Roots in your Drainpipe: The Hidden Headache
Roots are generally a good thing, they provide life to our beloved fauna, prevent erosion, and stop trees from falling over during a light breeze. The can also cause unending headaches for the unsuspecting homeowner when they end up in places they shouldn’t be. A prime suspect for a clogged pipe can often be the resilient, thirsty roots of a nearby tree. Pipes clogged by roots can result in slow drainage, water or sewage backup, and pipe damage if left unattended.
How do roots end up in my pipes?
Pipes are sealed and made of metal, right? How can roots end up in my drainpipes? This is a good question, and the truth is that although pipes are usually well sealed, small faults, drainage points, and cracks can let moisture escape from your underground pipes. During our dry Calgary winters, tree roots are desperately seeking moisture, and gradually work their way to the best source, infiltrating your pipe systems in the process. Roots in your pipes will continue to grow until they form a pipe clog and result in various plumbing issues.
What are the signs of root clogs in pipes?
To prevent costly repairs to your pipes and home, and avoid the need to dig up and replace damaged pipes, there are a few signs of root clogs in pipes that you should watch for.
If you live amongst large, mature trees that are in close proximity to your house, you may be at risk of the root systems from those trees clogging your pipes. The tree doesn’t need to be on your property to cause clogged drainpipes!
This Old House
Your plumbing infrastructure can make all the difference. Older houses may have underground pipes made of concrete, brick, or clay that are more prone to root clogs and damage over the years. Newer homes typically use metal or PVC pipes that have less points of entry for roots to enter.
Use Your Senses
Pipes clogged by roots can cause visibly slow drainage of showers, sinks and toilets. If you experience these symptoms or notice constant plumbing backups, roots may be to blame. Cracked or leaky pipes underground may result in the smell of sewage seeping through your soil, and these cracks are a welcome invitation for roots looking for moisture underground. Gurgling noises coming from your toilets and drains are also a sign that there are drainage issues in your pipes, and often times these issues can be caused by root clogs
If you are worried about roots clogging pipes at your home, or are unsure if root clogs are the cause of your plumbing issues, contact Alpha Plumbing for a professional inspection and opinion on the risks of root clogs in your pipes.
What can I do to prevent roots clogging my pipes?
If you suspect that roots have entered your pipe system, or are worried about root clogs in your pipes, there are a few options available to you.
Talk to the Professionals
Contacting a professional plumber can simplify the process, as they have the expertise to diagnose pipe damage, clogged pipes, and roots in your drainpipes. Professional plumbers will use cameras to look through your pipes, and can provide services to kill roots in your pipes and cut out root clogs.
Repair or Replace
There are preventative measures you can take to prevent root clogs in your drainpipes. If you have underground pipes that are made from materials that roots can penetrate, you can hire a professional plumber to replace these pipes before they become a problem. There are also chemical solutions that you can flush through your toilet that prevent roots from growing in your pipes, and can kill existing roots. If you are unsure whether your pipes are at risk, a professional Calgary plumber can provide an expert opinion.
Water Plants Properly
You can help prevent roots from seeking out moisture in your buried pipes by properly watering all of your trees, shrubs, and plants; if they aren’t thirsty they might leave your plumbing alone! Contact Alpha Plumbing today to discuss your options when trying to tackle a drainpipe clogged by roots.