The snow is beginning to melt in the valley with spring just around the corner. You may even be ahead of the game and already mapping out your landscaping. Having a stunning exterior is just as important to a homeowner as a beautiful interior. Unfortunately, having lush and full landscaping could be causing your plumbing harm. The trees in your yard have roots that will naturally grow towards water — and, enter plumbing problems! Moisture escapes from small cracks or poorly sealed joints in your pipes, causing roots from your shrubs, plants, and trees to travel in that direction. The roots will penetrate your plumbing and can potentially fill your pipes, resulting in slow drains and reduced flow.

Prevent

To discourage root growth into your sewer lines, there are preventative barriers you can create. Slowly releasing chemicals such as copper sulfate and potassium hydroxide are commonly used in residential areas. You can also plant smart — limit the amount of plants near your plumbing lines and place trees further away. It’s also wise to select slower growing trees.

Warning Signs

If the plumbing in your home is over 25 years old, chances are your pipes do not have the strength to prevent root intrusion. Pay attention to more frequent clogs or overflowing. You may also hear gurgling sounds from your toilet. If your home is experiencing these symptoms, they are signs of a bigger problem.

Treat

Once roots have penetrated your pipes, harsh measures are required to clear the problem. Try using a foaming root killer — if you catch the problem early enough, you can pour this directly down your toilet. It will kill off tree roots and leave behind a residue that will prevent roots from entering your pipes again. Another option is to mechanically cut the roots using a mechanical auger; however, it will only treat the symptom and roots will grow back. You can also try clearing your pipes with a hydro jet, but this choice can definitely be more expensive. If the damage is extensive and can’t be cleaned or cleared, it may be less of a hassle on your wallet and self to replace your pipes.

Maintain

Just as you need regular check-ins with your doctor, so do your pipes — there is no exception to plumbing health! It’s recommended to have your plumbing inspected by a professional every 18 to 24 months, preferably in the spring. As this season approaches you’ll be using more of your plumbing to water your yard and for overall exterior maintenance. Your pipes are far underground and it is usually difficult for the average homeowner to spot a problem, especially after a long winter. It’s important to ensure your plumbing is working correctly before beginning more water use. Action Plumbing, Heating, Air & Electric is available for inspections and all plumbing needs 24/7.