8 Signs of Tree Roots in Pipes & How to Fix Them
Ever considered just how tree roots in pipes can affect your plumbing system?
Your dream home might be lined with tall trees that provide shade and add to the overall aesthetic of your property. Trees can add a lot of character to your home, there’s certainly no dispute about that. However, if you do not maintain them, underground tree root invasion can wreak havoc on your plumbing system.
So what are the early warning signs of tree root incursion in your pipe system? Let’s explore, and discover what steps can you take to minimise the damage.
How Tree Roots In Pipes Become A Problem
Like all living things, tree roots seek nutrients to grow and thrive. The most common source of nutrients for a tree’s root system is moisture in the ground. As it happens, your drain pipes and sewer line are the perfect place for them to get that moisture. If you have broken pipes with any weak points or cracks, tree roots can penetrate your underground pipes. This can lead to a whole host of plumbing problems.
Here are some of the most common indicators that your sewer pipes might be affected by tree root obstruction.
1. Your Sinks and Showers Are Draining Slowly
Once there are roots in your pipes, they will continue to grow and spread. At first, this might not have a noticeable effect. However, as the roots grow and enlarge they can cause a major blockage. A blockage that can even damage the pipes.
One of the first signs of a blocked drain is slow emptying drains, whether in the sink, bath or shower. If you’ve begun to notice slow-draining sinks or drain holes in your home, be sure to keep an eye out for additional signs of tree roots in your sewer lines.
2. Your Drain Pipes Make A Gurgling Sound
No, we’re not talking about that regular bath-draining gurgle at the end of a relaxing soak. Blocked drains are often accompanied by a sinister gurgling noise from nearby drains whenever you flush the toilet, run water or empty a sink.
This is the sound of water struggling to get through whatever is blocking your drain.
3. Your Toilet Regularly Backs Up
Another tell-tale sign of a blocked drain is a toilet bowl that often backs up. Tree roots in your pipes are an especially bad blockage in a toilet drain. This is because they catch toilet paper and other debris, worsening the blockage very quickly.
4. Bad Smells Start Coming From Your Drain
If waste is getting trapped by tree roots blocking your sewer line, eventually there will be a very unpleasant smell emanating from your drains. As time goes on and more waste accumulates at the tree root blockage, the smell will only get worse.
5. You Suddenly Have Low Water Pressure
Low water pressure is another sign of a general plumbing blockage. If you suddenly experience low water pressure across the home or it feels like there’s less water available, then you probably have a blocked drain.
Whether that blockage is due to tree roots or not will require the trained eyes of a professional plumber.
6. Rapid Unexplained Growth Of Trees Or Lawn Patches
If you’re not much of a green thumb and your trees are looking uncharacteristically green and bushy or your grass is extra green compared to normal, you might have tree roots in your pipes. Whatever plants have infiltrated your pipes will love the constant source of water and nutrients.
While the above signs could be due to any kind of blockage, this one is a dead giveaway for tree root growth in your pipes. So if you find yourself with any of the above signs as well as an unexpectedly green garden, you’ve likely got tree roots growing in your pipes.
7. Sinkholes Start Forming In Your Yard
In the case of serious tree root damage to your pipes, you might find sinkholes and soft spots on your lawn. Extreme tree root growth can crack and break your pipes, causing water to leak out and into the soil.
The water saturates the soil which eventually caves in to form sinkholes in your yard. These are typically a sign of a serious tree root blockage in your sewer lines and should be attended to by a professional urgently.
8. Your Water Bills Increase Unexpectedly
If you open your water bill one quarter only to be left in a state of shock at the price, you might have a serious case of tree root damage to your pipes.
If water is constantly leaking out of a broken pipe, you’ll be paying for all that wasted water. So if you find yourself with an unexpectedly high water bill, tree roots in your sewer pipe might be the cause.
Tree Root Blockage Solutions For Your Plumbing System
If you find yourself dealing with tree roots in your plumbing pipes, contact a professional plumber to remove them and get your water flowing again.
Plumbers are trained and have access to tools like electric drain snakes and hydro jet drain cleaners that can slice through your tree root problem in no time. After using a CCTV drain camera to locate the blockage, the electric drain snake will mechanically cut and remove the tree roots. Meanwhile, the hydro jet uses high-pressure water to blast the roots away.
While these tools are an excellent solution to any blocked drain, used incorrectly they could cause more harm than good. This is why it’s important to contact a professional plumber with the skills and expertise in using these tools to clear tree roots in pipes.
Metropolitan Plumbing Your Expert Tree Root Technicians
Tree roots are no match for our team at Metropolitan Plumbing. We have a team of experts available for any blocked drain problem you might be facing. We can even have someone with you just 1 hour* after your call!
For a skilled tree root removal service from stormwater drains, you need Metropolitan. Contact us for an expert plumber to clear your blocked drains today!