Winter Sewer Problems – Tree Roots

Do Tree Roots Grow In Winter?

If your sewer lines are not draining properly during winter, you may have a tree root problem. Tree roots do not stop growing during cold weather. In reality, they search harder tree roots and sewer problemsfor moisture and nutrients during winter while the ground is frozen or cold. Sewer pipes are magnets for tree roots because they are filled with flowing warm sludge. Water vapor escapes into the soil near the pipe. Tree roots attach to the water vapor and grow along the vapor path to the water vapor exit points which are cracks or joints in the pipe. Once the roots have found the source of nutrients, the roots grow into the pipe. The feathery ends of the roots catch the sludge as it washes by and feed on it. The roots grow rapidly and cause a root ball to form. This ball traps paper and debris, causing clogs. This ultimately causes the sewer to back up into the house.

What Can You Do to Prevent Root Growth?

Spring is typically the time to plant new outdoor plants. Be aware of where your sewer lines run and steer clear of them when planting new shrubbery, trees, or plants. Maple, Cottonwood, Apple, Pear, Honeysuckle, and Lilac are prime sewer offenders because their root systems grow extensively underground.  Willow, Elm, Sycamore, Ash, and Birch trees are also known for their sewer-clogging ways. These are all trees that have a high demand for water and will actively search for water vapor in the soil.

How Can You Destroy Tree Root Growth?

Tree friendly herbicides will stop the root growth but not harm the entire tree. These can be bought and applied during any time of year. If the problem is severe enough, you will have to call in a plumber who uses specialized equipment to unclog the drain. If the roots have been clipped professionally, wait a few weeks and then apply the herbicides to prevent future root growth.

 

 

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