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How to Protect Your Plumbing System from Tree Roots
How to Protect Your Plumbing System from Tree Roots
September 18/2021

How to Protect Your Plumbing System from Tree Roots

Trees provide for us with oxygen and shade. They beautify landscapes and some even offer fruits. It is not all sunshine and rainbows, though. Under the surface, trees can be wreaking havoc on your property – literally. Tree roots are known to grow toward and penetrate through plumbing pipes in their search for water, nutrients, and oxygen. The folks here at Mr. Rooter Plumbing of New Jersey have dealt with a fair share of destructive tree roots and we are here to offer some tips on protecting your plumbing system from these intruders. If your plumbing system is damaged by tree roots, call Mr. Rooter Plumbing to schedule an appointment or request an emergency plumbing repair.

Prevention is Key

As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure. If you are considering planting trees on your property, then plant wisely. Before you plant, make sure you know where the sewer line and plumbing are located. Choose a tree species with the length of its roots at maturity in mind and plant them a safe distance away from the plumbing.

If the trees are already planted and you do not want to, or cannot, remove the tree, then consider placing barriers to prevent the roots from reaching pipes. There are chemical solutions that inhibit the growth of roots within a range of the pipes. You can also use wood or metal barriers.

Removing the Roots

If the damage has already been done, then it is time for damage control. You are simply going to have to remove the roots, and we have a few ways you can do that.

First, you can use an auger. An auger is a device with a spiral head. You will send the auger down the plumbing system to clear out blockages, including roots. This method should work against thin roots, but large roots will require more power.

For thicker roots, you can try hydro jetting. This is the mix between an auger and a pressure washer. Instead of a spiral head, the hydro jetting machine has a nozzle at the tip which blasts pressurized water, capable of scouring away even dried concrete.

Finally, you can remove the roots using chemicals. The previous two methods will remove the roots from the plumbing pipes but will not kill the roots. Chemicals such as copper sulfate crystals can kill tree roots without harming the tree itself. These can be bought at garden supply stores. Make sure to read the directions before using and keep the chemicals away from children and pets as they can be toxic!

Hire A Qualified Plumber

Do you suspect your tree roots are damaging your plumbing system? Signs include slow drainage, foul smells, and patches of overly lush grass in the yard. If you are worried about plumbing damage, then call Mr. Rooter Plumbing of New Jersey to hire a dedicated plumber in Howell today. We can schedule an appointment or have a plumber dispatched to your location in as soon as within the hour.