You have probably heard and read many articles painting tree roots as major culprits of root intrusions and countless other sewer pipe damage. What most homeowners probably do not know is that trees are not the only vegetative organisms that have the ability to ruin pipes and other plumbing fixtures. A selection of shrubs can be quite as deadly and harmful to the plumbing. As absurd as this sound, shrubs and bushes also have the capabilities to intrude and potentially ruin the health of your pipe in spite of their minuscule size. In this article, you will be introduced to three of the most common shrubs planted in residential and industrial spaces that will cause pipe damage.
1. Ivy Plants
This plant is often found grappling around any gaps or cracks in the pipe. You might think that this plant is rather tame and harmless because of its pretty green colouring and the fact that it turns out to be a great ground-covering plant. You are deadly wrong. To set you right, ivy plants have the uncanny ability to grow even under the most extreme and uncompromising conditions. Because of its adaptability, homeowners do not think that this plant needs frequent maintenance and monitoring. This assumption proves to be the first and most fatal mistake in caring for an Ivy plant.
If an ivy plant is left untended for at least six months, do not be surprised if it has grown up to 4 times its original height and width. Also, remember that this plant is pretty adapted to a vertical environment. This is the reason why the plant does not encounter many problems in locating and penetrating pinholes and hairline cracks in the pipe. Once the ivy plant reaches your sewer line, it does not only seep out moisture, it actually lives inside the pipe. As the time passes, it can stretch out into channels leading to damaging your neighbours’ pipes and can often result in blockage and wastewater backups.
2. Boxwood Shrubs
With its attractive aesthetic features and having over 80 different species, there is no doubt why this type of shrub is popular amongst gardeners, homeowners and even to landscape architects. Boxwood shrubs can pop colour to a yard which is why these are typically placed close to the building or home foundation. What homeowners and gardeners overlook is the fact that this vegetative species is harmful to plumbing and may be liable for pipe leaks and other mishaps of the kind.
This shrub has a shallow-lying root system that has a fast growth rate making it particularly dangerous to your embedded pipes. Over time, the roots will reach the plumbing fixture around it and you can expect that one plumbing problem can precipitate into a thousand other damages.
3. Holly Bushes and Shrubs
Just like a Boxwood shrub, this species is also a foundation plant. These, too, are placed near the exterior walls of a building as an aesthetic piece. Insufficient moisture and nutrition will lead it to seek the needed materials from the closest source that it can find. More often than not, this comes in the form of a supply pipe or a sewer pipe. As the roots penetrate the pipe, it will likely grow inside and slowly rupture the pipe to deformation. As a result, the residential building will experience blockages, low water pressure and insufficient water supply along with occasional wastewater backups.