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Tree Root FAQ’s Answered by Your Suburban Chicago Plumbing Experts

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Q: I’ve heard that tree roots are the biggest cause of sewer line clogs. Is that true?

A: Unfortunately, it is. Roots will get into your pipes and strangle them until they’re so tight in there that nothing can flow through.

Q: What about my pipes do tree roots like so much?

A: Another unfortunate fact is what your pipes hold – oxygen, nutrients, and water. These three things are exactly what roots need to survive and so naturally they will seek it out – even if it’s in the tiny confines of your plumbing.

Q: Are there any types of trees I should avoid planting close to the sewer line?

A: Well, there aren’t really any “safe” trees when it comes to protecting your sewer line, but there are some types you should definitely steer clear of: ash, poplar, cottonwood, lowland oak, willow, sycamore, and many maple varieties.

Q: Is there anything I can do in terms of landscaping efforts to protect my sewer line?

A: Water seeking trees like the ones mentioned above should be replaced every 8-10 years. This prevents them from growing into the pipes and sewer lines. If you plan on planting more trees in your yard, you should be planting only small, slow growing ones near your line.

Q: What if none of my preventative measures work, and I’m already dealing with root intrusion. What can I do to minimize the damage?

A: First off – don’t panic. There are a few things you can do to take some stress of of those sewer lines. First, try using a chemical root killer. These are made to slowly release chemicals in order to stop root growth. Another option is to naturally compact layers of soil so it’s harder for roots to penetrate. This would involve laying down chemical layers of sulfur, zinc, borate, sodium, salt, or herbicides. If you want to take it one step further, you could create underground air pockets using large stones. The stones encourage the roots to grow in that direction instead of toward your pipes. But, if you truly want to ease your sewer line of the damage, and get rid of the roots all together, your best bet is calling in a Lake Cook Plumbing expert. We can have those roots gone in no time!

We’ll get your roots to make like a tree and leave. Call Lake Cook Plumbing today!

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