Tree roots in sewer lines are not an uncommon occurrence. This is all the more possible if you have an older home which has old clay pipes as building drains that lead from your house to the main city drains. However, no matter what the material of the sewer pipe, if there is a crack in the pipe or the joint; chances are that tree roots will penetrate it.
The older clay pipe lines have fewer issues due to the technique that was used to seal their joints. The joints were fitted into each other, filled with oakum (a rope material) and then finished off with thick mortar. Over a period of time cracks may appear in the mortar thus opening up the joints.
Unchecked root growth
If there are trees or plants around your home, the roots very naturally get attracted to the sewer line which in effect is a source of water and nutrients for them. The roots tend to grow the most during spring and fall. If left unchecked, these roots can grow at an alarming pace and can actually end up blocking the entire sewer pipe.
In some cases, the mesh of roots fill up the line to such an extent that the only way to clear them out is to dislodge the entire pipeline and pull out the roots from the open end. In worst case scenarios, if the damage to the pipe is severe, the entire line might have to be replaced as well.
Regular Checks Are Necessary
Over a period of time the entire inner diameter of the sewer pipe gets blocked and even the liquid does not pass through. This stoppage obviously leads to a back-up inside the house. In most cases, it is only when this happens that people realize there is a problem.
Many people experience root problems such as these very frequently and feel that an occasional backup is a normal occurrence. It is also true that snaking the line can clear out the roots for a short while, however, this is just a temporary solution. It is important to have these root intrusions attended to. If left unchecked they can prove to be a damaging and costly affair.
Fixing The Damage
If roots have blocked and damaged your private sewer pipes you will need to get a licensed plumber to clear them. As well as removing the roots you should consider fixing the damage in a way that will minimize future problems.
If you stop roots re-entering your pipes you will save yourself the expense of having to keep clearing and maintaining them. You will also be going a long way in protecting the environment by keeping storm water out of the sewer.
If you want to rectify the problem ask your plumber to estimate where the blockage is located. Your plumber can then dig to remove the roots and repair the pipe to stop the tree or plant roots from entering the pipe work again. In extreme cases it may be necessary to replace or relocate the pipe. Your plumber can recommend the best solution for your particular problem.