;s Plumbing Is In Need Of Repairs

4 Signs Your Office's Plumbing Is In Need Of Repairs

As a general rule, the earlier commercial plumbing repairs are scheduled, the more likely it is to prevent a major catastrophe that can hinder the ability to run a business smoothly. As a business owner, it is up to you to ensure the plumbing systems at your location get the regular maintenance and repairs they…