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How Tree Roots Cause Drain Blockages

Tree root incursion is a leading cause of drainage blockages in Australia. Tree and shrub roots instinctively grow towards moisture and nutrients, which can lead them to infiltrate pipe systems through any available cracks or openings.

Once roots have penetrated drain pipes, they expand within, exerting pressure and damaging pipe walls. PVC, as well as older clay and concrete pipes, are particularly susceptible to root infiltration, risking total pipe blockage.

As root growth expands inside your roots sewer pipes, they restrict water flow and can lead to backups as roots find their way, causing a gradual slowing and backing up of drainage down your property. Gurgling noises, foul odours, and slow drainage are signs of tree root-caused blockages.

Blockages in main sewer lines, junctions, and drainage pipes can cause property disruptions.

To ascertain whether tree roots are affecting your pipes and causing blockages, Gold Coast plumbers can conduct drain camera inspections to evaluate damage. Repair options range from high-pressure jet cleaning to root removal techniques like pipe relining or pipe replacement, depending on the damage severity.

Why Roots Grow Towards Pipes

Root growth is naturally drawn to drainage pipes due to the moisture and nutrients within, necessities for tree survival. Inside drainage pipes, tree roots drain the resources as they find their way to access a steady supply of water as well as nutrients from decaying debris that accumulate over time.

Trees naturally extend their roots underground throughout your landscape, an important facet of their growth. They tend to take the path of least resistance through soil, sometimes venturing into and roots your sewer pipes. Small cracks or gaps in pipes provide an easy entry point for roots on their way into your sewer and instances where tree roots invade your plumbing system.

Once inside, roots relentlessly expand, obstructing the pipes and accessing the contained moisture and nutrients. Over time, this can lead to a tree root blockage, with roots and root masses accumulating and causing extensive damage to pipes.

Tree root invasion of sewer lines happens across Australian properties. Apparent signs of roots causing blocked drains include slow draining sinks, gurgling sounds, bad smells, and water pooling around pipe joints. A plumber can confirm blocked drains caused by tree roots via a drain camera inspection and provide repair advice.

Identifying Signs of Tree Root Intrusion

Several telltale signs indicate that your drainage system may be blocked by tree roots:

  • Blocked or slow drainage - Invasive tree roots obstruct the flow, causing gradual drainage deceleration.
  • Gurgling sounds - As your water tries to navigate around root masses, it causes air to bubble through, creating gurgling noises.
  • Foul sewage odours - Blockages lead to sewage backing up through your pipes, releasing unpleasant gas smells.
  • Wet patches in yard - Water pooling on the surface of your yard suggests blocked underground pipes.
  • Toilet issues - Poor flushing performance or overflowing water indicate issues.
  • Decreased water pressure - Expanding roots can exert immense pressure on pipes causing a reduction in water pressure.

Additional signs of tree root issues include roots blocking pipe joints, sinkholes or depressions over pipes due to soil erosion, salty deposits from nutrients around pipe leaks, and lush, excess plant growth nourished near pipe joints.

If you suspect an issue, the best way to confirm it is by a CCTV drain inspection. A tiny drain camera can be fed down to identify roots in your pipes and pinpoint exactly where these intrusions are located to facilitate repairs.

Essential statistics to note include:

  • Up to 75% of tree-related pipe damage is caused by tree roots.
  • Around 87% of blocked drains Australia-wide involve tree root intrusion.
  • Every metre of pipe infiltration by tree roots can equate to approximately $270 in plumbing damages.
  • Root intrusion occurs mostly in pipes 2-3 metres underground, near tree root depth.
  • Older pipes, like clay and PVC, are more vulnerable to root invasion.

Preventing Future Tree Root Problems

Several strategic measures can be taken to prevent tree root intrusions from blocking drains:

Strategic Tree Placement

Ensure trees and shrubs in your garden are planted far enough from your home and drain pipes, giving root systems space to grow without causing issues.

  • Plant trees at least 3-4 metres from your house, ensuring they’re not too close to plant near your pipes and fences.
  • For new trees or faster-growing varieties, allow 5-8 metre buffers.
  • Consider mature tree height and roots when planning positions.

Regular Maintenance

Regular landscaping maintenance and plumbing checks can prevent potential tree root problems:

  • Trim tree branches and roots near your home to control growth.
  • Get annual CCTV drain inspections to check for root infiltration, which can do wonders in preventing severe blockages.
  • Apply root killer chemicals, such as rock salt, to halted regrowth in blocked drains.
  • Use high-pressure water jetting to remove roots detected in pipes.

Root Barrier Installation

Physical root barriers can deter roots from infiltrating drainage systems when planting nearby:

  • Root barriers effectively redirect growth away from pipes, serving as a preventive strategy.
  • Common choices are perforated plastic or wrapped pipe barriers.
  • For optimal results, enlist a plumber for the installation to safeguard your drainage system.

Pipe Relining

Epoxy pipe relining typically forms a protective barrier inside pipes, preventing root intrusion:

  • It seals cracks roots use to enter and smoothes surfaces.
  • The flexible epoxy liner can also reinforce pipes against root pressure.
  • Relining may extend the lifespan of older pipes prone to damage.

Such strategies can mitigate the risk of major root blockage; for expert guidance, feel free to contact us.

Professional Drain Cleaning Services

If tree roots are compromising your blocked drains within the sewer system, the safest way to effectively clear them is by calling in professional drain cleaning services from Castle Hill Plumbing.

Our qualified team has the expertise to handle complex tree root blockages in Castle Hill’s sewer pipes. We use advanced techniques and equipment to carefully clear out the roots while also checking your pipes for damage.

Depending on your pipe layout and the extent of root infiltration, our number one recommendation is high pressure hydro jet drain cleaning. A powerful pressurised water jet efficiently blasts and flushes out intruding roots or debris, outperforming conventional methods.

We also use specialised mechanical drain cleaning tools with rotating blades that can chop through tough root masses allowing drainage to resume. Applying root-killing chemicals can halt regrowth of any remaining embedded roots.

After cleansing, a CCTV drain camera inspection allows for an interior view of your pipes. We can show you where any existing roots have been, possible entry points to address, and guide recommendations for preventing future issues.

Our ultimate solution to stop ongoing root blocks is epoxy pipe relining. This technique seals all cracks preventing root infiltration and strengthens pipes against future damage. Relining badly broken pipes also avoids the hassle of digging up your yard, along with the major expense and mess of a full pipe replacement.

Avoid the inconvenience of blocked drains and potential plumbing damage; contact us for prompt assistance. Pick up the phone and call us, your friendly, local team, on 1300 349 338 for affordable, guaranteed results from industry experts.

News & Information

Tree Roots Blocked Drains
How Tree Roots Cause Blocked Drains

Tree roots grow towards underground water sources like leaky pipes and drains. They intrude through cracks and joints into the pipes causing blockages, slow drainage, overflows and damage over time. Signs include gurgling noises, bad smells and sewage backups.

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During a gas leak or emergency, shut off the gas supply by locating the shutoff handle outside on your gas meter, turning the lever perpendicular to the pipe. Call a licensed gas technician to restore your gas service safely.

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Prepare Hot Water for Cold Weather

Insulating pipes and draining water tanks before winter helps avoid damage to your hot water system. We can prepare your system professionally before cold weather arrives.

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