Are tree roots affecting your pipes?

Tree roots are one of the most common causes for drain damage. Even if your trees appear to be at a safe distance from your home, the roots may have been growing for years and managed to reach your pipes. 

Tree roots can infiltrate the joints of even a healthy pipe, but if your sewer system is over 30 years old you are especially susceptible to damage. 

If a root does find its way into the joint of a pipe it will quickly grow and cause blockages, cracking and sewage leaks.

Here are some tips to prevent plumbing problems caused by tree roots:

Find out where the location of all your sewer systems and pipes are in the front and back yard. 

Measure the plant’s distance from your home to make sure there is enough space for the root system not to interfere with the underground pipes or foundation. Trees with spreading, water hungry roots should be planted approx. 3-9 metres from water and sewer lines.

Plants and shrubs need enough water and nutrients in the soil so their roots don’t infiltrate sewer and water lines to find it.

Try to plant trees and shrub species with less aggressive root systems.

Maintain your sewer system. Pipes are a source of water, nutrients and oxygen that roots seek. Roots will grow quickly toward a broken pipe, making the situation even worse.

So which trees cause the most damage to your home’s plumbing systems?

Staying away from trees that are known to be aggressive in their root system nature or have a need for excessive amounts of water will save you thousands when it comes to root infiltration of your plumbing system.

Here are some of the worst trees that we commonly find that block pipes around homes:

Camphorlaurel tree

Eucalyptus tree

Fig & Rubber trees

Jacaranda trees

If on the other hand you already have mature landscaping and are concerned that your plumbing issues are caused by tree roots;

Here are 4 warning signs that tree roots may be entering your drainage system:

Overflowing drains

Bubbling or gurgling in drains

Fluctuating Toilet water levels

Foul smell from drains within your home

If you suspect you may have roots damaging your plumbing systems, our OTJ Plumbing team can provide a CCTV drain inspection to ascertain the condition of your pipes.