Tree Roots Clogging Drain Pipes: A Case Study at Sutherland Shire With Sydney Drain

PUBLISHED 1Apr2020: Clogged and blocked drains are one of the most common plumbing problems in cities like Sydney, Australia. Typically, in many places, the main reason behind blockages is what we put down drains. However, if you live in Sydney another common reason for a blocked drain is tree roots. A combination of warm growing conditions and moisture make for lots of aggressive root growth and pipe clogging potential in this city. Fixing this problem is specialized work, so you might find it interesting to see how it’s done. Root removal companies like Off Tap Plumbing Sutherland Shire  are a case in point. The techniques you’ll read about here apply to any region with roots causing problems with main drain pipes.

Most people don’t often think of the fact that tree roots can block drainage pipes. As the main drain pipes are underground, its difficult to detect the real cause of blockage, namely the tree roots themselves.

This trouble happens because sewer/drainage pipes have an abundance of water, oxygen, and nutrients. The roots of the trees near drainage systems detect this abundance, then migrate towards pipes, get inside via small cracks, then eventually block the passage of water while damaging the pipes as well. This is why it’s important to remove those roots before situations get out of your hand.

How To Remove & Prevent Tree Roots To Grow Inside A Drainage Pipe?

Prevention is always better than a cure, and this is true even for tree roots growing inside the main drain pipe that travels across your yard. So, what does prevention look like? You can always prevent root growth by using these remedies on your own:

  • Use Rock Salt & Foaming Root Killers:

One of the home remedies that has proven effective to prevent as well as kill the root growth inside drainage pipes is rock salt. Many homeowners in root-prone places like Shire, Sydney pour rock salt, copper sulfate or simple sodium chloride down their toilets. On the other hand, you can use foaming root killers, too.  Both rock salt and root killers are poisonous for plant growth and prevent root growth inside the sewers.

  • Put a Physical Barrier Between Tree Line & Sewer System:

Another way to prevent root problems before they start is to create a tree-root-barrier between the tree line and your drainage system. This way the tree roots cannot enter the drain pipes because they can’t get close. Any kind of physical wall of metal, plastic or concrete that extends below the root zone will stop the invasion of pipes by roots. Many different root barrier products are on the market. Root barriers are best installed when trees are first planted. 

  • Grow Plants & Shrubs That Don’t Clog The Pipes:

Don’t feel like putting root-killing chemicals down your drain? You need an eco-friendlier solution. One way to save your drain pipes, as well as the vegetation above it, is to grow plants and shrubs with less deep roots. Deciduous trees (aka trees with leaves) are the worst for clogging pipes. The smaller the shrub the less likely it is to give you trouble with pipes.

  • Regular Inspection And Maintenance:

Though all of the above preventive measures are effective you should never overlook the importance of regular inspection and maintenance. Why? Sometimes, tree roots still manage to get inside the drain pipes even after the barrier and chemicals used. Mechanically removing these roots with specialized equipment can prevent a major blockage and crisis. Better the have the pipes cleaned on your own schedule rather than be at the mercy of a crisis.

Seek Professional Help!

If you are listening to that gurgling sound of a drain not draining properly, you could have tree roots growing insides the main drain pipes leaving your home. And the more roots grow, the more damage they can cause to the pipes. If all the drains in your home are misbehaving, you can be sure that something is clogging your main drain pipe, and that something is often roots.  Any decent plumbing professional can clear out pipes as if the roots were never there.

Posted on April 1st, 2020

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