If you have ever faced a blocked drain, you know how frustrating it can be. Not only is it inconvenient, but it can also cause extensive damage to your plumbing system. In most cases, people tend to blame hair, soap scum, and food particles for clogs. However, have you ever considered the possibility that tree roots might be the culprit? Yes, you read that right! Tree roots can be a significant cause of drain blockage. In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about how tree roots can block your drain, the signs of blockage, and how to fix the issue.
What Are the Causes of Tree Root Blockage?
The roots of trees and plants have a natural tendency to search for water sources to survive. Drain and sewer pipes can provide an excellent source of water and nutrients for them. When the roots come into contact with the pipes, they start to grow toward them. Over time, the roots can penetrate through small cracks or gaps in the pipes, causing blockages.
Another reason tree roots can cause blockages is because of the type of pipe used in your plumbing system. If your pipes are old or made from clay, they are more susceptible to root intrusion than modern pipes made of plastic or PVC. Clay pipes are porous, and tree roots can easily penetrate them.
What Are the Signs of Tree Root Blockage?
If you suspect that tree roots are causing a blockage in your plumbing system, here are some signs to look out for:
- Slow Draining: One of the most common signs of drain blockage is slow draining. If your sink, shower, or bathtub drains slowly, it could be a sign that tree roots are blocking the pipes.
- Foul Odors: Tree roots can cause a build-up of debris and waste in your pipes, leading to unpleasant smells emanating from your drains. When you have a blockage in your plumbing system, it is inevitable to have smelly drains at home.
- Gurgling Sounds: If you hear gurgling sounds when you flush your toilet or use your sink, it could be a sign that tree roots are blocking your plumbing system.
- Backups: If your drains are backing up, it could be a severe sign of blockage. In some cases, you might experience sewage backups, which can be hazardous to your health.
How to Fix Tree Root Blockage?
If you suspect that tree roots are causing a blockage in your plumbing system, it is best to call a professional plumber to fix your blocked drains. Here are some ways they can fix the issue:
- Cutting the Roots: A plumber can use a specialized tool to cut the roots and remove them from your pipes. This process is called root cutting and can be done using various methods, including hydro jetting and augering.
- Chemical Treatment: Plumbers can also use chemical treatments to kill the roots in your pipes. RootX treatment is one example. These treatments can be effective, but they can also damage your pipes if used improperly. Therefore, these should be carried out by a professional plumber.
- Replacement: In some cases, the damage caused by tree roots can be severe, and the only solution is to replace the affected section of the pipe. This process can be expensive and time-consuming because you may have to open up concreting or other hard surfaces like stone, but it is necessary to prevent further damage to your plumbing system.