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Can Springtime Plant Growth Wreak Havoc on Plumbing?

Common Plumbing Problems Resulting From Plant Growth 

Spring is a season of rejuvenation, not only for humans but also for plant life. Trees work hard to gather resources for the coming growing season during the spring. Unfortunately, the rapid springtime growth of trees can be detrimental to a home's plumbing

Common symptoms of these springtime plumbing problems are:

  • Low water pressure in sewer lines
  • Slow draining
  • Backed up toilets

If these problems are apparent in local homes, learn more!

Why Are Tree Roots in Sewer Lines?

rootsDuring the spring, blooms and foliage burst forth on trees that have been dormant over the long winter. But, what is visible above ground is only half the story. To feed all of the spring growth, trees must find the resources, and the only way a tree taps into new nutrients is by sending out roots. 

Tree roots are one of the most powerful forces in nature. They lie below the soil, patiently looking for opportunities to take advantage of new resources, slowly moving further and further away from the tree's trunk. Unfortunately, the tree will always win for anything in the tree's way. 

What Problems Do Tree Roots Cause?


Why should anyone be concerned with what tree roots are doing? Tree roots cause a lot of collateral damage in their quest to find new food, breaking through concrete and plumbing lines in too many cases. Burying plumbing lines has long been a way to protect water and sewer lines from freezing during the winter. Additionally, most of the time, piping is better protected when buried under the ground. 

However, pipes are always in contact with roots. Freshwater pipes carry water, and sewer lines have fertilizer for trees. Over time, pipes can fail, and tree roots will rush in and lap up the nutrients. When a tree root finds its way into a line, it can rapidly deploy resources to build more roots inside it. This is great for the tree but bad for the guy trying to flush his toilet! 

How Are These Problems Solved? 

There are several options available for repair for homes suffering from problems caused by tree roots in the plumbing. To fix these problems, a plumber may suggest:

  • Repiping: Often, the cause of tree roots in sewer lines is due to outdated materials being used in plumbing. Clay pipes will collapse, and iron sewer lines will corrode. Repiping sewer lines with PVC can put an end to troubles for good. 
  • Root Barriers: Digging a new trench and laying new sewer lines can be an invasive process that some may want to avoid. Additionally, simply using better materials may not be enough in some cases. One can use root barriers to discourage root growth near underground plumbing. 
  • Hydro-jetting or Drain Augers: As a temporary measure, mechanical means of cutting through roots are a good option. However, it doesn't solve the "root" cause of the problem. In the end, pipes will need to be replaced to prevent roots from penetrating. 

About Charles Krull & Son, Inc. Plumbing & Heating

Everyone needs a plumber who can solve their sewer line problems the first time! Charles Krull & Son, Inc. Plumbing & Heating keeps their trucks stocked to make quick repairs and always guarantees their work. Call today for industry-leading plumbing service in Malverne, NY.