28 Aug What to Do If You Have Tree Roots in Your Sewer Line
Two things that both live underground: sewer lines and tree roots. When they get together, nothing good can come of it.
Any crack that forms in a sewer line attracts tree roots, which begin small but can grow to be the same size as the pipe. This can cause major problems for your sewer, blocking its flow and causing further breakage. A professional plumber must come out and deal with the issue.
There are five main ways of tackling tree roots in your sewer line:
1) Cutting Roots Mechanically
A mechanical auger can be used to extricate existing tree roots. A power sewer auger is sent down the sewer line, cutting up any tree roots with its sharp, rotating head. This is one of the most common techniques for dealing with tree roots, but the downside is the roots will begin growing back almost immediately. If you want to prevent roots from coming back, or forming in the first place, chemical treatments are necessary.
2) Chemical Treatments
Copper sulfate septic treatments are the most common chemical solution on the market. Chemical treatments clear out tree roots from your sewer line and prevent them from growing back. To create a permanent effect, a poison barrier is created between the sewer line and the soil. Some treatments contain foaming agents, which coat tree roots from top to bottom.
3) Hydro Jetter
A hydro jetter, if you can get your hands on one, is a great way to remove tree roots. You can buy or rent one, or have a professional come out and handle the job for you. Pressurized water is sent through the sewer line, ousting tree roots. After being flushed with water, it’s a good idea to run a chemical treatment through your pipes to prevent roots from returning.
4) Dig Up Roots
Digging up tree roots that are presenting complications for other methods gets to the heart of the problem. It can be expensive to dig extensively but is a necessity if it means regaining proper plumbing. Professional plumbers can use camera systems that are sent down your sewer line to determine precisely where the tree root is penetrating the line. This allows you to dig more efficiently, honing in on the right spot.
5) Trenchless Sewer Repair
Trenchless sewer repair could be an easy solution for you to restore your plumbing while avoiding digging your whole garden up. By lining your pipes with a new durable material, a pipe is essentially created inside the existing one. This is accomplished using only small access holes. No excavation required.
What’s even better than a cure is prevention. Knowing the steps to take to avoid the messy problem of tree roots getting in your sewer line will save you plenty of time and trouble down the road.
Before planting any trees on your lot, ask a home inspector or your city’s sewer department where the lines lie. Plant your trees well away from these areas and you should have nothing to worry about.
If you live on a smaller lot and can’t plant a tree anywhere but near a line, plant smaller trees with more modest root lengths. Your tree may not be a towering, stunning oak, but at least it won’t be wreaking havoc on your sewer lines.
Repairs on your sewer lines from invasive tree roots may be covered by your home insurance policies. Not all policies cover this event. If you live in a very treed area, then consider including this policy in your home insurance package. Some trees have roots that grow more aggressively than others, although slow growing trees will eventually pose a problem to your sewers as well. You’ll have to replace your tree before the roots grow so deep that they reach the lines.
Tree roots and sewer pipes just don’t go together, and poor tree planning can lead to issues over time. To avoid having to dig up your lot, plant trees away from known sewer lines. If you do end up with roots in your lines, mechanical, hydro, or chemical treatments deployed by our professionals can get rid of the problem, leaving your sewer lines free and clear.
Established in 2012, HMS Plumbing provides top-rated plumbing services in the Toronto area including residential services, construction, and commercial maintenance. For more information, please call us at 877-317-5593 or contact us here.