As much as having trees around your home adds to its beauty, their roots provide a hidden risk to your residence’s pipes. The potential for damage to pipes is especially high if your plumbing uses older clay pipes instead of more modern materials like PVC. Root intrusions present a cost concern should they damage your pipes; if a root intrusion is left to expand in pipes to the point that the pipe bursts, getting this addressed can be very expensive. There are also a slew of other issues that come with intrusions that you might not be aware of.

If you suspect that you may have a root intrusion, it is best to call in a professional plumber right away in order to keep what are hopefully minor issues from becoming larger ones. If you do not yet have a root intrusion but see red flags on your property that lead you to believe that an intrusion could develop, address the cause as quickly as is feasible.

Slow Water Drainage

Tree roots are attracted to the nutrients and water that can be found in your drainpipes. If they force their way in through a crack and then expand inside, this can lead to a blockage. When you have seemingly done everything you can to fix a sink or tub that is taking eons to drain to no avail, there is a possibility that tree roots have infiltrated your drainpipes. Eventually, the slow draining could become a full-on blockage, which can lead to some of the other issues below.

Unpleasant Odors

If you have root intrusion present in your pipes, it can lead to persistent odors emanating from your drains. This is from organic matter, such as scraps of food decomposing and latching onto the roots. This, as well as stagnant water, will release unpleasant odors into your home.

Toilets Backing Up

If your toilet is backing up frequently and the problem turns out to be beyond what a drain snake can fix, this could be caused by root intrusion. Tree roots infiltrating your drainpipes lead to backed-up toilets due to the roots trapping toilet paper and other debris. This can lead to a severe blockage of your drains and leave you with clogged toilets that will not flush, despite plunging, snaking, or chemical treatment.

Pipe Replacement

If you live in an older home that has clay pipes, these types of pipes are particularly susceptible to root intrusion. If the intrusion is allowed to grow, it will expand and put a great deal of pressure on the crack or joint that it initially entered through. The force will eventually break the pipe and may necessitate a complete replacement. Should this occur, the replacement will be PVC pipe or pipe made from concrete. These materials are much less likely to suffer from root intrusion.

Health Issues

Root intrusion in your pipes can lead to you and your loved ones having a variety of health problems. Food scraps and other debris that collect on the roots can lead to dangerous bacteria or mold spores coming up from your drains for you to breathe. You also run the risk of toxic wastewater bubbling up. This is a major health hazard. Breathing it in can cause or exasperate health issues, and there is also the possibility of coming into physical contact with it, which could lead to falling ill from a virus or an infection. Root intrusions can have a major effect on how sanitary your living conditions are.

Increased Pest Activity

Rodents and insects are attracted to foul odors and environments. If you end up having root intrusion in your pipes, it can cause a sewer line leak that will bring an infestation of rodents and insects to your home.

Pooling Water

When there is a root intrusion problem, the leakage can cause sewage water to seep into the ground on your property. This will lead to particularly wet and moist patches of grass. If the root intrusion is not eventually dealt with, you can wind up with a yard that is a stinky and swampy mess.

Taking Preventative Action

If you want to avoid the issues that come with root intrusion, it is important to practice some preventative measures. Here are some things you can do to prevent root intrusion in your pipes.

Create a Barrier

Installing a barrier can prevent tree roots from reaching your pipes. By doing this, you can help guide them toward growing into areas where no pipes are installed. Landscaping companies sell a variety of tree root barriers that generally come as sheets or panels. Not only do these barriers protect your pipes, but they also help maintain the integrity of concrete, buildings, driveways, and landscaping.

Tree Removal

Some homeowners opt to avoid the chance of root intrusion by completely removing a tree that could potentially cause root intrusion.

Growth-Inhibiting Chemicals

Some effective growth-inhibiting chemicals on the market include copper sulfate and potassium hydroxide. Putting these chemicals near the pipeline helps stop the trees from growing in its direction. These are a good option if you do not want to avoid having to remove the trees.


It is an expensive and time-consuming process, but it is possible to have waste and water lines moved further away from trees in order to avoid the possibility of root intrusion.

Reline Pipes

Composite resins exist that are utilized for the relining of older pipes. These can often be installed without having to dig or make trenches. To do this, the liner is pulled into place by means of an access point, put into position so that it lines a damaged area of pipe, and then cured. Most pipe-lining resins are designed to last several decades.

Have a Professional Help You With Root Intrusion

If you live in Anaheim, CA, or a surrounding area and potentially have a root intrusion in your pipes, we are here to help. We can also offer guidance if you do not yet have root intrusion but the potential for it to occur is a concern. At Splash Plumbing we offer a full range of plumbing services to the community. If water runs through it, we do it. That includes such services as plumbing repair, leak detection, water purification, and backflow testing.

Our company has been servicing the community for over 20 years, and we think of our organization as one that is large enough to serve but small enough to care. If you are dealing with a root intrusion or want to prevent one, you do not want to leave a job like that to people who do not know what they are doing. At Splash Plumbing, addressing problems like this is a specialty of ours, and we will make sure the job is done right. Give us a call today, and we will get to the root of the issue.

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