People often talk about tree roots blocking their pipes and causing water to backup in their homes. But can this really happen? The answer is yes. Plumbers know that tree roots are a major source of problems in your home. Fortunately, a sewer video camera makes it easy to determine whether or not you have a tree root obstruction and whether or not it has caused extensive damage. This article looks at tree root infiltration, diagnosis, and possible solutions.
The problems begin when the root is very small. Because it is so small it can enter through tiny cracks or seams where the seal is weakening. Once the root is in the pipe it continues to grow. As the root grows, it traps paper, garbage, hair, soap scum, grease, and anything else that flows down the line. The trapped debris forms an effective net that catches more debris until the pipe is blocked. At the same time this is happening, the tree root is continuing to grow and can grow until it completely blocks the pipe.
Unfortunately, a blocked pipe is not the only problem that comes from a growing tree root. As the tree root grows it needs more and more room. It will push on the crack or seam where it entered and make the crack bigger and as it grows it get stronger and can eventually break the pipe. Once a pipe is broken, water will leak into the surrounding soil and this can be hazardous.
A plumber can use a sewer video camera to find the tree root and any cracked or broken pipes. The camera is water resistant and attached to a flexible rod. The rod is pushed through the line and the camera captures high-resolution video images. It will show you the extent of any damage. It also pinpoints an exact physical location, including the depth of the pipe where the problem is.
If you catch the problem early enough you may be able to get by using an auger from a plumbing company to clean out the line. All this does is cut off the root so that it is even with the side of the pipe. The root is still alive and will grow back. When the crack becomes too big or when the pipe breaks you will need to have the pipe replaced. Both trench digging and trenchless replacement can provide new pipes that are resistant to tree root infiltration.
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