What’s Damaging Your Sewer Lines? It Might Be A Tree

Live in an older community? Then you’ve probably found a plumbing crew digging trenches in a neighbor’s yard to fix a broken sewer pipe.

There are many reasons a sewer line can leak or break; intrusion from invasive tree roots tops the list. While there are ways of dealing with the problem once the intrusion is in place, the best way to avoid a potential problem altogether is by avoiding the intrusion.What’s Damaging Your Sewer Lines? It Might Be A Tree

A lot of that depends on the landscaping you have in your yard and knowing where your underground pipe lines lie. Some plants have larger root systems than others. Some plants are thirstier than others. And when they detect a source that carries a lot of moisture and nutrients, some plants can be ruthless in their quest to find it.

The following tree and plant species are some of the most prominent in causing damage:

  • Sycamore trees
  • Willows
  • Oak trees
  • Fig trees
  • Maple trees
  • Aspen trees
  • Elm trees
  • Birch trees

See a few names that are prominent in your yard? While these trees can cause major pipe damage, they don’t need to be eliminated from your landscaping once and for all. Your trees and your plumbing system can coexist side by side by understanding the typical root length and placing the pipes out of reach of your trees and bushes.

Trees that pose little threat to pipes include:

  • Many fruit tree species
  • Certain cedar trees
  • Wafer ash
  • Magnolias

If you have a plan for your property and know where your pipes are, you can plant your landscaping accordingly. You can plant problematic species at enough range where the roots won’t attack the pipes. If you don’t know where your pipes are, selecting a less problematic tree is your best option.

Some types of piping are more resilient than others. Steel and PVC pipe are the least susceptible material to root damage. Other types of pipe – cement, clay, or cast iron – degrade significantly over time, and therefore are more susceptible to root intrusion. If root intrusion takes place in a weaker material, it’s often the best practice to replace the pipe and go with a stronger material.

If you’re planning on redesigning your yard and planting new trees, knowing the right type and the right location is essential to avoid problems in the future. If you believe your home sewer line may have been compromised, don’t wait for the problem to worsen. Give us a call today.

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