Have you considered what may be hiding under that pretty green carpet of grass on your lawn? Most people don't really pay any attention to what lies beneath their nicely landscaped yard until a plumbing problem occurs. Those trees and shrubs have ways of invading a major plumbing outlet pipe, and when left alone to do their work the roots can cause extensive damage to your plumbing. For more information on the hidden problem of root damage, read on.
What's down there?
Homeowners are responsible for the maintenance of the pipe that leads from their homes out to the main city line underneath the street. This pluming line, called a lateral, carries the waste from your toilet, sinks, dishwasher, and washing machine, so it's a heavily used pipe. It's vital to keep this pipe free from blockage, since failure to do so will result in plumbing issues that may begin small, but will progress to major problems if not addressed early on.
Symptoms of a possible problem include
- Slow to empty toilets.
- Odd noises when flushing, such as gurgling and groaning sounds.
- Clogged drains.
- Back up of sewage into your home.
How does this happen?
It's likely that a tiny leak attracted the roots of nearby trees and shrubs, which grow toward the pipe and eventually breach the pipe wall and fill the opening almost completely. With the passing of time, the stuff that goes into your drains, like toilet paper, hair, cooking oil, etc., form a clog.
What can a plumber do to help?
Call a plumber as soon as you experience issues, since catching the blockages early mean that the pipe can be repaired instead of replaced, which can be expensive. The blockages can be cleaned using using high pressure flushers and augers. The plumber will try to inspect the damage with a small camera probe, and the exact problem area can be identified. If repair of the pipe is not possible, it will be replaced.
How can you prevent this damage from happening?
You can locate the pipe beneath your yard with the help of your local water company. Once you know where not to put shrubs, plant no closer than 10 feet from the plumbing line and choose plants with slow-growing root systems, such as magnolias, crape myrtles, and Japanese maples.
Take steps now to ensure that your lawn shrubbery doesn't interfere with your plumbing pipes and call a plumbing professional like Salinas & Sons Rooter Service the minute you suspect there could be a problem.