Invasive tree roots have been a homeowner’s nightmare for as long as plumbing is around. There are certain problems that the conveniences in our surroundings can cause. One of that is tree root intrusion. There are countless factors leading to why tree roots penetrate the pipe and, in some cases, even get to rupture and destroy them. To name a few, cracks, leaks, breakage, and even sheer desperation on the tree’s part to gain nutrition become credible reasons for root intrusion. Remember that if a hairline sized root intrudes your sewer lines, it can grow up to the size of the sewer line itself. To eradicate this issue, consider the following tips:
1. Give the intruding roots a haircut.
When facing root intrusion problems in your pipelines and sewers, the first course of action when the problem becomes too complex to solve with simple DIY methods and home remedy techniques is to physically give the intruding roots a much-needed trimming. Purchase a mechanical auger in your local hardware store and utilise that or, if operating an auger is something you are not up for, contact your local plumbing service provider and have someone cut the roots for you.
The problem with this method is that when you cut a certain part of the root, the loose end will eventually grow back with a few reinforcements along. The cut part of the root will branch out and sprout new tiny channels of roots and this will be the reason for a call to the plumbing service provider for another session of root trimming in the future.
2. Let’s get Chemicals!
Another technique to clear the sewer and pipelines from root intrusion is through chemical means. The trick there is to find a chemical composition that is either too acidic for the root or something that would directly kill it upon contact. Most seasoned plumbers suggest copper sulphate crystals because it protects the inside of them pipe by turning surrounding soil into a poison zone so that when the roots reach it, no nutrition will be present in there for them and the root will be forced to look somewhere else.
If the roots are already inside the solution is to flush chemical based products down the drain to kill the root and flush it thoroughly with water right after so there will be no lingering chemicals inside the pipe.
The trouble with this method is that too much and frequent usage of chemical products will help the corrosion in your sewer lines and pipelines progress and develop faster. This will also contribute to weakening the structural strength of the pipe. In occasions, this method is actually more harm than good.
3. Eliminate Tree Roots with a High Pressure Water Jetter
This method is a great solution for tree root intrusion in tiny doses. When the roots are not too thick in diameter but are numerous and quite lengthy, this would be a good practice to do. However, this method comes with a potentially high bill pricing. A water jet is a device often seen and used in pipe relining to clean out sewer lines and pipelines. This tool produces water up to 4,000 psi, that is 17 to 18 gallons per minute.
If you are environmentally conscious and have made a lot of efforts in contributing to water conservation, this method is surely not a viable option for you. Also, this method is not 100% guaranteed to completely wipe out the tree root intrusion. In fact, there are cases when the contractor will have to come back and use chemical treatments to leftover roots in your sewer or pipelines.
When all of the techniques mentioned above do not prove to be effective, there is only one thing left to do. Dig the pipe to remove the intrusion manually. To avoid damaging the pipe, use a CCTV camera and snake that down the pipe. Be careful that when you dig the ground, you will not accidentally hit the pipe and break it.
The disadvantage of this method is that it involves excavation which means that you are in for a messy repair.