Tree roots are the antagonist of sewer and drain pipes in Puget Sound area. This is mainly common in older homes, where there are chances that eventually one will have to deal with the tree roots invading clay sewer pipes. During prolonged drought seasons this has been proven to be a common nuisance; this is as a result of the tree roots searching for any source of moisture which includes the water flowing through the sewer pipes. The problem of tree roots and clay pipes are really a menace that needs to be addressed appropriately.
When the roots have infiltrated the pipes, they continue to grow in diameter.Hence it further creates or worsens the gaps in the pipes. The roots can break the pipe entirely in severe cases which would lead to the replacement of the pipe. At times the intrusion might not be significant enough to break the pipe, but the roots are likely to obstruct the flow of water and waste in the pipe this will cause backups in fixtures, showers, and toilets.
Problems associated with concrete and clay sewer
- The sewer pipes joints were rarely watertight. This is as from the first time they were installed. The spigot which is the narrow end is inserted into the bell on the larger end of the next section of the pipe. The installer runs a bead around the spigot and the bell in order to seal the sewer pipes he uses concrete or mortar. To get the sewer to the required height, the process is repeated. Water can find its way to the roots as the joints were not waterproof, as a result, water seeps out and will find its way to the roots, therefore, attracting the tree roots.
- Over an entire length of a typical 100’ long sewer, you can roughly obtain 33 joints or 33 invitations for the tree roots to enter the pipes.
- The concrete and clay pipes are heavy as a result; as the ground moves and shifts over a long period of time the pipes can end up sinking into the soil thus creating gaps or worsening them.
- The concrete pipes and clay pipes are brittle hence when moving and shifting they can crack or even break leading to entry points for the roots.
How to solve the problems of tree roots and clay pipes
- Cutting off the roots from the sewer thus providing temporary relief that can be for a few months or years.
- Pipe replacing or pipelining is the best way to prevent roots from growing further in the sewer, once they begin to grow.
- Another solution to this problem is pouring a chemical tree root killer down your toilet and let it eradicate the roots for you. The various root killers chemicals are available in a local hardware or plumbing supply store. The chemical contains the corrosive property that kills the roots when they come in contact with the drain pipe.
It is important to note that removing the tree with the damaging roots is not the solution to this problem, as the roots can continue to grow even after the tree has been cut down no matter how long it will take. Even more important is knowing when you need to call a professional plumber. Ensure you contact an expert to address this problem of tree roots and clay pipes.