How to Control Tree Roots in Sewer Line

Trees, especially older ones can be trouble for your nearby drainage systems over the long term. Leaves can clog gutters, while tree roots can reach deep into underground pipes, compromising the effectiveness of your sewer line.

To help control tree roots in your sewer line, here are a few things to try:

1) Have a plumber run a video down the line with a sewer inspection camera

If you notice water backing up in your basement or rooms, a tree in your yard or down the street might be to blame. Tree roots can block your pipes with hair-like masses that cause clogs and put the sewer line under pressure.

A professional plumber can take a closer look by inserting a video camera into the line and professionally inspecting it. After a professional inspection is completed, the risk of damage can be assessed. You can also watch the entire camera inspection on the video monitor right alongside your Roto-Rooter sewer solutions specialist.

2) Use a root-killing solution

A few times a year, specially formulated root killer solutions can be flushed down your drainage system to kill roots inside the pipes, without ever harming your trees.

3) Schedule a trimming

Plumbers can use special mechanical sewer cleaning machines with blades to cut roots out of pipes. The effectiveness of root cutting will depend on what type of pipe you have. Clay tile, plastic and cast iron piping are easy to clean with a mechanical sewer cleaning machine, while corrugated and thin wall pipes are more likely to puncture from this method. However, most sewer pipes can handle a mechanical cleaning without any problems.

Deep-rooted trees can cause serious damage to your residential plumbing with clay, concrete, or iron pipe because these materials are most susceptible to root intrusion.  Modern plastic pipes are fused together more tightly and only experience root intrusion if damaged. For questions regarding all of your residential plumbing needs, including root removal and/or pipe replacement, contact your local plumbing professional for help.  Roto-Rooter uses a specialized machine that cuts roots out of underground pipes by rotating a cable with sharp cutting blades on the end.

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