Trees, shrubs, and fruit orchards are what make The Pacific Northwest The Pacific Northwest! But all of that beautiful greenery can come with a downside. It can be putting your plumbing system in danger. In this blog post, we’ll delve into how roots can damage your plumbing and offer tips to prevent this from happening on your property.
Getting to the Root of the Problem
When adding a tree or shrub to your landscaping, the last thing you’re likely thinking about is its roots. Roots grow toward nearby water sources– which oftentimes is your plumbing system. If a root finds a leak in your plumbing, it will wreak havoc in your piping, seeking the nutrients it needs to grow.
Roots can penetrate any type of piping. While clay is most susceptible, PVC and concrete pipes are not immune either.
Damage Roots Can Cause
Once a root penetrates your home’s sewer line, many problems can occur.
- A toilet can backup
- Interrupted water supply
- Slow draining or clogged drains
After this happens, you’ll need to call in the professionals. In Washington and Oregon it is your responsibility, not the city’s to handle sewer leaks and repairs if they occur on the property.
Prevention is Key
There are many different products and methods to help with root control.
Avoid Certain Species
Aspens, maples, and willows are trees that aggressive and invasive roots. So you may want to avoid these on your property, especially if it’s smaller.
Locate Your Plumbing and Plant Accordingly
The Utility Notification Center commonly called “Call Before You Dig” is for contractors and homeowners planning to dig. This resource is available for people in both Washington and Oregon. Technicians will professionally locate all your sewer and other utility lines and mark them. After you have this information, you’ll have a better idea of good planting locations. Keep in mind, you may want to also plant your trees at least 10 feet away from your sidewalks and foundation to help prevent roots from damaging those as well.
Metal or wood barriers can be purchased and installed to help stop roots from growing in a certain direction. However, this method can cause the tree to be unstable and make it more susceptible to blowing over in strong winds.
A long tool called an auger can also be used in piping that has been infiltrated by roots. The auger travels down the drain and cuts the roots. This method is typically just a quick fix so it is often used with another type of root control.
There are some toxic chemicals out on the market that stops or slows root growth when poured down the drain. This method kills the plants and could potentially harm the environment.
Clogs in your home happen. But it’s important to know what is causing the clog. At D&F Plumbing, Heating and Cooling, we’ll use video equipment to perform inspections of your sewer line. And if roots have indeed infiltrated your plumbing line we’ll find a solution and have your system up and running again in no time. So contact us today for your plumbing needs in Portland and Clark County!