Skip to main content

The Root of The Problem

By 6 August 2019January 16th, 2023Winnipeg plumbers

One of the best parts about living in Winnipeg is our urban forest, that beautiful canopy of ash and elm that stretches as far as the eye can see. Having a big, beautiful tree on your property can add aesthetic value, and makes hot summer days all the more lovely. The only problem with these big beauties is that their roots can get into your sewer pipes, blocking them off and potentially causing major damage to your home or business. Sewer pipes have what plants crave – a host of potential nutrients and water. When there’s even a little crack in your sewer pipe, roots will tend to grow towards it to get those nutrients, blocking them off.


Roots will begin to slow your drainage system; you may hear gurgling noises as water goes down your sink drain, or as you flush your toilet. When you’ve detected slow drainage in all of your drains, it’s a sign that something is blocking your sewer pipe, and that you should get a plumber to investigate. When the root of the problem is…well, roots, there are a few things you can do.


The first solution is to try to kill the roots before they start causing you more problems. One way you might do this is by using a root killing solution, using made up of copper sulfate, which you can use to treat the soil and flush down your toilet to treat the pipes. There are times, however, when root growth might be too bulky to kill off with a root killing solution alone; at these times, you may need someone to de-root your pipe. The roots may have damaged your pipe past the point of repair; in this case, you’ll need to have your pipe replaced.


The optimal method for preventing roots from backing up your sewer pipe is to employ some preventive maintenance strategies. This can involve getting the tree taken off your property, but for many folks, this isn’t a viable strategy; the tree adds all of the aesthetic appeals we talked about earlier. You can use our Root Prevention treatment, which we’ll apply when we do the mainline cleaning; if you need commercial drain cleaning in Winnipeg, our Root Prevention is the perfect add on. 


When tree roots are entering into your pipe, it’s a good idea to start budgeting to replace the pipe entirely. That’s because the roots are likely to continue growing into your pipe as the years go by. This creates more damage to the pipe, which means more moist vapour will leak out, which means more roots will be attracted to it; it’s a vicious cycle. Employing preventive strategies and de-rooting will keep you going for a fairly long time, but it’s not a permanent solution. New pipes won’t have the same hairline cracks as the old ones, so roots won’t tend to move towards them as much. 

Leave a Reply