Plumbing Woes

One of the tasks many homeowners take on when they buy a new home is to redo the garden! Adding trees and shrubs is a great addition to any property. Not only do trees offer shade but they also provide shelter for birds and summer picnics.

Sometimes these very same homeowners end up having regular plumbing issues and need to call a plumber Sunshine Coast residents rely on in emergencies. Is there a connection between your luscious garden and your plumbing woes?

The Connection Between Your Garden and Your Plumbing

Plumbers in the Sunshine Coast area often get called out for blocked pipes. Aside from household items being incorrectly discarded by flushing, there’s another reason your pipes may be getting blocked. Many homeowners are surprised to learn that tree roots are often the cause. How exactly is this possible?

A tree’s root system can spread two to four times the breadth of its canopy. This means, depending on where your plumbing pipes are situated, it’s possible for tree roots to grow over or even into the pipes. With the nutrients found in the water and sewerage that flows through these pipes, the inside of these pipes becomes a very attractive place for roots!

Tell-tale Signs that Roots May be Invading Your Pipes

If you’re very diligent about what gets flushed down your toilet and your sinks, you may be super annoyed to find you’re still dealing with blocked pipes. How do you know if roots from trees on or around your property are to blame? Read on for a few tell-tale signs.

Foul Smelling Drains

When roots clog up your drain line, waste becomes trapped in and around the roots. This creates a Sulphur-like smell which eventually makes its way through to your drains. Some plants have a very intricate root system, and this can result in a maze or roots growing in bunches in the pipes.

Pour a mixture of vinegar and baking soda down the drain and if the smell doesn’t clear up in a day or two, it might mean you have a blockage further down the line.

Toilet Regularly Backs Up

When roots start invading your sewer line, debris such as toilet paper and wet wipes could snag on the roots. Over time this creates a huge blockage leaving very little space for wastewater to pass through when the toilet is flushed.

Drains Make Gurgling Sounds

If you’ve ever had a slow-draining bath or sink, you’ll obviously be familiar with that strange gurgling sound that goes along with it. If the gurgling appears to sound “strained”, it’s an indication that water is struggling to flow past or around the roots in the pipes.

Baths and Sinks Drain Slowly

Tree roots can sense where there’s moisture and nutrients in the surrounding soil. When tree roots detect this in the pipes, the roots “send” out smaller roots, known as feeders, to seek out and get into the pipes. These roots can be very thin and get into the pipes through the smallest cracks.

Once inside the pipes, the roots will feed off the nutrients and continue growing until they form a bunched-up root system which blocks and water trying pass through or around. This causes water to drain out slowly.

Certain Trees Experience Rapid Growth

Another clear indication that there are roots in or around your plumbing pipes is by looking at the trees in your garden. If the trees in your property are looking considerably healthier than usual, they may well be enjoying the nutrients flowing through a nearby plumbing pipe.

Areas that Look Like Sinkholes

Some tree roots are more invasive than others and their root systems form huge mazes that can overwhelm their surroundings. These types of root systems can easily damage older plumbing pipes causing water to leak into the surrounding soil. Eventually, these saturated spots begin to cave in and form small sinkholes.

Blocked Pipes

If you find yourself having to regularly unblock pipes, it could be a sign that roots are blocking the flow of water and sewerage through the pipes. If this is the case, merely unblocking the pipe won’t solve anything if the roots aren’t removed.

The roots might have formed quite an intricate maze inside the pipes and trying to remove them yourself might cause more damage to the pipes. Speak to your local plumber about the best options for this particular situation.

Also read: Hydro Jetting: Quick Plumbing Solutions

Final Thoughts

Having a luscious garden adds value to any home but it’s important to do some research about the trees that you’re planting. Pick ones that pose less risk to plumbing. You should also plant trees away from your water and sewer line to minimise the risk of roots invading the infrastructure.

If you suspect that roots are the cause of your plumbing issues, speak to your local plumber about the best way to tackle the problem. With some careful consideration, you’ll be able to enjoy a beautiful garden without unforeseen side effects!