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7 Signs You’re Dealing With Root Intrusion


Are you struggling with recurring plumbing issues in your home or commercial property in Burnaby? You’re not alone. Root intrusion is a common problem that can cause major damage to your pipes, leading to expensive repairs. In this article, we’ll explore seven telltale signs of root intrusion that you should be aware of. Protect your pipes and save yourself from costly repairs by learning how to identify and deal with root intrusion.

What Is Root Intrusion?

Root intrusion refers to the invasion of roots from trees, shrubs, or plants into underground sewer lines or drainage pipes. This can lead to blockages, leaks, and damage to the pipes, resulting in sewer backups and potential health hazards. Knowing what root intrusion is can assist property owners in identifying and addressing this issue promptly, preventing expensive repairs, and maintaining a healthy plumbing system.

What Causes Root Intrusion?

Root intrusion occurs when tree or shrub roots invade and clog drainage pipes, causing sewer backups and pipe damage. Factors contributing to this issue include the proximity of trees to pipes, small cracks in the pipes, moisture, and the presence of nutrients in the pipes.

Fact: In some cases, tree roots can penetrate pipes as small as 0.06 inches in diameter.

How Can You Tell If You Have Root Intrusion?

Root intrusion in sewer lines can cause a multitude of problems for homeowners. But how can you tell if you’re dealing with this issue? In this section, we will discuss the seven key signs that indicate you may have root intrusion in your pipes. From slow draining and clogged pipes to sewage backup and excessive tree root growth, we will break down each sign and explain how it relates to root intrusion. By recognizing these signs, you can take action to address the issue before it causes major plumbing problems.

1. Slow Draining or Clogged Pipes

  • Regularly monitor and address slow drains to prevent clogs.
  • Avoid disposing of grease or oil down drains to reduce plumbing issues.
  • Identify and address any root problems near your plumbing system to prevent root intrusion.

2. Unpleasant Odors

Unpleasant odors in your home could indicate root intrusion in your plumbing system. These strange smells may resemble a sewage smell or a rotten egg-like odor, signaling potential root growth in your pipes or drain. Instead of using liquid drain cleaners, which may not effectively eliminate the root intrusion problem, consider alternative solutions.

3. Gurgling Noises in Drains

  • Check for clogs: Run water in different fixtures to identify locations with gurgling noises.
  • Assess ventilation: Inspect the plumbing system’s vent pipes for blockages or damage affecting air pressure.
  • Monitor water pressure: Fluctuations may signal issues with the plumbing system, causing gurgling noises.

4. Sinkholes or Depressions in Yard

  • Assess the area: Inspect the yard for any sinkholes, depressions, or moist patches that could indicate root growth and potential pipe damage.
  • Professional assistance: Seek the help of a professional to conduct a thorough assessment of the yard and underground pipes to identify the extent of root intrusion.
  • Pipe repair: If sinkholes or depressions are detected, consider pipe relining or replacement to address the root intrusion and prevent further damage.

5. Cracked or Damaged Pipes

  • Inspect visually for cracks, fissures, or fractures in the sewer pipes.
  • Use a sewer camera to identify any damage caused by tree roots or other factors.
  • Check for leaks or damp spots around the area of the cracked or damaged sewer pipes.
  • Look for signs of corrosion, rust, or deterioration on the surface of the sewer pipes.

6. Excessive Tree Growth Near Pipes

  • Regularly inspect the area near pipes for excessive tree growth, which may indicate the presence of tree roots seeking an unlimited supply of nutrients.
  • Consider removing or relocating trees that have roots encroaching near pipes to prevent root invasion and root mass formation.
  • Plant new trees at a safe distance from pipes to avoid potential root intrusion issues in the future.

7. Sewage Backup

  • Inspect your drains regularly to detect sewage backup early.
  • Address any slow drainage, as it could signal a complete blockage from root intrusion.
  • Seek professional help if you notice unpleasant odors indicating toxic wastewater.
  • Be cautious of sewage backup, as it poses health problems and requires immediate attention.

What Are The Risks Of Root Intrusion?

