Roots can cause some serious damage to the plumbing in your home, so it’s important to know how to prevent such damage from occurring. The problem occurs because tree roots will always grow towards water vapor until it reaches its source. Trees – like everything else on earth – need water to grow, so the roots will naturally try to find as much water as they can. However, when the roots find their way into your pipes, it could spell disaster. They could rupture the pipes, clog your drains, and do much worse if left unchecked. These are some ways to prevent roots from ruining your pipes.
Firstly, you should be aware of any trees growing near your house, or any large foliage at all for that matter. If your house is near a large tree, you’re obviously more susceptible to root infiltration, and the roots can be more damaging depending on what sort of tree it is. Call in a professional to get an assessment of what can be done regarding the tree’s impact on your pipes before you have an issue.
Another risk factor to be aware of is if your pipes are over 25 years old. Chances are, they’re probably steel pipes, and steel pipes are very susceptible to water and root damage because of the vapor they’re able to admit. If you want to avoid root problems and have other plumbing issues, it would be wise to consider changing out your pipes to something else. However, at the end of the day, all forms of pipes are susceptible to root intrusion in one way or another. Here’s an article that details what happens to your pipes during a root intrusion: http://www.popularmechanics.com/home/lawn-garden/how-to/a8769/how-to-keep-roots-from-wrecking-your-sewer-line-15248761/ .
If roots are in your pipes and have caused a problem, you need to immediately stop what you’re doing and call a professional. A professional plumber will be able to go inside your pipes by digging a large trench into the ground and use large blades to cut up and remove the roots inside the pipes while also cutting out other nearby roots that could cause a problem in the future. Unless you’re a professional yourself, it is generally not a good idea to remove roots all on your own because of the risk you take of damaging your pipes beyond what the roots have already done.
Root intrusion is somewhat preventable, but you can’t completely eliminate the possibility entirely. Your best bet is to be weary of surrounding trees and other foliage that could be threatening, especially if you have steel or clay pipes. PVC and concrete pipes are generally better options, but they can also be susceptible to root intrusion over an extended period of time.