tree roots

How to Protect Your Pipes from Tree Roots

In many residential gardens around Australia, homeowners choose to plant trees. Trees are a great addition to landscaping, creating a natural oasis for residents, shade in summer and protection from winds during winter. Unfortunately, all too often, little thought is put into the location of these trees and as a result, homeowners are left to deal with the hefty costs associated with the incursion of tree roots into their sewer and water pipes.

Roots thrive in the moist, nutrient and oxygen rich environment that is found within these pipes. When a root finds a crack or leak within a pipe, it will grow into it and obstruct the flow of waste. This can quickly cause a drain blockage and irreparable damage to pipes. In the case of sewer leaks, it can also pose unsanitary health risks to you and your loved ones.

So, is there any way to avoid this? Yes! The good news is that a few precautionary measures can be employed to ensure you don’t find yourself in the middle of a costly pipe replacement and we explore them below.

Determine Where Pipelines are Located

Prevention is always better than a cure. Ensuring trees remain around three meters away from your pipelines can save you a big headache in the future. If you are unsure of where your pipes are located, Metropolitan Plumbing can conduct a camera inspection to advise you where they are located. Once we have mapped this out, you can plant or relocate trees accordingly.

Tactically Plant Trees and Shrubs

Along with planting trees in suitable locations, thought should also be given as to what type of trees are planted. Research into which are not suitable for planting near pipes can go a long way in ensuring your pipe’s safety. Species that are fast growing with strong root systems should be avoided. On the ‘do not plant’ list are species such as camphor laurel, fig trees, rubber plants, poplars and willows. Better choices are slower growing trees with shallow root systems.

Create a Barrier Between Trees and Pipes

If you are worried about potential tree root incursion, you can employ the use of barriers to discourage root growth. A popular method is flushing small amounts of copper sulphate down the toilet. Copper is poisonous to roots, meaning they will avoid growing into the pipes.

Another method is to plant metal or wood barriers vertical to the pipe, around 6 – 12 inches deeper than it. This will provide a protective layer within the ground, so as to stop roots on their way towards your pipes.

Inspect and Maintain

Knowing the signs and employing regular plumbing maintenance practices will help you to avoid major repairs in the future. If your drains are frequently clogging or you can hear gurgling noises, call Metropolitan Plumbing for a CCTV drain inspection. Catching the invasion of tree roots early makes for a cheaper alternative than the excavation and replacement of pipes when the blockage gets worse.

Tree Root Removal

If you believe you are experiencing tree roots within your pipes, contact the team at Metropolitan Plumbing. We can provide a range of tree root invasion repairs, or if the damage is on a larger scale, we can fully replace the pipes as well with our blocked drain repair services. Through the utilisation of modern equipment such as hydrojet drain machines, electric drain cleaning, relining and drainage excavation techniques, you can be sure you are in safe hands with Metropolitan Plumbing. Contact us today.


Published: 20 Feb, 2020

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