Tree roots will travel long distances to find water, especially when drought conditions persist. When trees and shrubs get thirsty, they follow the trail of moisture vapors escaping from small cracks, holes or poorly sealed joints in water and sewer lines. Roots penetrate the opening to reach the nutrients and moisture inside the pipes. If not stopped, roots can completely fill a pipe with multiple hair-like root masses at each point of entry. The root wads quickly become clogged with grease and other debris flowing from homes to the main sewer line, resulting in reduced flow and slowed drains.
A complete blockage may occur if the roots are not removed. Roots can also exert considerable pressure at the crack or joint. The increased pressure often breaks the pipe and may require costly repair or replacement. Clay pipe, which is most common in older water and sewer lines, is easily penetrated and damaged by tree roots. Concrete pipe and PVC pipe may also allow root intrusion, but to a lesser extent than clay. PVC pipe usually has fewer joints and the tightly fitted joints are less likely to leak as a result of settlement around the pipe.
If incoming water or outgoing sewer lines are slow and you suspect a clog, the problem will likely not go away, meaning it’s time to investigate the problem. If roots have entered your pipes, your Benjamin Franklin® Plumber can remove them using powerful cutting blades. The process could require digging or new trenchless technology to reach the affected pipe(s), usually several feet down.
Once the trench is dug, the plumber can repair or replace the pipes and cut away any threatening roots. Just like that cold fountain drink you enjoy on a hot afternoon, the tank portion of some toilets can be prone to sweating, especially during warmer months of the year. Condensation is created by cold water in contact with the warmer walls of the porcelain tank. The moisture can form into beads and, if large enough, will drip onto the floor, making bathroom carpet wet or potentially accumulating in puddles on a hard surface.