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Which Tree is to Blame for My Blocked Pipes?

in Articles, pipe relining, Residential, tree roots

Nuflow customers who've been shown footage of pipes clogged with tree roots and have seen for themselves what is going on will ask us 'which tree is to blame for my blocked pipes?'.  Unfortunately there's a lot of misinformation about trees that cause blocked pipes, including well-meaning advice from local councils about avoiding specific tree species and planting trees at a safe distance. As frustrating as it is for many homeowners who have experienced recurring blocked pipes, we can't point the finger at any particular tree species. The following article explains why.

Tree roots chase water

Its undeniable that tree roots can severely impact sewer and stormwater pipes causing all kinds of very unpleasant problems. The truth is that tree roots chase water - so rather than roots being the cause of pipe breakage, a leaking pipe will attract the roots to grow there.

It's rare for tree roots to crack through an unbroken pipe. Failed joins such as those caused when the rubber rings that join earthenware pipes deteriorate over time are frequently the culprits allowing tree roots to enter pipes and wreak havoc. Older terracotta pipes are also well known to spring leaks. These pipes are brittle and susceptible to stress fractures caused by movement in the soil, creating ideal conditions for tree root damage.

In dry conditions roots will travel distances to reach the water from a leaking pipe.

So no matter what kinds of trees you have surrounding your home or how far they're planted from your pipes, if there's even a small leak, tree roots will find it.

Tree roots will keep coming back to broken pipes

Tree roots will continue to grow even if your pipes are cleared.  Just like trees grow back stronger after pruning, tree roots cleared from pipes also flourish and will need clearing again in the future. Something that's important to know, as we discussed in a recent article on the cost of pipe relining, repeatedly clearing pipes causes damage to their structural integrity and will result in pipes that cannot be repaired.

Pipe relining fixes tree root issues permanently

Pipe relining permanently seals up the points of access for tree roots, preventing them from ever growing back. Our relining material and technique also makes pipes stronger than they were originally, so no tree roots are able to penetrate them.

Our trained Nuflow technicians assess tree clogged pipes using a camera in order to identify where tree roots have entered.  Typically our technicians do not reline just the one joint where the tree roots have entered the pipe as this can be a very short term solution. Tree roots will move up or down the pipe to the next damaged joint and enter the pipework again. Our recommendation is always to reline the complete area where tree roots are a problem.

Book a pipe inspection

If you’re concerned about tree roots in your pipes, book an inspection with a trained Nuflow technician and get a fixed price quote on your pipe relining, backed by our 50-year guarantee – visit our booking page or call 1800 683 569 within Australia or 0800 168356 in New Zealand.