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Tree Roots: A Common Sewer Line Threat

tree_roots-(1).jpgYour home’s sewer line is buried beneath your yard for aesthetics, safety, and functionality. However, this underground placement can leave your sewer line vulnerable to questing roots, which grow outward and downward from the trees planted in your yard as they search for water and nutrients to sustain the plant. Tree roots are a common cause of sewer line damage and clogs; this type of damage can cause several symptoms and always requires professional sewer line repair, as homeowners cannot effectively address this issue on their own.

How Tree Roots Affect Your Sewer Line

As the trees in your yard send out roots to gather nutrients, these roots may encounter your sewer line. While sewer pipes may seem hardy and impenetrable, they are susceptible to persistent roots, particularly if your sewer line is older or made from less durable materials than modern sewer pipes. Clay tile and Orangeburg sewer pipes are the most susceptible pipe materials to tree root damage, but even concrete and PVC pipes can sustain damage under certain circumstances. Once the tree roots break into your sewer line, they cause two problems to ensue. First, the damaged portion of pipe allows sewage to leak out into your yard, causing issues such as standing water, spongy grass, and an unpleasant smell. Second, the tree roots can continue to grow up into the pipe as they absorb water, causing a partial or complete blockage of your sewer line that affects drainage inside your home and may even lead to a sewage backup. Thus, sewer line repair to address tree root invasion typically involves two steps: removing the roots via chemical or mechanical means, then repairing or replacing the section of damaged sewer pipe.

Preventing Tree Root Damage in Your Sewer Line

The best way to handle tree root damage in your sewer line is to prevent this situation from ever happening. Avoiding the need for sewer line repair due to tree roots is possible with the right knowledge and planning. Your plumber can help you determine the location of your sewer line so you can plant trees a safe distance away from this important plumbing feature. Certain trees are more likely to put out roots that can damage your sewer line than others, so planting sewer-friendly trees in your yard can also protect your sewer line from future damage. If you are concerned about the age or condition of your sewer line, your plumber can perform a video inspection to determine whether the pipe could be susceptible to damage or deterioration and might benefit from replacement with a more durable and root-resistant material.

We understand the frustration and helplessness associated with a serious sewer line issue—that’s why our plumbers are available 24/7 for sewer line repair. Whether you are experiencing the earliest signs of a sewer line clog or are facing a major sewage backup that needs attention immediately, we can identify the cause of the problem and address it in a single visit to restore sewer line function to your property. Please visit us on the web to learn more about sewer line repair and replacement, as well as our plumbing maintenance and financing options. You can also read through our additional blog articles for more tips and information on healthy plumbing and sewer function.

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