Your main drain line connects the drains in your home to the main municipal sewer system. Tree roots can obstruct the line, causing sewage to back up into your home. The following can help prevent root incursion so your drain empties easily.
1. Remove Problem Trees
The most obvious and effective way to stop tree root incursion in your drain line is to have no trees growing near the line. The closer the tree is to the sewer line, the more likely that its roots will pose a problem. If you aren't sure exactly where your main drain runs, a plumber can map it for you. They will use a pipe camera outfitted with a GPS unit. The path of the unit is then mapped out when the camera is fed into the drain, allowing you to see exactly what trees are interfering with the line.
2. Schedule Regular Drain Cleaning
Of course, you don't have to remove the tree if you prefer to keep it, unless it is growing right on top of the drain line. An annual full cleaning of the drain line can prevent the roots from causing major issues. Your plumber will use a large auger, which is like a cable with blades attached, to clean the drain. The auger is fed down the line and twisted so that it drills through and grinds away any blockages, including tree roots. The line will drain easily after a good cleaning.
3. Use a Topical Treatment
Your plumber will also likely recommend that you use a topical root killing treatment at regular intervals, as well. These root killers are either flushed down a toilet or poured directly down the drain line. They contain herbicides that target and kill the roots growing in the drain line, but they aren't powerful enough to harm the rest of the tree. You should use the treatments every few months or as often as recommended by your plumber.
4. Line Your Drain Pipe
Sometimes a camera inspection will show damage, which could be a result of root incursion or at least cause roots to access the line more easily. Fortunately, you may not have to dig up the damaged drain line for replacement. Trenchless repair allows your plumber to install a liner inside the drain line, sealing up any cracks or holes. The lines will help keep out roots while also ensuring that the drain line doesn't leak.
Contact a plumbing contractor service in your area to learn more about your tree root options.