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Killing, Cleaning & Removing Tree Roots: Blocked Sewer Drains & Pipes

 

How Tree Roots Can Clog And Break Clay Sewer Drains And Pipes

It’s hard for some people to believe, but one of the most prominent problems that we find with clogged or broken sewer drains has to do with tree roots.  Many people who haven’t experienced the damage that can be caused to their pipes and drains by tree roots often wonder exactly how roots can enter a drain if it is completely enclosed.  The problem is that often, and especially if your sewer drain is made of clay, it is not completely encloses and may have cracks, slips or breakages that allow roots to find their way in.  Removing drain tree roots can be a very important step in properly maintaining your sewer line and keeping wastewater flowing properly.

Nowadays when a home is constructed, builders who are installing the plumbing will usually use plastic PVC pipes for sewer drains, which is impervious to most tree root damage and doesn’t degrade and break as easily.  But in the past, it was a common practice to use clay tile to construct sewer drain pipes and footer drains, and if your home is fifty years old or older it is likely that your sewer main line is indeed constructed of clay tile.

Although this clay tile sewer drain might hold up well for the first few decades, over time the ground shifts and settles, the clay ages and is degraded by waste flowing through it and other reasons.  Eventually, the tiles themselves might slip slightly apart or tiny cracks can form in the pipe.  These tiny openings are all that small, thin tree root tendrils need to creep into your sewer drain.  And once inside, they grow thicker and branch out, eventually clogging your drain or causing breaks and blockages.

Tree Roots In Basement Foundation Footer Drain Tiles

When you think about it, it makes sense that tree roots seek out places like clay sewer drains.  Your sewer drain is rich in water, minerals and other nutrients that trees need to thrive, and once inside tree roots will grow very quickly.  In fact, it is thought that tree roots are actually able to detect these type of nutrient rich environments by the gasses that are released from them, and they can grow toward your drains in search of nourishment.

tree roots sewer drain

Your clay sewer drain is not the only drainage pipe that tree roots can seek out and clog on your property.  Your basement foundation clay footer drain tiles are also popular targets for tree roots, as well.  Footer drains are placed around the foundation of your home by builders in order to collect excess groundwater and route it away from your home, and they are a vital component of proper basement waterproofing.  Because these footer drains need to be perforated in order to collect water, it provides an easy way for tree roots to enter and grow.

In some extreme cases, clay footer drain tiles must be either jetted out or replaced with more durable PVC plastic footer drains.  Additionally, installing an easily accessible cleanout area, such as a sump crock, makes it simpler to clean tree roots from your footer drains in the future, rather than having to excavate a portion of your foundation.

Methods For Removing Tree Roots From Drains And Pipes

Proper drain cleaning for sewer pipes that have tree root problems is not, luckily, a very difficult job using today’s plumbing technology.  The most common way to remove tree roots from sewer drain pipes is by using a drain snake, or auger, to cut roots from the drains.  A drain snaking rooter uses a rotating auger at the end of a long flexible cable to slice roots away and temporarily solve your root problem.  We say “temporarily” because in many cases these roots can and will grow back, so it’s a good idea to have your drain snaked once a year in order to clear newly grown roots.

sewer drain snake auger

Another common method for removing tree roots from sewer drains is by using a high pressure water drain jetting system, which blows away roots and other obstructions from your sewer or footer drains.  These high pressure jet systems aren’t just as simple as a hose that sprays water.  Instead, they are a sophisticated piece of specialized equipment designed to blast extremely high powered pressurized water backwards out of your drains, removing all obstructions in the process.

Many years ago, if someone had a clog or blockage in their sewer drain, it was necessary for plumbers to completely dig up the pipe itself to inspect it and define the cause of the clog.  Today, however, the superior modern technology used by drain cleaners allows us to find out what’s wrong with your pipes without doing any excavation or damage at all.  By using a high tech TV video drain camera to locate the site of your problem, companies are able to see exactly what is causing your clog on a closed circuit television screen.

By identifying exactly how much the tree roots have affected your drains, we can then decide what the best course of action is and how to repair the problem with the least amount of cost and damage.today to schedule an appointment and allow us to help get things working like new at your home.  Tree root clogs in your clay sewer drains can be a distressing problem, but thankfully, if has a very simple solution.


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