How To: Handle Broken Pipes Due To Tree Roots

Hidden drainage pipes carry away waste and water for years without a problem. However, a lack of issues in the bathroom or kitchen doesn’t mean your pipes are safe from the ravaging effects of voracious tree roots underground. As your favorite landscape features grow, massive root systems extend from each mature tree to deliver water and nutrients.

These questing roots find their way inside pipes through the tiniest openings and cracks, which occur over time due to the thousands of pounds of force pressing in from the soil around the pipe. If you are experiencing the signs of a broken pipe, you may have a tree root problem that our team at High Mark Plumbing can help fix.

plumbing services in Vancouver1. Identify the Problem

Broken buried pipes create several messy problems. Symptoms can include: sunken in patches where the collapsed pipe created an opening below ground, bright green grass or weed growth that is surprisingly thick in one area, drains which run slowly, seem stopped up, or even backup waste into the sinks and tubs, uneven water levels in the toilet, soggy or wet patches of soil, standing water in the yard or basement, and cracks and other sign of damage to the foundation.

When a joint becomes unsealed due to age, the tiniest of roots wedge their way in. This opens a spot that might not have leaked in the first place. Once the roots are in, they can expand quickly and do a lot of damage while creating an impervious block of tangled vegetable matter. They do not just break open a pipe that was still intact – the roots can also create such a plug that water stops moving altogether.

plumbing services in Vancouver2. Take Immediate Action

It is best to avoid planting underground pipes in the first place, but this advice doesn’t help a homeowner with a root problem already in progress. Once roots have reached the interior, you will need to hire an expert for professional removal and cleaning. Technicians will utilize cameras to verify where the break has taken place and why. When a mass of roots is spotted, the plumber will use a rooter to cut through them and clear the pipe.

  • According to High Mark Plumbing, Vancouver BC’s preferred plumbing company, it is important to hold routine inspections on a regular basis, completed by a professional in order to eliminate the opportunity for a problem this severe to occur.  One an issue is identified, it is extremely important to take immediate action before the problem becomes more serious and costly to the homeowner.

plumbing services in Vancouver3. Replacing the Sections

A plumbing service will replace the damaged section and check for other leaks during the same time period. It may be possible to install a permanent replacement without digging up the pipes, but expect some open trenches to be needed if there is extensive damage and the pipes have shattered or crumbled from long term pressure.

There are products on the market that claim to kill tree roots when flushed through the pipes, but these chemicals rarely work on even the smallest growth. They can destroy your plumbing system or leech out into the soil to cause problems. Stick with professional plumbing services, when dealing with the severe and expensive issue of broken pipes, its best to rely on the experts in their field.

For more information, or to schedule an appointment, contact High Mark Plumbing for our plumbing services in Vancouver at 604-678-9440.