Trees and shrubs are good for your yard as they add up to the aesthetics and give you a pleasurable outdoor space to sit and enjoy during the summer. However, did you know that tree roots are a huge threat to your underground drains?
They might be all pretty on the outside when they shed flowers, but beneath the ground, the roots could be wreaking havoc on your pipes.
Such a situation should be handled carefully as you naturally want to keep your plants and retain a sewer system that is working optimally. So please read on and find out how to clear tree roots that have blocked your drains.
How Do They Block Drains?
Before we go into the process of removing these roots from your drain, it is vital to understand how they interfere with your pipes.
Roots pose a more significant risk to the older sewer pipes that were made of clay or material that is not entirely sealed. Roots can penetrate clay pipes since clay is essentially soil and can become soft when exposed to water for a long time.
Roots just require a little bit of softness to penetrate, and once a tiny thread penetrates, it will start growing into the crack and make it bigger, allowing more roots to get in.
For pipes that are not completely sealed, a small root will find its way into the opening and grow, expanding it with it.
They grow according to the constraints in their close environment, and once they get into the pipe, they will grow into it and cause bigger cracks.
There is no one-fits-all approach to removing roots that block drains and it all comes down to the extent of the damage. This will guide you on the best course of action to take. Following are some of the methods you can use to remove tree roots:
Cutting Roots Mechanically
This is one of the most rugged ways of solving this problem. It works if the pipes are not very deep underground and you can see the blockage by digging up a small patch of dirt. With this method, you will require a mechanical auger.
It also applies to trees with massive roots that are protruding above the ground. There are special mechanical augers that have a rotating head that can be sent down the drain.
This action cuts the roots and clears them from the line, but this does not solve the problem permanently as they will start growing back almost immediately.
Chemical Tree Root Removal
There are special chemicals that can be used to kill roots and prevent them from growing into your drain. Copper sulphate septic treatments are the common ones, but you will get several other brands available on the market.
This method is better than the first one as it creates a layer of poison in the soil that kills the roots before they can grow into the drain. All you need to do is apply them around the drain and roots won’t grow beyond their protective layer.
Other treatments are applied on the pipes, and once they coat the entire diameter, they can prevent invasion from roots growing from above as well.
This is an effective but costly way of cleaning your drains. You need to use a hydro jetter which is a pump that pushes pressurised water through the duct.
In this process, the water clears all the roots in the pipe, and after that, the line can be flushed with a chemical to kill any roots that might still be present.
Some of the best ways to clear roots from your sewer line have been mentioned above and in some cases, you might need to try all of them to ensure that your pipes are completely free of any roots.
Prevention is better than cure when it comes to keeping roots away and you need to be wary of how close trees are to your utility lines.
If planting trees and shrubs, keep them away from these lines, and while you might sacrifice on where you want your shade to be, you will save up a lot of money on pipe replacements down the track.