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Is your plumbing being impacted by tree roots

The silent culprit lurking under the lawn, breaking through pipes, and causing debilitating blockages — overgrown tree roots are the bane of underground plumbing. As tree roots grow and expand, it’s easy for them to breakthrough older pipes, creating the perfect storm for catching debris within, creating massive blockages, and causing a laundry list of plumbing issues below the lawn. What are the signs that a home’s plumbing is being impacted by tree roots? And once a breach is discovered, what can be down to free the pipes from the tree roots?    

Signs of Tree Roots in the Pipes

Most often impacting sewer lines, roots are a major cause of both sewer line leaks and sewer line blockages. In many older homes, sewer lines are still made of clay, so if trees, bushes, and shrubs are left to grow close enough to these pipes, the thick roots from the plants can break through weak spots in the clay in search of the water within the lines. Once inside, the roots not only cause the lines to leak, but they can also create blockages, catching, and trapping debris in the water into one solid mass. 

Tell-tale signs of a sewer line breach include unusual pooling in the grass or near the aforementioned trees, bushes, or shrubs; backed up drains around the house; and a pungent odor of sewage.

Getting to the Root of the Problem

Removing the tree roots from a sewer line will require the aid of a plumbing professional. The least disruptive method they will be able to remove the offending roots would be through hydro jetting and pipelining. After conducting a thorough inspection of the affected area — usually using a remote camera to visually inspect the breach — the plumber will employ a large high-pressure jet of water attached to a specialized hose to blast out the roots from the pipe. Depending on the state of the pipe, the plumber may also insert a new, epoxy-lined pipelining within the pipe, and expand it using a burst of air, to seal up any cracks or breaks. 

However, if the damage is more extensive, older tactics may need to be employed. In circumstances where a portion of the pipe is unsalvageable, it is likely that the plumber will need to dig up that area of the pipe and replace the whole piece. Naturally, this is a procedure reserved for when no alternative options are available, or for particularly egregious leaking issues.

Trying to keep roots away from underground pipes can be particularly tricky, as the root systems for most trees can run for a surprisingly large area underground. Should issues start to pop up that indicate tree roots have broken through into the underground plumbing, it’s important to call a professional plumber as soon as possible. If you’ve noticed these types of issues, or if you’d like an inspection to see confirm your suspicions, reach out to the licensed plumbers at Duane Blanton Family Home Services. With over 30 years of knowledge and experience, the experts at Duane Blanton can tackle the issues within your pipes and ensure that they are cleared up and running smoothly below ground once again. Reach out to the technicians at Duane Blanton at (815) 781-2567, or schedule online through the online scheduling portal, and a professional plumbing technician will reach out with the answers you’re looking for.

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