Root and tree intrusion can pose several risks to your property, such as damaging underground pipes, causing potential water leaks, and compromising structural stability. In addition, if sewage lines are affected, it can result in expensive repairs, landscaping problems, and even health hazards. Surprisingly, tree roots can extend up to two to three times the width of the tree’s canopy, meaning that even trees located far from your property can still pose a threat of root intrusion.

What Are The Solutions For Root Intrusion?

Root intrusion can cause serious damage to your plumbing system and lead to costly repairs. Luckily, there are solutions available to combat this issue. In this section, we will discuss three effective methods for dealing with root intrusion: hydrojetting, pipe relining, and pipe replacement. Each method offers a unique approach to removing roots from your pipes and restoring the functionality of your plumbing system. Let’s explore these solutions in more detail and determine which one may be the best fit for your specific situation.

Hydro Jetting

  • Assess the plumbing system to identify the extent of root intrusion.
  • Use specialized equipment to perform hydrojetting, which involves high-pressure water to remove roots and debris from pipes.
  • Conduct a thorough inspection post-hydro jetting to ensure effective root removal and pipe cleaning.

Pro-tip: Schedule regular hydrojetting sessions to prevent root intrusion and maintain the flow of a healthy plumbing system.

Pipe Relining

  1. Assessment: Begin with a thorough inspection of the pipes to identify the extent of root damage and determine if pipe relining is a viable solution.
  2. Preparation: Clean the pipes to ensure the relining material adheres properly, promoting long-term effectiveness in addressing root intrusion.
  3. Relining Process: Use specialized equipment to insert a new lining into the damaged pipe, creating a seamless, jointless repair and preventing future root intrusion.
  4. Quality Check: Conduct a final inspection to verify the effectiveness of the relining process, ensuring a durable and resilient solution for plumbing repair and sewer line restoration.

Pipe Replacement

  1. Select a reputable plumbing service that specializes in sewer replacement.
  2. Arrange for a thorough inspection of the pipes to determine the extent of root intrusion.
  3. Discuss the best replacement options with the plumbing professionals, prioritizing long-term root intrusion removal and plumbing system repair.
  4. Ensure that the replacement process is conducted with durable materials and according to industry standards.
  5. After the replacement, schedule regular maintenance to prevent future root intrusion.

Fact: On average, root intrusion accounts for 50% of all sewer line blockages in the United States.

Resolve Root Intrusions with New West Plumbing!

For professional assistance in addressing root intrusion issues or any plumbing concerns, contact New West Plumbing in Burnaby, BC, at 604-256-5590 for a free quote. Our skilled team specializes in diagnosing and resolving root intrusion problems efficiently, ensuring the integrity and reliability of your plumbing system.

FAQs about 7 Signs You Dealing With Root Intrusion

What is root intrusion, and how does it affect my plumbing system?

Root intrusion occurs when tree or shrub roots grow around or into your sewer lines, attracted by the moisture in your sewer system. This can cause blockages, back-ups, and even pipe damage.

How can I tell if I have root intrusion in my plumbing system?

There are several signs to look out for, including strange smells, frequent clogs, back-ups, increased rodent or insect activity, and pooling water in your yard. If you notice any of these, it’s important to call a plumber for a video camera inspection.

Can root intrusion damage my cast iron pipes?

Yes, root intrusion can cause significant damage to older piping materials like cast iron. The roots can grow through small cracks and gaps in the pipes, causing leaks and blockages.

Is there a way to prevent root intrusion in my main sewer line?

Yes, there are preventative measures you can take, such as using copper sulfate or other root-killing products, installing physical barriers around sewer lines, and regularly maintaining your pipes. However, if root intrusion has already occurred, it’s best to call a plumber for comprehensive solutions.

How can a plumber detect root intrusion in my sewer system?

With video camera plumbing inspections, plumbers can see deep within your sewer lines and identify any root intrusion. This allows them to accurately diagnose the issue and provide the best solutions for root removal and other sewer pipe repairs.

Can I fix root intrusion on my own?

It is not recommended to try and fix root intrusion on your own. This requires specialized equipment and knowledge to remove the roots properly without causing further damage to your piping. It’s best to leave it to a professional plumber who has experience dealing with root intrusion.