What to Do if You Have Roots in Your Pipes

The trees in your yard are a big part of what makes your property so beautiful. Although your trees help to improve your home’s curb appeal, they can sometimes cause problems with your sewer lines as well. This occurs when their roots grow into your sewer lines, thereby causing damage.

Sewer Line Damage

Your sewer pipes contain water along with nutrients that are essential to the growth of your property’s trees. What happens is that the warm water flowing through your pipes causes vapor to be released from any cracks or loose joints into the cooler soil that surrounds your sewer pipes.

The roots of nearby trees will begin to grow towards the pipes in an attempt to reach the moisture. They’ll eventually grow into the cracks or loose joints from where the vapor was released, and can eventually fill the pipe. Not only can this cause serious blockages, but it could cause your pipe to collapse.

Signs of Roots in Your Pipes

As the property owner, you are responsible for maintaining your sewer laterals, which are the pipes that connect your home’s sewer pipes to the main sewer pipe, which is generally located in the street. The problem is that because the sewer pipes are located below ground, it can be difficult to identify any issues.

There are two main signs to look for in the case of roots growing into your pipes. The first is if your home has a slowly flowing drainage system. The second is if you hear gurgling sounds coming from your toilet bowls.

A professional will be able to identify if the growth of roots in your pipes is the problem by performing a camera inspection.

Removing the Roots

If it has been determined that there are roots growing inside of your sewer pipes, then a professional will be able to remove those roots using one of several methods. The following are some of the common methods for removing roots from sewer lines:

  • Cutting the tree roots – The most common way of removing roots is through the use of a mechanical auger. A professional will send a powered sewer auger with a rotating spiral head through your sewer line. The spiral head works like a reciprocating saw head, which will cut the roots. However, with this method, the roots can still grow back.
  • Chemical removal – To keep the tree roots from growing back, you can deposit a chemical like copper sulfate crystals right outside of your pipe. This will keep tree roots from getting into the pipes since it will kill off the root structure.
  • Hydro jetter removal – A hydro jetter is a machine that uses a pump and water that can be used to flush your pipes using a chemical of some kind to kill the roots.

These are just a few ways you can remove any roots from your sewer pipes. If you notice signs of invasive roots, contact a professional right away before they do any serious damage to your pipes.

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