Who doesn’t want to have a beautifully landscaped yard for their home? Lovely flowers and grand trees really bring out the curb appeal of our homes. But we have to be careful of some of the bad side effects that can come with our quest for shade. We’re talking about those pesky tree roots that can cause damage to your sewer pipes.
Thirsty tree roots naturally grow toward any leaks in your water and sewer pipes, as they provide not only water, but nutrients and oxygen plants crave. And once tree roots find a leak, they can creep into your pipes. This can cause water flow blockage or pipe damage that can lead to costly repair bills. So how do we prevent this catastrophe?
If you are planning on planting trees, think about where you are going to plant them. First call your local public works department or the “Call before you Dig” number, and they can give you the location of your underground utilities. It's always a good idea to know where cables, lines, and pipes are buried before doing any landscaping or planting. Then plan out where your trees and plants will go. Limit the amount that you place close to the sewer lines and plant larger trees farther away so the tree roots cannot reach the pipes. If you want to plant closer to the sewer pipes for aesthetic purposes, then consider trees that are slow growing with small root balls.
Create a barrier between your sewer lines and tree roots. You can choose a few different options to create a barrier to help deter tree roots from getting into your sewer lines, like spreading slow release chemicals of potassium hydroxide or copper sulfate. Or you can bury metal or wood barriers 6 to 12 inches deeper than the pipe, running them vertical next to sewer lines.
If you already have trees in the vicinity of your sewer pipes, you can avoid major sewer repairs by cleaning sewer lines regularly. You can buy a root killer or flush a cup of rock salt down your toilet. Regular maintenance can prevent root growth inside the pipes. A few warning signs that roots are invading the pipes are frequent clogged drains or slow drainage. Sometimes there can be gurgling noises from your toilet. If this is occurring, call a plumber to come inspect your sewer and drain pipes. They can run a camera through your pipes to see if tree roots are the culprit, leading to possible drain line replacement.
So if you are designing a new landscaped lawn, think about doing a thoughtfully planned out design so you can avoid the chance of dealing with a potential costly problem down the road.
At Tony's Plumbing & Heating, we offer outstanding residential and commercial plumbing and heating services in the East Twin Cities metro. With our blog, we hope to bring you useful tips and tricks for ever day life!