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All You Need To Know About Tree Root Damage To Your Home’s Pipes

Most homeowners don’t think about the water and sewer lines buried in their yard. They are not visible, and as long as they are doing their jobs, there is no real reason to worry about them, their location, or their condition according to the average person. But that is not always the case. When you are landscaping your home or considering purchasing a new home, you should know that tree roots can create some severe and costly damage to a home’s water and drain lines.

Sewer Line Tree Root Damage

Any plumber will tell you that sewer lines are very susceptible to damage from tree roots. The roots grow around the pipe. Eventually, the extreme pressure exerted by the root cracks or even crushes the pipe. With easy access to all the water and “natural fertilizer” in a sewer line, the roots grow even more vigorously in the direction of the water and nutrient. Soon, the sewer line is completely blocked, and you are wondering why you have raw sewage backing up in the drains inside your home.

Water Line Tree Root Damage

And though it is a less common occurrence, tree roots can also grow around the water supply lines running into your home. Once the water line cracks, you could notice small bits of debris contaminating your water supply, an odd smell to the water, or even a bad taste. Also, you could find that your home’s water pressure has decreased. The cracks allow water to leak into your yard and let contamination from the surrounding soil enter the pipe and compromise your drinking water.

Trees Known To Have Invasive Roots

To avoid these costly issues, or at least strive to minimize the possibility of tree root issues, you can avoid planting trees known to have aggressive root structures. That means the tree roots grow very quickly or are very prone to seeking out moisture and tend to grow into piping. The following list of trees should be avoided to reduce issues involving aggressive roots:

  • Elm Trees
  • Birch Trees
  • Aspen Trees
  • Maple Trees
  • Oak Trees
  • Fig Trees
  • Willow Trees
  • Sycamore Trees

If you are particularly fond of any of these trees and want to include them in your landscape, plant them strategically. Locate them far enough from water and sewer lines that they will not become a costly issue.

Tree Suitable To Plant Near Water And Sewer Lines

Of course, you don’t want to leave an entire swath of your yard void of trees simply because there are pipes buried in the area. Fortunately, several trees will provide lush foliage near your lines without the potential for excessive root damage. These trees include:

  • Mediterranean Fan Palms
  • Queen Palms
  • Pygmy Date Palms
  • Most Fruit Tree Varieties
  • Wafer Ash Trees
  • Sabal Palmetto Trees
  • Magnolia Trees

Signs Of Drain Or Sewer Line Damage From Tree Roots

If you suspect that tree roots have damaged or invaded your home’s sewer line, there are some telltale indications to look for. The evidence of tree root damage will vary based on the severity and will change as the root invasion becomes more significant. You can be relatively sure there is damage to your sewer line when you find:

  • Frequent and unexplained clogs in the tub, toilet, and sink drains
  • You need to plunge a toilet frequently
  • Gurgling sounds coming from drain pipes
  • Water is slow to drain from tubs and sinks
  • You notice an unexplained moist area in your yard
  • There is a wet and significantly more green area in your lawn

Pipe Repair And Replacement Options

You are sure to be worried about a pipe repair or replacement cost if the root damage is significant. Then, there is the thought of the damage to your yard when the pipe is excavated. Thanks to modern technology, licensed plumbers can use a trenchless repair or replacement process to save your yard and your wallet.

To learn more about trenchless sewer line repairs and replacement, call (318) 202-9144. The pros at Gordon AC & Plumbing will determine the damage to the piping using a tiny camera and provide you with a no-obligation price quote for any needed repairs.