Although more prevalent in rainy climates, tree and shrub root growth can occur at a fast pace. It can cause significant damage when it is near your home's plumbing system, including blockages, leaks and various other types of issues that require costly repairs. Luckily, a little forethought can go a long way in protecting your plumbing lines and your bank account. Read on to learn a few steps to take to keep your plumbing and sewer system in good shape.
1. Locate Your Plumbing Lines
Most homeowners don't know exactly where the plumbing runs outside of their home. In order to protect your plumbing and sewer lines, you need to know where they are. You can get in touch with a utility notification center or a local plumber to provide you with the location of your system. Without knowing where your lines are, you can't do anything to maintain them.
2. Block the Roots
One thing that you can do to prevent root growth and protrusion into your plumbing and sewer system is to create a chemical or physical barrier. A physical barrier could be made from plastic, metal, or even wood. You could also consider diverting the roots (without killing the whole tree) by introducing chemicals into the pipes that will inhibit the growth of roots, such as copper sulfate.
3. Take Care with Landscaping
Trees should never be planted any closer than roughly 10 feet from your plumbing and sewer lines. Otherwise, you are simply asking for plumbing trouble caused by root growth. When selecting species of shrubs and trees for your landscaping, make sure that you choose a species that is slow growing and has small roots.
4. Upgrade the Lines
When roots protrude into your sewer lines, this can create a significant health hazard for you and your family. It also creates more root damage susceptibility. If your plumbing and sewer lines are older or damaged, it may be a good time to upgrade the entire system to stronger pipes that are known to be impervious to root intrusion.
It is best to stay as alert as possible for red flags that could be signs of root damage. Watch for slow flowing, overflowing, and clogged drains, especially when combined with a gurgling noise. If you suspect that your plumbing system is damaged by roots or something else entirely, it is important to contact a professional plumbing service at your earliest convenience. An expert can come to your home to conduct an inspection of your system, determine if there are any problems, and make any necessary repairs, while also conducting preventative maintenance to keep a costly problem from occurring in the future.