One of the most common causes of sewer repair in Evanston is tree roots. At first thought, you may not see any connection between tree roots and your plumbing. However, further investigation shows that your plumbing system has everything free roots want. The water from your pipes gives trees the moisture they need, and the sewage provides roots with the nutrients and oxygen they require. When tree roots invade your pipe, they do significant damage. By preventing and detecting tree roots in your sewer line, you can save yourself from a plumbing emergency.


How to Prevent Roots in the Sewer Line

An ounce of prevention can go a long way. If you take measures to protect your sewer lines from tree roots, you may be able to save thousands of dollars on future sewer line repairs or a sewer line replacement. You can start with your sewer line barrier. With chemicals like copper sulfate and potassium hydroxide, you may be able to keep tree roots from causing problems.

The roots avoid the chemicals and grow in another direction. Therefore, you should spread the barrier near your sewer line. Metal or wood also works as an adequate barrier. However, you need to properly install the barrier to get results. You also don’t want to accidentally penetrate the sewer line while you install the barrier.

Landscaping Tips

Your landscaping plays a huge part in sewer line root penetration. If you plant large trees near your sewer line, the roots are highly likely to try to invade your pipes. Consider moving large trees further away from your plumbing, and don’t plant trees with widespread roots near your sewer. Several types of trees grow slowly and have small root balls, which means they won’t interfere with your plumbing.

Before you do any new landscaping, find out where your sewer line lies. You may be able to figure this out on your own, or you might need to consult with a plumber. Although this takes time and could cost money, your diligence will prevent the need for sewer line replacement or repair. 

If you have a large tree near your pipes and you don’t want to move it, be sure to receive regular plumbing inspections. When a plumber performs the inspection, they use cameras to find clogs in your pipes. An experienced plumber will be able to identify tree roots before they completely invade your sewer line. 


Receive Camera Inspections

Even if you don’t notice any large trees near your plumbing, you should have sewer line video camera inspections. There could be a tree with sprawling roots in your neighbor’s yard, or a small bush may have a thick root system. It’s worth having a plumber take a close look at your plumbing. 

If there are no roots in your plumbing, there could be another problem. Over time, debris makes its way down your drains. The inspection also identifies other sources of clogs, like foreign objects and hair. With an annual inspection, you get the peace of mind that blockages aren’t threatening your plumbing system.


Detecting Roots in Your Sewer Line

The first thing you should know about detecting roots in your sewer line is that you shouldn’t try to do the job of a plumber. If you suspect a blockage, resist the temptation to dig up your yard. Searching for a sewer line can result in a disaster. You should save the work for a plumber, or at the very least, call 811 to find out the location of your utilities and sewer line

With that in mind, you can still identify roots in your sewer line on your own. There are a few symptoms of sewer line blockages. Even if the backup is from a foreign object and not sewer roots, your early detection saves you money. 

All of the following are indications you have a clog in your sewer line:


Slow Drains

Do your sink and bathroom drains seem to take forever to dry up? If so, there could be a clog in your sewer line from tree roots. One of the first signs of blockage is often slow drains. Sadly, many homeowners ignore this issue or reach for chemical drain cleaning products. Rather than living with the slow drains, call a plumber. There’s a reason for this issue, and being proactive could save you from a costly repair.


Backed Up Drains

If you have backed up drains, you could have roots plugging up your pipes. A small clog won’t make water back up into your sink or tub. However, a large blockage caused by tree roots will do just that. You need to consult with a plumber to determine the way to fix the blockage. 


Gurgling Toilet

Although your gurgling toilet might lull you to sleep, you shouldn’t allow the issue to persist. A gurgling noise is usually caused by a clog.  


Bad Smell

Yet another sign of a clog is a foul smell coming from your drains. If water washes through your pipes like it’s designed to, you won’t have any foul odors. But a clog keeps the water from flowing, and the stagnant water begins to smell. The bacteria in the water may result in a sewage smell that keeps you and your guests holding your noses. 


What Should You Do If It’s Too Late?

In some cases, prevention is no longer an option. You might already see the signs of tree roots in your sewer line or notice a tree that’s close to your plumbing. Whatever tips you off, don’t hesitate to call an expert. 

When you work with a plumber, you can find out whether or not roots have affected your pipes. You also learn ways in which to protect your plumbing better. It’s always a good time to call a plumber. 


Call Us for Sewer Repair

If it’s too late and roots are already in your Evanston pipes, call us at J. Blanton Plumbing. We perform emergency sewer repair that gets your home’s plumbing back in working order. If you’re ready for help, give us a call now.