How Do Tree Roots Cause a Need for Plumbing Repair in Jacksonville, FL?

by | Nov 28, 2019 | Repair and Service

It can be alarming for homeowners when they first hear that a sewer backup was caused by an infestation of tree roots in the sewer line. How in the world do roots get into a sewer pipe? Wouldn’t that mean the pipe is damaged and needs to be replaced? Actually, this is a very common problem, and it often can be managed through various methods of plumbing repair in Jacksonville, FL before anyone needs to think about pipe replacement.

Underground sewer pipes leading from a home to the municipal pipes under the street usually are made of concrete or clay. They can develop tiny fissures that occasionally leak minute drops of water and waste. This does not cause environmental disturbances, but those substances are magnets for tree roots. The roots go after the liquid and the fertilizer, growing right into the pipe. Once inside, they continue to grow and create snarls of wood fiber that catch materials flushed down the toilet.

Roots can grow quickly and dramatically inside a sewer pipe since they are being well fed and watered in this protected space. The main problem materials flushed down the toilet are those that don’t biodegrade or are more likely to get tangled up in the roots. Tampons are bulky, for instance, and get larger as they are immersed in water. Eventually, even toilet paper

A service that does plumbing repair in Jacksonville, FL is very familiar with this type of situation. The plumber has specialized equipment that can be sent down into a floor drain or exterior drain to cut roots and clear them away. If another sewer backup occurs again within a year or two, the homeowner might want to consider preventive methods from a service such as American Plumbing Contractors.

One preventive strategy involves having an annual root clearing service performed by the plumbing company. Another involves having the plumber excavate the ground around the pipe where tree roots most likely are causing trouble and apply an herbicide to kill the ends of the roots. This does not harm the tree, and it should be a long time before the roots grow back.

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