Tree Roots Can Wreak Havoc on Pipes — How to Best Prevent Pipe Damage
Tree roots craving water will naturally grow toward any leaks in your water and sewer pipes. Once they find a leak, they’ll invade your pipes, causing water flow blockage, pipe damage, unhealthy conditions and costly repair bills. To prevent pipe damage from tree roots and avoid high repair bills, follow these tips when planting trees and maintaining your pipes.
Prevent Pipe Damage From Tree Roots
- Locate sewer lines – You can call your local public works office or the national 811 “Call Before You Dig” number to locate underground utilities on your property. Before you do any kind of landscaping, it’s always wise to know where your pipes, cables and lines are buried.
- Make a barrier between your trees and sewer lines – You can choose from a wide array of barriers to prevent root growth into your sewer lines. Most homeowners like to spread slow-release chemicals, such as copper sulfate and potassium hydroxide, near their sewer lines. Some homeowners prefer to bury metal or wood barriers below their pipes and run them along their sewer lines.
- Smart planting – Limit the number of plantings near sewer lines. Plant larger trees far away enough so that their roots can’t reach your pipes. In case you do have to plant near sewer lines, plant slow-growing trees that have a small root ball.
- Understand warning signs – If your drains are constantly clogged, you may have a bigger problem. Pipe damage from tree roots causes clogged, overflowing and slow-flowing drains. Sometimes you’ll hear a gurgling sound from your toilet.
- Inspection – If you notice any warning signs of possible pipe damage, contact a plumber, who can inspect your pipes to find the damaged areas.
- Maintenance – Cleaning and clearing sewer lines regularly will prevent root growth inside your pipes. As a result, you’ll avoid major sewer repairs.