How to Protect Your Plumbing from Tree Roots

There’s a hidden invader that could be waiting to destroy your sewer system – tree roots. While tree roots seem innocent enough, they pose a serious threat to your plumbing system. If you don’t take measures to protect your sewage line from this invader, you will need to call plumbers in Broken Arrow.

Why are Tree Roots Dangerous?

Tree roots aren’t malicious, but they do have a habit that makes them hazardous to your plumbing system. To survive, tree roots naturally grow towards water sources and nutrients. While there are some natural sources of water and nutrients, your sewer line is an unnatural source of everything a tree needs to survive.  Therefore, roots gravitate towards pipes. They can find a way into your sewer line and grow, often causing clogs and breaking pipes. Tree roots may be the biggest threat to your plumbing system. When they break your pipes, the roots cause sewage leaks that put your health on the line. 

Tips for Preventing Tree Roots from Invading

If you don’t want to experience the costly and dangerous damage associated with tree root invasions, you should be proactive. There are several things you can do to protect your pipes, but they all involve maintaining your plumbing system. By giving your plumbing proper care and maintenance, you minimize the chance of tree roots causing trouble. Most of the following tips prevent cracks and leaks from forming in your plumbing. If there are no vulnerable areas in your pipes, the tree roots can’t get inside. Although tree roots are strong, they can’t puncture your pipes unless they are weakened by corrosion or cracks. 

Know Your Sewage Line Placement

So you know where your sewer lines are? If not, you should try to determine where they are located. When you plant trees and shrubs, you should always plan to position them away from your sewage lines. You can ask your plumber to show you where your sewer lines are. The best plumbers in Broken Arrow, OK will be more than willing to show you the layout of your pipes. In the future, you will always know where to find your pipes. 

Use a Barrier

In some places, you can use a barrier to keep roots away from your pipes. Copper sulfate and potassium hydroxide are two examples of chemicals used to deter root growth.  Wood or metal barriers are also effective. If you have a barrier somewhere between six and twelve inches below your pipes, tree roots are less likely to get in. You should run the barrier vertical to the sewer line, but may want to ask a plumber for help. If you accidentally dig up the sewer line or don’t properly install the barrier, you could be in trouble. 

Only Landscape with Safe Plants

When you do landscaping, consider the type of plants you want to install. Do they have large, sprawling root systems? If so, they could threaten your plumbing. Look for trees with small root balls and ones that grow slowly. Otherwise, it may only be a short time before you have issues with your sewer line.  If shade is your main concern, you can skip the trees and use an awning or shade cover. You can also plant vines and have them climb a trellis to provide shade. 

Receive Regular Maintenance

Although plumbing maintenance isn’t free, it could be what keeps roots from ruining your pipes. In the end, a little maintenance can save you thousands of dollars on plumbing repairs. During an inspection, a plumber can check your plumbing for leaks and other weaknesses. They may also spot a clog from roots before it causes a serious leak.  Once a year, you should have a plumber inspect your plumbing. They can also clean out your sewer lines and stop tree roots in their tracks. 

Know the Signs of Tree Roots in Your Plumbing

No matter how hard you try, you might not be able to keep tree roots out of your sewer line. Fortunately, you can save some money by catching the issue early on. All of the following are signs you have roots damaging your sewer lines:

Foul Smell

Don’t be so quick to blame your spouse for the foul smell in the bathroom. It could be from your plumbing, which means there’s a clog in your sewer line. 

Flies are Around

When a drain is backed up, flies become attracted to your plumbing. If you notice drain flies appearing in your home, there could be a blockage down the line. Before you call the pest control technician, call the plumber.

Toilet Noises

When your stomach isn’t right, it gurgles. The same is true of your toilet. If you hear a gurgling sound every time you flush your toilet, there could be a tree root blocking your plumbing. Your water should be able to flush without a weird sound.

Water Backs Up

While the other signs of tree roots are relatively innocent, this one isn’t. If water backs up into your home from your toilet or sink, you have a serious problem. A chemical drain cleaner won’t fix your issue because the clog is too big to fix. Even a drain snake may not be enough. Furthermore, the chemicals could end up doing damage to your plumbing. Your best chance of success is to work with an experienced professional to clear your pipes. They will identify whether or not the blockage is from tree roots or something else. Whatever the case may be, your plumber can resolve the plumbing issue

Work with Reliable Plumbers in Broken Arrow

Whether you have tree roots growing into your pipes or you just want some preventative maintenance, you can count on us at Infinity Plumbing Services. Our highly trained technicians provide thorough inspections as well as advice on keeping tree roots out.  To learn more about the dangers posed by tree roots, give us a call. Don’t let your sewer lines become a victim and cost you money in repairs. Our plumbers in Broken Arrow are ready to help you.