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Ace Plumbing and Heating Blog

Sewer Damage. And How Powerful Tree Roots Actually Are.

Image of Jack Devetten the Professer of Plumbing talking about Sewer Damage
Jack The Professor of Plumbing

Finally, spring is here and we are all itching to get out into the yard after a long winter and start the annual spring clean up. But have you ever wondered about the silent war going on under your house? An actual war between the tree roots and the hidden pipes of the sewer system. Sewer damage is actually a real-life drama that plays out under residential neighbourhoods. Creating financial headaches for homeowners.

But the root of the problem (pun intended) is how tree roots, in their search for moisture, find a way into cracks and joints in sewer pipes. They grow and expand, causing a sewer blockage, sewer backups, and eventually severe damage. But if damage to the sewer goes unnoticed, it escalates to a full-blown crisis, catching homeowners off guard.

image of a black burst sewer pipe

The Emotional Impact of Sewer Damage

The personal stories of those affected by this underground war are compelling and heart wrenching. Can you imagine discovering your backyard, with its beautiful trees, has become the battleground for a costly war against nature. But those who have been through this nightmare will tell you it is no picnic experiencing slow drains, unexpected sewage backups, and the unpleasant odours that permeate their homes. Clearly, the emotional toll is quite real when suddenly realizing that your sewer system has collapsed.

The Financial Impact of Sewer Damage

However, repairing the damage caused by tree roots in sewer systems is not a simple or cheap fix. The costs can go through the roof ranging from a few thousand dollars for minor repairs to tens of thousands for complete sewer line replacements. And this financial nightmare can literally drain your savings accounts and put a massive strain on a family budget.

Ways to Prevent Sewer Damage 

But just talking about a tree root sewer damage problem will not solve anything. We need to be looking for solutions and be able to prevent the damage in the first place. A good start in minimizing risks are regular maintenance checks. And planting the right types of trees at a safe distance from sewer lines. 

Here are 6 Ways to Fight Sewer Damage.

The first line of defence is strategic planting. Know the location of your sewer lines before planting any trees. Plant slow-growing trees with shallow root systems and plant them far enough away from sewer system to minimize the risk of root damage.

Root Barrier Products. Are available to help keep roots away from sewer lines. These barriers are made from fabric or solid materials that have growth-inhibiting stuff built into them.

Regular Maintenance and Inspection. Regularly inspecting and maintaining your sewer lines helps catch and address root problems early before they cause too much damage. Have Ace Plumbing inspect your sewer lines with a camera to spot any potential issues.

Sewer Line Choice. Whether you are installing new lines or replacing old ones, choose materials resistant to root intrusions, like HDPE piping. These pipes have tighter and fewer joints. And they are less likely to break down and leak.

Chemical Solutions. Such as copper sulphate or a root-killing foam that are flushed down the toilet to kill the roots within a sewer line without harming the tree. However, these chemicals should be used cautiously. So always check your local environmental rules.

For major problems or just as a preventive measure. Call Ace Plumbing we specialize in sewer line maintenance. Regular sewer line inspections are important for maintaining the health of your home’s plumbing system and preventing unexpected issues. Read more on the impact tree roots have on your sewer system.

Here are 5 General Guidelines to Follow

For Older Homes. If your home is over 40 years old and has never had the sewer lines inspected. Schedule an inspection with Ace Plumbing as soon as possible. Older homes often have clay or cast-iron pipes and are more vulnerable to damage from tree roots.

Camera Inspections. A thorough sewer line camera inspection every 18 to 22 months is recommended. This will help identify potential issues before they become serious problems, ensuring that minor repairs can be made promptly.

Trees Near Your Sewer Lines. Homes with large trees or known invasive root systems close to sewer lines should have inspections annually.

Severe Weather. Heavy rainstorms and other severe weather can cause movement in the ground and affect your sewer lines. Noticing a change in your plumbing system’s performance is worth having a quick inspection to ensure no damage is done.

Before Buying a Home. Always have the sewer lines inspected with a camera. This inspection is often overlooked in the home-buying process. But an inspection can save you from inheriting expensive and messy problems later.

When you follow these recommendations, you can monitor the condition of your sewer lines, take preventive measures, and avoid damage.

6 Indicators Your Sewer Lines Need Repair or Replacement

Frequent Sewer Backups and Blockages. If your drains seem blocked even with regular cleaning, there may be tree roots or other obstructions in your sewer line.

Gurgling Sounds. Unusual noises from your toilets or drains, such as gurgling or bubbling sounds, can indicate a problem in the sewer line.

Unpleasant Odors. A persistent sewer smell in your yard or house indicate a sewer line breach.

Wet Patches in the Yard. Especially soggy patches of grass or areas where the lawn is unusually green, point to a leak in your sewer line.

Slow Draining. Sinks, bathtubs, or showers that drain slowly could indicate sewer line issues.

Insect and Rodent Problems. An increase in pests is a sign of having a cracked sewer line.

Noticing these signs and acting on them can prevent damage from worsening, and save you from more expensive repairs. You can also rely on the expertise of Ace Plumbing when dealing with sewer line issues, especially when tree roots are involved.

We are always available 24/7 to look after all your plumbing emergencies.

Send us a message or Schedule a Service here.

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