Every single day in the USA, each person uses 80-100 gallons of water. This is vital for keeping healthy, washing, and keeping our home's plumbing systems working properly. However, it also means that a lot of water passes through your home on a daily basis.
This is why when something goes wrong with your plumbing, such as tree root invasion, it can become a serious issue very quickly. This can cause water backup and leaks within your property, which put your home and health at risk. In fact, 1 in 50 American homeowners file water-damage related insurance claims.
Luckily, you can protect your home from water damage by keeping your plumbing in order. Knowing about potential threats and how to spot them is key, which is why you need to know about tree root invasion.
Not familiar with this particular threat to your plumbing system? Then you're in the right place! Read on to find out all about signs of tree root invasion and what to do if you spot them.
What Is Tree Root Invasion?
Tree root problems affect your external pipes, which means they can be common problems for sewer lines. They occur when tree or plant roots grow into cracks in your pipes and cause blockages. This is a lot more common than you might imagine.
Over time, your pipes can become worn. This means certain points become vulnerable to cracking.
This is especially true if they carry hot water away from your home. Steam from hot water can create tiny cracks in the pipework as it tries to escape the pipes.
These cracks mean that water and other debris can drain out of your pipes and into the surrounding ground. However, it also means that things can get inside your pipes.
Tree and plant roots work their way in through the cracks even when they are tiny. As they start to grow, they can force the cracks to become bigger, meaning that the pipes do not drain water from your home properly.
However, the roots inside your pipes can also cause another problem. As debris flows along the pipes, it can become caught in the network of roots. Over time, this will create a blockage in your pipe.
As you can probably imagine, this creates plenty of problems for your plumbing system. Fortunately, there are some common signs to look out for when it comes to spotting potential root invasion. Keeping an eye on these means that you can deal with tree roots causing plumbing problems before they cause a plumbing emergency.
Let's take a look at some of the signs that you may have tree root foundation damage or need sewer tree root removal. Some occur in your home, while you can look for others around the pipes themselves.
When water leaks out of your pipes through tree root cracks, this can have consequences for the ground it soaks into.
Excessive water in the ground creates soft spots, which will change the texture and structure of the earth. Rather than remaining firm, it will start to sink more easily or not hold your weight anymore. You will often notice this happens if your lawn becomes waterlogged after heavy rainfall.
If there has not been much rain and sections of your lawn are sinking, then this could mean excess moisture is coming out of your pipes. Often, this sign will start in a localized area of your lawn rather than across the lawn as a whole.
2. New Growths in Your Garden
New roots mean that something is growing. New plants or trees may start growing on your lawn or you may notice that a particular plant has increased in size.
Sometimes, this will be very easy to spot, but it's worth taking a closer look if nothing is obvious to start with.
It's also a good idea to familiarize yourself with the lay of your home's external pipework. That way, you know where to look out for new growths in your garden.
Growths around your pipework indicate that something could be wrong below the surface.
3. Slow Water Drainage
When your pipes stop working properly, this has a knock-on effect on your home's plumbing system. This may take a little while to develop, so you should take action the minute you realize something is wrong.
If there is a blockage in your pipe, this will slow down the flow of water along it. Because of this, you will start to notice that your water takes longer to drain than usual. This could affect your bath, sinks, toilet, or shower.
Make sure that the drain itself is clear to help the water flow. If this does not work, then the problem could be more extensive.
4. Water Backing Up
When water backs up, this is extremely unpleasant, especially if it happens in your toilet. Not only will the water not flow away properly, but you may also notice you get debris coming back up from the pipes.
This happens when there is a blockage in your pipes and the water from your home has nowhere else to go. Even if there is a tiny crack in the pipework, this will not be enough to clear the water from the pipe quickly. As a result, it has nowhere else to go other than up.
You may also notice strange patterns, such as water coming up in your shower when you empty the sink or flush the toilet. Keep note of any of these patterns, as they will help a plumber to identify which pipe has been affected.
You need to deal with this as soon as possible to prevent backup from overflowing into your home.
5. Smells Coming From Your Drains
Your drains are responsible for carrying all matter of debris away from your home. This includes dirty water, as well as food and human waste, which means they are very smelly places.
