Most people have heard about, or experienced firsthand, how annoying clogs can be in a plumbing system, especially when they’re caused by tree roots. Trees are real guzzle-guts; they just can’t get enough water and nutrients from the soil, so they continually send off little roots to look for more. These little roots are great at finding seams and joints in pipes, and inside is a treasure trove of nutrition. Root problems may start out small, but the longer they are ignored the worse they get.
First, roots enter the pipes. These aren’t the permanent roots from the tree that are woody and several inches in diameter. These are tiny, fibrous roots that search for extra nourishment wherever they can find it, and they find it in your pipes. These little guys can hang out in your sewage line undetected for quite some time, and as long as the sewage is still being moved correctly, you probably don’t care.
The time homeowners start to care about roots in their plumbing is when root clogs start showing up. Roots usually aren’t capable of blocking off flow all on their own, but the toilet paper and other debris that are flushed can catch on the roots, and then even more debris will catch on that. It’s a vicious chain reaction that results in a total clog. At this point, it is important to contact a plumbing service like Roto-Rooter in Brooklyn as soon as possible, because you want to create a plan of action right away.
A plumbing service will probably snake the drain to remove the roots, and then advise you to use root killing chemicals, which you flush down the toilet, from time to time. However, each time roots are killed in the pipe, they remain inside the joints. Over time, these roots will grow in diameter and start to widen the joints, eventually breaking the pipes. To see how close the pipes are to breaking, you must have your lines inspected by camera. A tiny camera will be lowered into the pipes to give the plumbers a better grasp of the situation. From that, you can figure out how rampant root growth is, what your pipes are made of, and how long you can go before replacing the pipes entirely. Snaking and chemicals can put this off for many years, but the only permanent solution, besides cutting down the tree itself, is to have the pipes replaced. It may be expensive, but it may also be necessary.
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