Tree Roots Removal

Tree root removal is the process of preventing and removing tree or plant roots from your plumbing system. Trees are a beautiful addition to your environment. But these can be very costly to your plumbing if you do it wrong. The thing is, even if you do it right mother nature is unpredictable enough that tree roots may eventually make it to your plumbing in very surprising ways.

Symptoms of tree roots in the pipe

The consequences of mother nature invading your pipes can be dire. You can expect the following symptoms:

  • Reduced flow of water to your house
  • Lower water pressure
  • Jumps in your water bill
  • The smell of sewage
  • The actual sewage backing up into your home.

Removing the tree roots

Damage from tree roots can compound if you DIY this improperly, so consider DIY-ing this very carefully and thoroughly, and call a professional if you lack the materials and experience. And you need to know what root you are dealing with first before you even think about DIY-ing this.

There are two kinds of tree roots: Taproot and Fibrous roots. Both types have hazards but the vast majority of trees have Taproots which are thick and strong and go where it wants to, so be wary when dealing with these. Oaks in particular will absolutely destroy almost anything underground it comes across – plumbing in our case. Fibrous roots can be easily snaked using a drum or rooter drain snake and are not as much of a threat.

Copper Sulfate – Before snaking the pipe, a good first aid solution is Copper Sulfate. Readily available in hardware stores, you can use half a cup of copper sulfate and flush this down a toilet, this kills, and removes the roots in the pipe without killing the tree. This is great for fibrous roots and can remove taproots depending on their size.

Snaking – If its tree roots you think you are dealing with you can DIY this by looking for your clean out plug, clean it out by opening it slightly and letting it drain into a bucket. You can then use your drain snake to insert this into the cleanout, and keep going until you feel resistance. Then pull out the tree roots from within the pipe. You can also rent a rooter snake, or a drum snake and carefully snake the drain while running water into the pipe. This clears out the tree roots as the augur blades mince and mash the roots within. This works especially well with fibrous roots.

Digging it up – Snaking, drain cleaner and copper sulfate are the most common tool used for clearing out small clogs but if the damage is extensive and you risk contamination the pipes will need to be dug up and replaced eventually, among other things. You will need to dig a trench and replace the pipes individually. First you will need to turn off your water main, then dig into the area and remove the affected pipes and replace them. Be extremely careful when pulling or removing taproots as you can unintentionally uproot the tree and cause more damage.

Trenchless replacement – You can go trenchless if you’re skilled enough or if you have help, both work under different circumstances. The main methods of removing and replacing pipes trenchlessly are Augur Boring, Impact Moling, and Micro-tunneling and all require some form of training or professional assistance.

Augur Boring – Instead of digging a trench, a hole is bored to where exactly the problem lies so plumbers can get to it right away. It is faster, and minimizes damage to pavements thus reducing traffic jams. It is most commonly used to avoid damaging landscaping projects, road embankments and under railways.

Impact Moling – This bores the earth horizontally by displacing the soil directly around the bore through a soil displacement hammer. Then the pipes can be installed in its trail. This is never used on solid rock.

Micro Tunneling – While not an option for DIY-ers its still good to know. These act much like the massive digging machines that eat away at mountains to build tunnels crossing them. These are used in city sewage systems where the city cannot be disrupted. It is done by digging two shafts downward, and then remotely operating the machine to dig between the two shafts and connecting them while installing pipes at the machines wake.

Easy prevention – There are strong plastic “Root Barrier” devices that were recently developed that redirects the trees roots downward thus enabling landscapers to put trees where they want them and get that nature lover look in their homes without wreaking havoc to their plumbing and gardening. Get these installed if you don’t have them yet.

When to call the professionals?

Call a professional as soon as you see a problem involving tree roots. But if you DIY it and if the clog persists don’t fiddle with this further as the most DIY plumbing related accidents and damages are caused by tree roots. And you may also damage property that isn’t yours. DrainRooter Plumbing is experienced in the methods required to do these tasks and we will make sure that we do our job in the most cost efficient way possible depending on the situation. Call in our tree root removal team at DrainRooter Plumbing to fix it for you.

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