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How to Control Tree Roots in Sewer Line

Trees and shrubs, especially older ones, can cause trouble for nearby drainage systems over the long term. Leaves can clog roof gutters, while tree roots can reach deep into underground pipes, compromising the effectiveness of your sewer line. This is especially a concern for older homes built before heavy-duty plastic drainpipes became common in the 1970s. In those days, sewers were commonly constructed from clay, concrete, cast-iron and Orangeburg pipe.

Plastic pipes are fused together tightly with solvent cement, making them almost impervious to root intrusion unless the pipe itself is damaged. Older pipes are not as well protected against root intrusion, so it is common for roots to penetrate underground pipelines at the joints and create clog points inside. If you have trees and shrubs near your underground sewer and more than two drains in the house are slow, you probably have roots in your sewer line

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

  1. Schedule Sewer Cleaning

Plumbers can mechanically clean your sewer with a sewer cleaning machine equipped with long spinning cables with blades on the tip. The effectiveness of the cleaning will depend on the type of equipment the plumber uses and what type of pipe you have. Clay tile, plastic, concrete and cast-iron pipes can be effectively cleaned this way.

Deep-rooted trees can cause serious damage to your residential plumbing when root intrusion occurs. A plumbing professional from Roto-Rooter uses the industry’s most powerful and capable machines to cut roots out of underground pipes and any type of or size of drainpipe.

  1. Use a Root-Killing Solution

A few times a year, specially formulated root killer solutions can be flushed down a toilet into your sewer to kills roots inside the pipes without harming surrounding trees. Discuss these products with your Roto-Rooter service technician. He can recommend products that are safe, environmentally responsible and legal for use in your area.

  1. If problems persist – Have a Plumber Inspect the Pipe with a Sewer Inspection Camera Snake

If you notice water backing up in your basement or plumbing fixtures, a tree in your yard or down the street may be to blame. A video camera inspection snake is connected to a high-definition video monitor on the surface. The camera can reveal major root intrusion problems, gaps between pipe sections, holes or structural problems that plaguing your sewer line.

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