Trees are a wonderful addition to a home’s landscaping. They provide shade in the summer and afford at least some protection in the winter from cold, blustery winds. However, the roots from trees adjacent to your home can also do quite a bit of damage to your underground plumbing pipes. In this post, we will discuss some tips and tricks on how to protect your pipes from tree roots.
How Does Damage Occur?
During a long and hot summer, any vegetation near your home is searching for water underground through its root system. Smaller types of vegetation such as flowers or small shrubbery do not have a large enough root system to cause any damage to underground structures. However, trees are a different story. Trees such as elms, cottonwoods, aspens and willows will expand their root structure underground in search of water. Underground plumbing pipes often leak water vapor around their joints and cracks, attracting the roots of nearby trees. The aggressive roots can wend their way in and around your plumbing pipes, sometimes causing extensive damage.
Pipe Damage Symptoms
If you have slow drains and cannot find an internal cause or if you hear strange noises or gurgling coming from your pipes, then you might have an underground pipe problem. If you have ruled out all other potential issues and you or your neighbors have trees planted fairly close to your sewer lines, then the next likely place to consider searching for a cause is your underground pipes.
What to Do If You Suspect Underground Damage
A professional plumber can provide a proper diagnosis and will clean and repair your pipes if possible, or replace them if the damage is extensive. In the future, the best way to prevent damage from tree roots is to remove any trees that are too close to your sewer lines and always remember to plant any new trees at least 15-20 feet away from your underground pipes.
Want to know more about protecting your underground plumbing pipes? Contact us.