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Thirsty Roots Causing Big Problems

Friday, March 6, 2015 - 7:37am

The kids are back in school, autumn is around the corner, and if there’s any last minute summer fun it’s time to do it now. There’s more to think about than the upcoming holidays though – with dry summers tree roots are still growing and they’re looking for water sources. What does this mean for you? Tree roots finding their way into your pipes.

Just like flowers and leaves will always find a way to direct themselves to the sun, their roots will do the same towards sources of water and nutrients. Sewer systems provide them with a generous supply of both. Roots normally find their way in through small cracks or at a joint in the pipe. Once the root is in, that’s when blockage happens. As the root grows, there’s also the possibility of pipe breakage.

If you suspect you might have roots in your pipes, you can hire a plumber to send a camera down the line to get a look at its condition.

Depending on the severity of the root problem, you might be able to get away using a commercially available product that is suppose to stop and kill roots in your sewer lines. These products are generally copper based and work against small roots – however it’s not a permanent solution and it’s not something we’d recommend for homes with septic tanks. Copper sulfate or “bluestone” can kill beneficial organisms that are in your septic tank or drain field.

If the roots are taking over, you’ll probably need to call your plumber to run an auger through the pipes. This tool will cut the roots and clear the pipes. Trees are persistent though, so while this will work better than using chemicals, the tree will most likely (eventually) find its way into your pipes again.

The long-term solution? You’ll have to replace your older sewage lines. If you’re worried about your sewage pipes, please give us a call or set up an online appointment.

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