Plumbing Damage Caused By Tree Roots & What To Do About It

Do you have a drain that seems to take centuries to drain? Or maybe a clog that keeps coming back? It isn’t your impatience or imagination — you’ve got plumbing issues that are likely caused by tree roots.

How Tree Roots Impact The Plumbing System
Tree roots can spread two to three times the diameter of the tree’s canopy. This means that if you’ve got a 30 foot tree, its roots may reach 60-90 feet past the trunk — potentially getting close to your plumbing system.

Roots typically grow within six to 18 inches of soil, where most of the nutrients are found. But hot and dry climates can cause roots to grow deep underground in search of water. And this is where your plumbing system is at serious risk.

Newer homes equipped with modern plumbing systems typically have PVC pipes, which aren’t as vulnerable to tree roots as older clay pipes. But tree roots can still cause trouble if the pipes have been broken or damaged.

Slow Drains And Stubborn Clogs
Tree roots can cause both of these issues by blocking the flow of water through the underground plumbing system. Occasional clogs or slow drains are common, but clogs that are difficult or impossible to clear are likely caused by tree roots.

Other signs can include strange noises, such as gurgling. This indicates there’s an obstruction in the pipes.

Sewage Backup
A blockage in sewer lines can lead to sewage backup. The first sign of this is a foul smell similar to rotten eggs or spoiled milk. This is due to leaking sewer gas.

If you notice these smells coming from sink drains or toilets, there may be a backup caused by tree roots.

How To Prevent Tree Root Damage
It’s important to do some research on trees and plants before placing them in your yard to find out if they’re safe for your plumbing system. Safe trees to plant include Japanese maple, eastern redbud, and fig trees.

The best way to protect your plumbing system is to keep up with maintenance. A professional plumber can help spot the early signs of trouble and save you thousands of dollars on repairs. Call Tucker Hill today for an inspection — and peace of mind.