Tree Roots and Sewer Pipes

Our Tampa plumbers know that trees are an essential part of any residential landscaping design. Aside from the curb appeal they bring to properties, the shade they offer helps keep your home’s cooling costs down in the summer, which is especially important in Tampa! However, they are not without their disadvantages. Beneath that sprawling oak tree in your front yard lies an extensive root system that can actually damage your property.

The Reality of Root Invasions

When gauging the size of a tree’s root network, the general rule of thumb is that the diameter is as wide as the tree’s height. As you can probably guess, the roots of large trees can interfere with Tampa plumbing lines, namely sewage drain pipes. This can lead to some major repair costs, especially when the roots fully penetrate the affected line.

Since it is every homeowner’s responsibility to maintain their connecting sewer laterals, any damage is yours to repair. The worst part about all of this is that because everything happens underground, most people are blissfully unaware of the havoc that is being wrought below the surface until they start to notice sewage seeping out of their yard.

So what causes tree roots to interfere with Tampa sewer lines in particular? Interestingly enough, it is the emission of water vapor from these pipes, which is caused by the flow of warm water and subsequent evaporation of moisture to the cool soil above, that leads the root system’s growth pattern to deviate from its original state.

The vapor often comes out of a small crack, crevice, or vulnerability in the pipe. Over time, the roots will slowly but surely make their way inside the opening and will flourish due to the abundance of nutrients (human waste makes for great compost material) that are located there. One thing leads to another, and you have a major problem on your hands!

Do not underestimate the power of tree roots — the internal force generated by their expansion often leads to irreparable structural damage. Unless addressed early, there will be no choice but to perform a full-blown replacement of the pipe.

You can tell something is wrong if the drains in your home start backing up and continue to do so, even after they have been cleaned. The Tampa plumbing team at The Pampering Plumber has removed countless tree roots from sewer lines. We use specialized augers and high-pressure water systems that are capable of clearing virtually any blockage.