16 Aug A Hot Dry Summer Can Damage Your Plumbing: Here’s How To Protect Your Pipes
Although there’s been some relief from the persistent drought plaguing California lately, meteorologists are predicting that dry conditions are going to continue for longer than we expected, and the heat of summer isn’t doing much to relieve the pressure on dwindling water sources.
Your plumbing can be put under a bit more strain in the summer time too – water usage increases with the hot weather, kids being at home all day means the bathroom is being used more frequently, and more dirty clothes means more washing machine usage. But there’s another reason your plumbing could be in danger in hot, dry weather, and chances are it’s sitting right in your yard.
TREE ROOT PIPE DAMAGE
The trees in your yard can have trouble getting enough water to support their growth in warm, dry summer months. Even if you water your trees regularly, most larger trees have deep root systems that surface watering doesn’t reach. As warmer, drier weather begins, tree roots may become attracted to water that leaks out of the joints and cracks in pipes, no matter how small the leaks might be.
Tree roots can be powerful and fit into even the smallest cracks and openings to reach water, then rapidly grow to expand cracks and damage pipes. Before you know it you may be facing the need for urgent rooter service and major damage to your underground pipes and plumbing systems.
Causes of Tree Root Invasion
Hot, dry conditions, a lack of water, or trees with particularly aggressive root systems are usually the cause of tree root invasions into pipes and plumbing. Tree roots actively seek water sources during hot and dry weather in order to support their growth. Even the smallest amounts of water vapor can be detected by tree roots and the roots are attracted to this water source. Any tree variety has the potential to cause root invasion, but the most aggressive species include cottonwoods, elms, willows and aspen.
Signs of Tree Root Invasion
You may only become aware of tree root invasion once your pipes have become damaged. Signs of damaged and cracked pipes include strange noises such as bubbling and gushing noises, gurgling in drains or pipes, and slow drainage. Complete pipe blockage may result in drain backups and no water flow.
What to Do
If you notice any of the symptoms of cracked or root damaged pipes, be sure to call your plumber as soon as possible to inspect the pipes and assess the condition of your plumbing. Root damaged pipes may require pipe repair or in severe cases, complete pipe replacement. For underground pipe repair, some plumbers provide trenchless pipe repair which allows you to avoid expensive excavation.
In order to avoid tree root invasion in your plumbing, it’s recommended that trees are planted 15 to 20 feet away from sewer lines. Pipes should also be regularly inspected, cleaned and maintained by professional plumbers where possible, at least once a year. This small investment of time and resources can help homeowners avoid the larger costs of repiping and sewer line replacement which can be necessary once tree roots invade.
With these tips you can avoid tree root invasion and protect your pipes to keep your plumbing system healthy and happy, no matter how much work it needs to do over summer.