Trees are not only beautiful, but they help filter air pollution, making the air we breathe cleaner and fresher, as well as providing a sanctuary for birds and other small animals. However, one disadvantage of trees on your property is that their roots can infiltrate pipes and drains, blocking them and causing flooding during heavy rains. As such, it’s best to address this issue immediately to avoid potential damage to your property.
How Do Tree Roots Block Drains?
Tree roots are attracted to the condensation that forms on the outside of sewer and stormwater pipes, particularly during summer when there is less water for them to consume. Over time, these tree roots will penetrate their way through sewer and stormwater pipes, catching debris along the way and eventually blocking the drain.
Tree Root Removal Process
As mentioned earlier, drain blockages caused by tree roots should be addressed immediately, or they could lead to flooding on your property. However, in most cases, homeowners are not aware that tree roots are the cause of blocked drains. Therefore, instead of asking your plumber for a quick solution, ask them to do a full investigation before clearing the drain.
This can be done with the help of a CCTV camera mounted on the end of a long “snake.” The plumber will feed the snake into the pipe to see where it’s going. When it reaches the source of the obstruction, the camera will allow your plumber to identify the cause of the obstruction, find the exact location of the blockage, and then recommend a permanent solution to the problem.
If the tree roots have already damaged the pipe, it’s very likely that they will need to be replaced.
Prevent Tree Roots Blocking Drains
To prevent tree roots from blocking drains and causing problems later on, here are some tips you should consider.
1. Consider replacing your pipes with PVC pipes as they are better at resisting tree roots. However, if replacing your piping system doesn’t fit your budget, you can ask your plumber to reline the pipes instead. This procedure is much cheaper than replacing the pipes.
2. Before planting trees, consult an arborist to determine which species of plants can be planted at a safe distance from pipes and which of them should be avoided.
3. Consider asking a tree surgeon to install a root block to keep tree roots away from sewer and stormwater pipes.