Mature trees add beauty and shade to landscapes, but their roots can cause extensive damage to sewer pipes. Roots grow into the pipes because they like it there. Pipes contain water, nutrients and oxygen – the essential elements for trees to grow. Aside from blocked pipes and backups tree roots growing inside pipes can be one of the most expensive maintenance items experienced by our customers. Because the pipes are buried and out of sight homeowners usually don’t have any clues as to potential problems till it’s too late.
The flow of warm water inside pipes causes vapour to escape the cooler soil surrounding the pipes. Tree roots grow towards the vapour to the point of its source. The source of the vapour is usually a cracked pipe underground. Once inside the pipe the roots will continue to grow and if not disturbed they will eventually completely fill the pipe with hair like root masses. These masses can act as a net as they catch (in the case of sewer pipes) household fats, oils, greats, grit, tissue paper, and other debris discharged by the residence. Slowly flowing drains are the sign that the system is having a problem from roots. Homeowners will notice the first signs of a slow flowing drainage system by hearing gurgling noises from their toilet. A complete pipe blockage will occur if no action is taken to remove the roots/blockage. As roots continue to grow, they expand and exert considerable pressure at the crack or joint where they entered the pipe – the force exerted by the root growth will break the pipe and may result in total collapse of the pipe. Severe root intrusion and pipes that are structurally damaged will need replacing.
Find a big puddle of water sweeping up on your lawn? You are going to need to get your pipes unblocked urgently. Leak detection equipment can locate where the problem is, a CCTV camera can then see what the blockage is and a jet rodder can blast out the blocked pipe of congestion. Don't leave it till it's too late, and be aware before planting big growing trees on your property that in years to come they may cause problems with your underground pipes.