Trees are lovely to have in your garden, but they’re not so lovely when they’re causing havoc in your drainage system. That’s why you need to understand the issues that tree roots can cause in your home’s pipework and how to deal with those issues if and when they occur. From DIY solutions to the need to contact a qualified drainage plumber, there are definitely ways to fix the problem, and research will help you know which way to turn. Read on to find out more.
Why Do Tree Roots Block Sewers?
It’s important to remember that trees are living things, and as such, they need water to survive. Their root system is designed to find that water, and if the moisture they need happens to be in a pipe, they’ll use even the smallest of cracks to get inside and use that moisture to thrive. The problem is that this means the roots grow within the pipe, eventually blocking and damaging it even more than it was before.
Signs of Roots in Drain Pipes
There are a number of signs to watch out for when it comes to tree roots wreaking havoc in your home’s drainage system. Just one of these signs is a potential cause for concern, and the more you have, the more likely it is you’ll need to contact a qualified drainage plumber for assistance. These signs include:
● Drains running more slowly than usual
● A gurgling sound when water drains away
● Toilets within your home continuously back up for no apparent reason
● Your drains smell bad
● You find sinkholes in your outside areas
● Trees seem to suddenly grow much faster than you would expect
If you enjoy solving problems by yourself and you like to try DIY solutions to issues around the home, then you might want to attempt to remove the problematic roots on your own time. There are two main ways to do this. The first is to pour rock salt into the drains; this will kill the roots by dehydrating them, and it has the added bonus of making the pipes much dryer so that other roots won’t find them. You’ll need to flush the pipes with water once you’ve used the salt.
The second solution is to use copper sulphate, which you can buy from most hardware shops. Read the instructions carefully, as you’ll need to mix the copper sulphate with the right amount of water for safety and optimum effectiveness. Flush this through your pipes, followed by water, to clear away the chemicals and dead roots left behind.
Not everyone enjoys DIY, and not everyone is confident in using chemicals. In this case, it’s best to contact a qualified drainage plumber for assistance. Plumbers can use specialist tools such as mechanical augers and rooters to remove the offending roots. Hydro-jetting is another highly effective solution.
No matter what option you choose, you’ll need to have the pipes repaired to ensure you don’t have a recurrence of the root problem. It could be that the pipes are too damaged for repair, and they need to be replaced instead; you’ll certainly need professionals at this point.
The sooner you can remove the roots from your drainage system, the less damage they will do, so as soon as you notice the signs we mentioned above, it’s wise to contact a qualified drainage plumber for the best – and quickest – results.