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How Tree Roots Damage Sewer Lines

Trees are beautiful, of course. They not only add a great deal to your landscaping, they provide shade that can be vitally important during a hot summer day. However, they can also have a bit of a “dark side” in that they can cause chaos in sewer lines. When they penetrate your pipes they can lead to costly, and messy – sewer backups due to clogging lines. Benjamin Franklin Plumbing® of Dallas would like to share some information on how this problem happens and what you can do about it.

Why this Problem Happens

The short answer as to why tree roots infiltrate sewer lines is they simply like it in there. Pipes contain all of the elements that are essential for tree growth: oxygen, nutrients and water. If not checked, roots can completely entangle a pipe with hair-like masses. As toilet tissue, waste, grease and other debris travel down your line, they catch on these roots and gradually reduce the flow of water. Eventually, a clog will form that will render your toilet useless.

As warm water flows inside the pipes of sewer lines vapor escapes into the cooler soil that surrounds the line. Roots are attracted to this vapor but they want more. If a root is able to get to a loose joint or crack in a pipe, it will continue to grow through the opening, to get to the good stuff (nutrients, moisture, etc.).

What You Can Do About It

If you hear strange gurgling noises from your toilet bowl, that is a good indication you have a blockage in your sewer line. Clay pipe is typically the most susceptible to root intrusion, but PVC and concrete pipe can also be breached. If you ever notice a problem, a plumber with Benjamin Franklin Plumbing® of Dallas can send an advanced camera to pinpoint the exact source. That way, repairs can quickly proceed so your plumbing can get back to normal. Give us a call at (972) 895-7775 or contact us online to set an appointment.