Trees and Plants that Cause Plumbing Problems

Trees and Plants that Cause Plumbing Problems

At first glance, that beautiful tree or elegant shrub planted in your yard may appear innocent, but it could secretly be waging an underground war on your home’s plumbing system or structure. Over the years, many of the trees and shrubs that are popular choices for planting in or around homes grow roots which burrow into the cracks of a house’s structure or plumbing system. When this happens, the roots can damage the house’s existing structure and the pipes leading into or out of the house.

Trees and shrubs don’t just cause plumbing and structure damage without a reason. They need either nutrients or more room to grow. Some varieties require large amounts of moisture and water to survive. When these plants don’t have access to enough water, they don’t have the ability or resources to grow unless they go in search of a water supply that will provide them with the nutrients and water they need. The closest water supply is usually the water in a home’s sewer system or pipes, and most pipes aren’t strong enough to prevent roots from penetrating the pipe’s surface.

A tree or shrub needs plenty of room to grow not only upward but also outward. Many homeowners don’t consider this when they make their landscaping design; however, the distance for a tree’s maximum height is the same as the distance you should leave around the tree for the root system to grow. This space needs to be unobstructed, or the roots will grow around and into whatever is in the way, including pipes, sewer systems or housing foundations.