It’s inevitable, tree roots grow.  Roots crave the nutrient rich water that flows through the underground pipes that link your homes drain system to outside systems such as municipal drain lines, septic systems and wells and will stop at nothing to get to it.  What this means for your pipes is that even the tiniest of cracks or loose joints are likely to attract roots that’s growth with thrive in the environment within your drain lines. Thus leading to root masses that block the pipe and cause the contents that should normally flow through to back up and cause damage to underground pipes. 

There are many issues that can cause your drains to gurgle or become slow to drain, not just root growth.  When you start to notice more and more frequent backups the drain experts at Horton Plumbing and Remodeling will recommend having the system thoroughly inspected using camera video technology that inspects the interior of the line.  It is advisable to inspect the system sooner than later if you suspect an issue because like with most problems the longer you wait the more extensive (and expensive) the repair. 

Tree roots in sewer line

One of the first signs that a blockage is beginning in your sewer lines is a gurgling sound coming up from your toilet but you could also notice water backing up in bathtubs, around washing machines, and sinks.  Most of the time it is impossible to know what the exact issue is when you start to notice something is brewing.  You may notice this occurring when you are running a lot of water through the system at one time.  You may also start to recognize the drain is not clearing as quickly as it once did.  Now is the time to act and call in the drain specialists at Horton Plumbing

Because issues within the drain lines are hard to definitively diagnosis without camera inspection it is always recommended to camera the lines once you start to notice that visits between sewer cleanings are getting closer and closer together.  Not only are tree roots bad for sewer lines, the nutrients that the roots crave within your sewer lines are not healthy for the tree. 

For many this will be their first experience with sewer lines and camera video inspections.  The technology is essentially a long snake like cable with a camera that is built onto the end that maneuvers through the existing drain line.  This video can be put onto an external drive so that you can reference it at a later date if needed.  The camera will show a detailed view of the interior of the line. You will be able to tell if your blockage is from tree roots, wipes, a belly in the line, grease, or if the issue is caused because of a damaged pipe.  

Tree roots that have damaged clay sewer lines

If you have established that there is an issue with roots, the best option is to replace the sewer pipes (which are often clay) with stronger plastic piping.  If replacing the sewer line is not an option it is important to prevent the roots from building up and creating a blockage in the first place through regular, preventive sewer cleanings.  Most DYI solutions are not helpful for root growth and some solutions end up causing the pipes to become weaker.  

However, if you do decide to move forward replacing the damage sewer line it is good to know it is a pretty extensive job that requires digging the damage pipe up and replacing it.  The new pipe that is installed will most often be a longer-lasting, plastic pipe that is not as susceptible as clay to the invasion of root systems.

Horton Plumbing and Remodeling has been providing sewer solutions including new sewer hook ups to municipal and well & septic sources and sewer repair services to Southeast Michigan residential and commercial clients since 1988.  Our plumbers and drain specialists work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to provide for all of your emergency and non-emergency plumbing needs. Call us today at (734) 455-3332.