How To Detect Root Intrusion In Sewer Line

By Danika | June 29, 2022

How To Detect Root Intrusion In Sewer Line

how to tell if you have roots in your pipes

One of the most catastrophic failures you can have with your sewer line is to have a root intrusion. Root intrusion can lead to the line backing up, flooding your property, and causing damage to your home and belongings. This is very common in older homes with clay sewer lines, but it can happen in any house near trees or with a lot of landscaping. This article will show you how to detect root intrusion in your sewer line so you can minimize the damage before it spirals out of control.

how to detect root intrusion in sewer line
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Why Tree Roots Tend to Break Pipes

There are several reasons why tree roots tend to break pipes. 

i. Plants exhibit hydrotropism. 

If your pipes are leaking, the water will attract the roots and they will grow in that direction. This is because plants are living organisms and have a natural tendency to seek out moisture, so they will grow toward the source of water. As soon as they come across a break, the roots will grow through the pipe and break it, in a process called percolation. 

ii. Trees are extremely sensitive to vibrations, especially their root structures. 

If a home is built next to a tree, the roots will sense the vibrations and grow towards those vibrations. This happens because most tree species are migratory. The older branches die off and the tree will replicate itself by sending its root structures out in search of new soil.

how to prevent tree roots in pipes by planning your landscaping

Ways You Can Detect a Root Intrusion

Several signs indicate that you have a root intrusion. Here is how to detect root intrusion in the sewer line

1. Debris blocking the sewer line

If your pipe is backed up and debris begins blocking it, this can be a sign of a root intrusion. If your home is near a tree, you may notice bits of bark and leaves clogging your sewer line. This is known as the root rake effect, and it happens when the roots grow through the pipe and create a layer of debris. The pipe will eventually be blocked by this layer and cause the pipe to become blocked.

2. Sewer line bubbling or hissing

If you have a sewer line that is bubbling or hissing, this is likely due to a root intrusion. This happens when the part of the pipe that has been broken off is full of air, creating a hissing noise as it drains your home. This is noticeable in the sinks and toilets in your home.

3. The smell of sewer gas

If you notice a smell of sewer gas, this is likely due to a root intrusion. This is because the roots grow into the pipe and blocks wastes that start to build up and decompose inside the pipe. The smell will usually come when it is hot outside, but if you live in the city, you may notice a smelly mist coming from your bathroom sink.

4. Slow flowing sewer line

This is another sign of a root intrusion. There are several reasons why your sewer line may start flowing slowly or not at all. The most common reason is that the roots are obstructing the main pipe and the flow of water is slowing down.

5. Wet areas around your sewer line

If you have a wet area around your sewer line, this can be a sign of a root intrusion. This is because the pipe will be leaking and water will accumulate near the break. As long as it is near a tree, this is a likely sign that the roots are breaking your pipe.

6. Water in the basement

If you have water in your basement after heavy rain, this can be a sign that you have a root intrusion. The roots will grow into the line and block water from flowing out of your home. This will cause water to back up and flood your basement.

root intrusion sewer line

How to Prevent Root Intrusions

The best way to prevent root intrusions is by taking care of your trees. Here are some tips to prevent root intrusions:

1. Keep your trees at a distance from your home. 

The best way to avoid root intrusions is by keeping your trees as far away as possible from your pipes. The roots of the tree can grow and cover the pipes, so keep them far away. If you have an older home with clay pipes, you should remove any trees that are close to your home. You should at least remove the trees from the property line or leave a distance of not less than 5 meters.

2. Add extra layers of protection around the pipes.

You can protect your pipes from root intrusions by adding extra layers of pipe insulation. This will make it harder for the roots to break through and will block the pipe from being broken by the roots.

3. Avoid planting trees with aggressive roots near your home. 

There are some trees that are known to have aggressive roots, and it is best not to plant them near your home. These trees include poplar, willow, and oak.

4. Use cast-iron pipes for outdoor areas.

If you live in an area prone to root intrusion, you should consider using cast iron pipes for all outdoor pipes. This pipe is stronger and more resistant to root intrusion than most other types of pipes.

5. Water and fertilize your trees regularly.

Regular watering and fertilizing can help keep the roots healthy. They will not grow towards pipes looking for water and cause problems like a root intrusion if they are regularly fed.

roots in sewer pipes

How We Can Help You

The team at Danika Plumbing is here to help you repair your sewer line. We are a company that provides services to help you find, detect and repair root intrusions. Some of the services we offer include; Sewer repair services, drain cleaning services, sewer repair services, and emergency plumbing services. We can identify the problem and our team of experienced plumbers will be able to fix it easily. 

As you can see, root intrusions are a big problem and they can do serious damage to your home. They can ruin your sewer line and flood your home, causing a lot of financial strain. If you have noticed any of the signs that we mentioned, you should contact us immediately. Root intrusions are costly to repair and can cause major damage to your home if not addressed early on.

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