Understanding the Effects Trees Have on Your Residential Plumbing

April 25, 2024

The big, beautiful tree right outside your front door may have been one of the things that drew you to your home in the first place! However, when it comes to trees, placement is everything. If a large oak or willow is too close to your home’s foundation, you might experience some plumbing issues down the road.

We explain tree root intrusion from start to finish: what causes it, what kind of damage it can do, and warning signs to watch out for.

What Causes Tree Root Intrusion

As tree roots grow beneath the soil, they spread out from the base of the plant in search of water. Unfortunately, they can sometimes find it in your underground pipes. This can cause damage if they put pressure on your pipes – especially if the tree is one with aggressive roots like oaks and poplars.

The Risk of Crushed Pipes

As a tree grows over time, the weight of it can put pressure on your underground pipes and cause them to become crushed or cracked. 

This is particularly common with clay-based pipe systems, so you’re more likely to experience it if your home was built before the 1970s. If you have an older home, ask your local plumbing company to assess your risk of potential damage from nearby tree roots. We’ll help you take the preventative measures needed to minimize the odds.

Plumbing Repair for Clogs and Blockages

In addition to root damage, tree leaves, twigs, and debris can also threaten your underground plumbing. These materials tend to get caught in gutters and downspouts and then push into your plumbing lines.

Left unaddressed, severely clogged pipelines can cause backups, slow drainage, and more. It’s important to keep an eye on your downspouts and gutters and clear them when necessary when you have a big tree with lots of falling leaves!

The Warning Signs of Invasive Tree Roots

With plumbing, many subtle warning signs often point toward a bigger problem lurking below the surface. So, what are the indicators of potential tree root intrusion?

  • Slow-draining showers, sinks, and toilets: these can signal a potential blockage from outdoor materials
  • Unpleasant odors: strong smells mean your sewer line may be compromised – potentially due to aggressive tree roots
  • Unusually high water bills: a spike in water costs means there may be a hidden leak in your underground plumbing
  • Random “lush” patches on your lawn: if one spot of your lawn is doing way better than the rest, it could be near the sewer line – and it could be due to fertilization from leaking sewage 

Though this blog may have been a little alarming, several great ways exist to prevent and treat tree root invasion. From careful planting to root barriers for existing trees, our plumbers will ensure you have everything you need to handle the issue with our comprehensive tree root intrusion service. Call us today at 951-694-1300 or contact us online for more information about our services.

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!