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Invasive tree roots spreading towards a plumbing pipe.

How to Detect & Prevent Damage From Invasive Tree Roots

The Downsides of Sewer Line Obstruction

Trees are a staple of countless yards. There is hardly a home in Pomona Valley that does not benefit from the shade, curb appeal, and fresh air they provide. At the same time, invasive tree roots can cause unwanted plumbing problems – wreaking havoc on your underground sewer line if planted in a poor area.

Sewer line obstruction can be an expensive and hazardous issue that should be dealt with immediately. The longer you wait to fix the problem, the more likely you will end up with a pricey emergency at an inconvenient time. Whatever your situation, Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Pomona Valley is ready to come to the rescue. We are your reliable solution when you need professional maintenance, a preventive sewer line inspection, or an emergency repair!

How To Spot Invasive Tree Roots Before It Is Too Late

Unless you are off the grid and rely on a septic tank, it is natural to trust the sewer lines to carry your wastewater toward the city sewage system without incident. Sadly, this is not always the case. Sewer lines are vulnerable to many complications, including being penetrated and compromised by invasive roots.

Once tree roots infiltrate a plumbing system, the problem can magnify quickly. That is why we recommend taking the wise approach and proactively inspecting your yard for signs of invasive tree roots before it is too late.

Unfortunately, keeping a watchful eye is a task easier said than done. It can be hard to know if you have an invasive root problem since tree roots naturally exist beyond the line of sight – deep underground in your yard’s soil.

Nevertheless, there are a few warning signs you can be vigilant of, such as:

  • Slow emptying drains
  • Gurgling toilets and shower drains
  • Frequent or unexplained clogs
  • Soggy patches on your lawn
  • Sewage smells

Staying alert is your best defense when it comes to thwarting invasive tree roots before they cause severe damage.

A Quick & Easy Guide to Preventing Invasive Tree Roots

Being proactive is crucial to avoiding plumbing issues caused by invasive tree roots. It is always cheaper to prevent an emergency than to remedy the damages of a ruptured, backed up, or blocked sewer line.

Here are five quick tips to help you detect and prevent tree roots before they invade your underground pipes:

  1. Have your local sewer department or home inspector indicate where the sewer lines run through the yard before planting trees.
  2. If trees already exist above sewer lines, conduct the research necessary to see if they are a species that bears invasive roots. While all tree roots pose at least a minimal threat, some tree roots are exponentially more invasive and threatening than others. Knowing the root structures of different tree species will help you decide whether you need to proactively remove or relocate those trees before their invasive roots spread.
  3. Do not underestimate the costs and inconveniences of tree root-obstructed sewer lines. The scenario will likely turn smelly and can cause a financial disaster. Sewer repairs and replacements are not cheap.
  4. Be proactive and have a professional plumbing team inspect your sewer lines and the soil around trees that pose a significant risk. We always recommend being safer than sorry – even if this means uprooting and replanting a tree elsewhere (if possible). We recommend hiring our Authority Brand partners, The Grounds Guys, for expert tree removal service.
  5. If you are committed to planting a tree above known sewer lines and cannot find another suitable area, go with a smaller, slow-growing variety (ideally, a tree that will not exceed 15 feet at its prime). Some species that could work include fig, Japanese maple, and crabapple trees.

Underground Barriers to Prevent Invasive Tree Roots

There are two kinds of barriers you can use to inhibit root growth and protect sewer lines:

  1. Chemical Barriers – This strategy involves spreading growth inhibitors around your sewer lines to prevent invasive roots from spreading. We recommend having a professional strategically apply slow-release chemicals (copper sulfate and potassium hydroxide are both viable solutions).
  2. Physical Barriers – It is also possible to create a physical barrier between tree roots and your sewer lines. Digging and installing metal barriers deep underground can insulate and defend your sewer line from the threat of invasive roots (which will spread out along the path of least resistance).

Expert Video Inspection Services

Call our licensed plumbing specialists without delay if you believe your sewer line has been invaded and obstructed by tree roots. We can quickly verify the existence and extent of the problem via an inexpensive video camera inspection. Backed by advanced video equipment and cutting-edge technology, we can identify specific areas of damage and plan a repair accordingly.

Our repair plan will depend on the severity and type of damage incurred. We often recommend trenchless sewer repair – lining the damaged piping with a durable product that inflates like a balloon and forms a new pipe within the old one. This is a relatively non-invasive process: instead of digging trenches, we will simply make two small access holes.

Additional Repair Options for Damaged Sewer Lines

There is also the option of cutting through tree roots with a mechanical drill (specifically designed for this purpose). Chopped tree roots should naturally flow out of the pipe. The downside of this solution is that it is only temporary. The invasive roots will naturally return. Due to this fact, you might want to consider a permanent solution, such as removing the tree roots with chemicals.

Once again, we can connect you with our partners over at The Grounds Guys if you decide to go with a mechanical or chemical solution. Whatever the case, Mr. Rooter is ready to help you take care of intrusive tree roots. Our video inspection services are always the first step in figuring out the best course of action.

Don’t hesitate another day! Give us a call at (909) 303-6251 or contact us online anytime to schedule an appointment!