Blocked Drains & Tree Roots
Root Growth In Sewer Pipes Causing Blocked Drains
Tree Roots require oxygen to grow; they do not grow in pipes that are full of water or where high ground water conditions prevail. Roots thrive in the moist, warm, nutrient rich atmosphere above the water surface inside the sewer pipe. The flow of warm water inside the sewer pipe causes water vapour to escape into the cold soil surrounding the pipe. Tree roots are attracted to the water vapour leaving the sewer pipe and they follow the vapour trail to the source of the moisture, which is usually a cracked pipe or loose joint in the sewer line. Upon reaching the pipe defect, tree roots will infiltrate the opening in the sewer pipe to reach the nutrients and moisture inside.
Problems Caused By Roots Inside Sewer Pipes
Once inside the sewer pipe, roots will continue to grow and if not disturbed, they will completely fill the pipe with multiple hair-like root masses at each point of entry. The root mass inside the pipe becomes matted with grease, tissue paper, and other debris discharged from the home or business causing sewer backups, overflowing yard gullies and blocked fixtures such as a blocked toilet, shower, laundry tub or kitchen sink. As roots continue to grow, they expand and exert significant pressure at the crack or joint where they entered the pipe. The force exerted by the root growth can break the pipe and may result in total collapsing of the sewer pipeline. Severe tree root intrusion in sewer pipes that are structurally damaged may require repair or replacement however costly drainage repairs can be avoided by scheduling regular drain cleaning and visual inspection of the affected drain.
Tree Roots Travel Long Distances
During drought conditions and in winter, tree roots travel long distances in search of moisture. As a rule, tree roots will extend up to 2.5 times the height of the tree, and some species of trees may have roots extending five to seven times the height of the tree.
What Should I Do To Control Roots In My Sewer Pipes?
Once tree roots are established in your sewer pipework, they will eventually cause a sewer blockage. The best way to prevent sewer blockages from tree root regrowth is to schedule regular cleaning of your sewer line before any blockages occur. The common methods of cutting roots from sanitary sewer service pipes involves the use of electric eel or water jet cleaning. It is also important to keep your sewer structurally sound as any structural fault in your sewer pipes can allow roots a way into your sewer system. You should also consider having a CCTV drain inspection and electronic location of your sewer line by a licenced Plumber to determine its location and condition to avoid any nasty surprises.
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