A tree’s thin feeder roots seek out organic nutrients to sustain the tree. Since your home’s underground sewer line is filled with human waste that can be used to nourish the tree, roots are likely to detect weak spots and grow into any holes or gaps in the pipes. These hair-like roots can run along the interior of the pipe, and eventually multiply to the point of completely blocking your pipe. Root hairs may also grow into drain pipes or water mains in search of water.

Root growth in your pipes can cause expensive problems for your home’s plumbing if left unchecked. Being aware of the warning signs that signal your pipes may be clogged by tree roots can prevent further and more extensive damage from being done to your plumbing.

Signs of a Root Clog in a Sewer or Drain Line:

  • Persistent, unexplained clogs in household drains (toilets, baths, or sinks)
  • Repeated toilet backups
  • Gurgling sounds
  • Slow drainage in household drains

Signs of a Root Clog in a Main Water Line:

  • Gradual drop in the amount of water coming out of the tap
  • Low water pressure
  • Gurgling or banging sounds from the pipes

In extreme cases, tree roots can completely destroy a pipe by causing it to crack until it breaks or by crushing the pipe. Besides affecting the water supply to your house, a broken underground pipe can cause flooding and other damage to your home’s foundation.

Signs of Roots Breaking a Pipe or Sewer Line

  • Sudden drop in access to water
  • Sudden drop in water pressure
  • Whistling or banging sounds from your pipes
  • Sudden increase in your water bills despite normal water usage
  • Puddles of water or sewage in your yard
  • Foul odors coming from your yard or basement

If you have older pipes made of clay or concrete, you are more likely to experience plumbing issues because of root damage, as these pipes are more likely crack and allow tree roots to take hold in the pipe. PVC pipes tend to be more watertight and therefore do not attract roots as much as pipes that are made of materials other than plastic.

When you suspect you have a problem with tree roots in your plumbing system, the best course of action is to contact us. Using a specialized camera that can run through your water line, we’ll be able to tell if roots are growing inside of your pipe or otherwise distorting or blocking it. Once we know the problem, and pinpoint the location of the issue, we will be able to remedy the situation with minimal hassle. Contact Inspector Jet today to schedule an inspection.

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