Fortunately, when your pipes are working properly, the steady flow of water through them means you don't have to deal with this smell. When things go wrong, this is no longer the case.
You will start to notice unpleasant smells around the sink and plug holes in your home. If water is leaking out into your lawn, you may also notice this smell around the affected area. When this happens, it is time to get help with your drain blockage! Here are tips on how to deal with a smelly drain.
6. Changes in the Water Pressure
Tree root damage can affect the pipes bringing water into your property as well as the ones taking it away. If water is not traveling along these pipes at the usual flow, you will often notice that this affects your water pressure.
It may suddenly drop out for no apparent reason or fluctuate when you use more than one tap at a time. If this happens, try to locate the pipe bringing water into your property and look for any external signs of root invasion problems.
The Importance of Dealing With It When Tree Roots in Pipes Cause Problems
Any issue with your plumbing can be inconvenient and unpleasant to live with. However, there are several reasons why it is important to deal with tree root problems soon rather than later.
Any blockages in your pipes can put huge pressure on your home's plumbing system. This means you may be more likely to experience internal leaks as well as external ones. On top of this, backed-up pipes can cause extensive water damage throughout your property if left untreated.
This water is not just a threat to your physical property though. It can actually damage the health of anyone living in your property, especially if the pipe affected is a sewage one.
Leaks from sewage pipes can release toxic gases such as hydrogen sulfide and methane into your home. On top of this, drain water that escapes into the ground can contaminate the groundwater with pathogens and other diseases. Dealing with this problem as soon as possible is vital for looking after you and your family's health.
Water leaking into the lawn can also create serious issues for your garden and, potentially, for your property as well. If the root invasion occurs near to your property, this could mean water gets into the foundation of your property or lower-ground rooms. Dealing with this as soon as possible will protect the structural integrity of your home.
Fortunately, help is at hand and tree root removal is fairly straightforward. Let's take a look at how this works.
Diagnosing Tree Root Invasion
It can be difficult to see what is going on inside your pipes and a number of things can cause a blockage. Knowing what is causing your home's problems is the first step you should take.
You can take a look for any tell-tale external signs of root invasion, such as sinkholes or new growths. If you have any of these, it makes it easier to identify the issue.
Make sure that you do everything to clear and maintain healthy pipes. You can do this using baking soda, vinegar, and hot water. By doing everything in your power to keep them clear, you can eliminate some causes of blocked drains from your list.
If you are feeling confident, you can even try to clear your sewage pipe yourself from the outside using an auger cable and hosepipe. This can be a messy job, but it can help you to identify the cause of your problem.
However, one of the best ways to identify a tree root invasion is by using video plumbing inspection. This involves putting a camera into your drain to identify the cause of your blockage.
Removing the Tree From Your Plumbing
Once you know you have a tree root foundation or pipework invasion, the first thing to do is remove the root from your pipe.
This does not mean you have to kill the tree or plant altogether. In fact, an expert can help you to remove the tree and relocate it to a better spot in your garden away from your pipework.
Once this has been done, the next thing to do is repair any damage that the root has caused.
Repairing Your Pipework
Repairing cracks in your pipework is just as important as removing the blockage itself. Without this, your water still won't flow away properly and can damage your lawn.
This may involve a professional patching up the cracks in your pipework to make it secure. In some cases, they may recommend replacing an entire section of your pipework.
This is a good idea if your pipework is old and susceptible to cracking. You may save yourself money with a patch-up job, but old pipework is vulnerable to tree root invasion. The last thing you want is for it to happen all over again!
Checking the Blockage Is Clear
With your pipes back in working order, it is always a good idea to check for any further blockages before the plumber goes.
Test all of the drains in your home to make sure they are emptying as usual again. For true peace of mind, you can also ask your plumber to do another video inspection of your new pipework. This will ensure they have done a thorough job.
If you opt for a plumber who offers a warranty, this also means that if anything goes wrong again shortly, you can call them back to help for free.
Get Help With Your Pipe Repairs
When it comes to tree root invasion, this is a plumbing problem you should not ignore. It could cause serious damage to your home and your health, so don't wait around. A professional will be able to deal with the problem quickly and safely.To fix your plumbing problems, get in touch with Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Dallas today. For prompt Dallas plumbing service call (214) 838-8232 today. Our expert technicians are always here to help!