April 11, 2017

How to Deal with Tree Roots

Tree roots cause a lot of damage to pipelines every year. The hot Texas summers make it seem like trees are delicate. However, most trees are well established and can take a lot of abuse before giving up. Mostly, they absorb water from many different kinds of moisture, even if it’s full of waste. This means that your sewage pipes are vulnerable to tree roots trying to drink the water from your utility lines. When it comes to dealing with tree roots, you have three main options: cut out the roots, cut down the tree, or use trenchless pipe repair to seal the pipe.

Cut them out

In its most basic form, clearing out invasive tree roots isn’t very complicated. The roots have to be removed from the pipe. Sometimes your plumbing expert will recommend washing a chemical slurry down the pipes to kill the roots and/or chemically burn them away. Most of the time, the process can be accomplished with a special tool that cuts through the roots neatly. The blockage is cleared and your pipe functions normally again–for a while.

The problem with cutting out tree roots is that you’re going to have to cut them out again. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and the same goes for tree roots. If you’re not cutting enough of the roots to kill the tree, the roots will simply grow back. This is a slow process, but you could still be stuck having to clear out roots on a yearly to biannual basis.

Remove the tree

In some cases, it’s easiest to just remove the tree. If there’s only one tree in the area, sometimes cutting it down and planting a flower bed is the best thing to do for your piping. This often isn’t a solution that people want. Trees are expensive, as a rule, and many buildings build their landscaping around an established tree. Removing it can also cause problems with sunken ground and more. An established tree is a part of the local stability and the ecosystem. Moreover, it can be tough to lose it. Still, removing the tree remains an option.

Seal the pipes with trenchless pipe repair

Trenchless pipe repair is a great way to solve the problem of tree roots permanently without removing the tree. First, the roots have to be cut. Once they’re cut and the pipe is clear, trenchless pipe repair can begin. Instead of leaving the pipes to sit and the roots to grow back, the interior pipe is relined with a custom sleeve. This sleeve is coated in resin and hardened to form a cured in place pipe, inside the old one, but without the openings that the roots used to get in. Relined pipes don’t have as many seams, so there isn’t the same opportunity for the tree’s roots to invade your system in the first place.

Dealing with tree roots without killing the tree is often a difficult issue. In the event that you want to preserve your landscaping, the best thing to do is to use trenchless pipe repair to fix the openings and faults in your pipes. You don’t have to remove roots, but the tree can stay.