More than 50% of homes throughout Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan & the Bronx have a tree growing within 25’ of their property. Most people assume they are in the clear if the tree is not directly in front of their house or if the tree is not growing directly on top of their sewer line. Unfortunately this is not the case, most property owners become aware of these facts after the sewer line has failed, resulting in a terrible sewer backup.
At this time most people are looking for an instant fix to stop the sewage from backing up, clear their home of a terrible smell and avoid this from ever happening again. Naturally we all call the local plumber to clear the sewer of roots and experience a huge sense of relief once completed. This is the point where most people get themselves in trouble, they are so happy to have a functional sewer again they don’t take the time to investigate and determine how to avoid this from happening again. The next month they will most likely experience the same issue and finally understand that this form of an instant fix does not exist for the long term.
Once roots have entered your sewer line they are not going away, they can only be treated but will continue to be an issue until the sewer line is repaired or replaced.
The first option is not a guaranteed long term fix but certainly will serve as an immediate fix. The first step is to have the sewer cleaner locate the exact location of the problem with either a sewer snake or a camera and mark it out on the outside of the house. The sub surface sewer repair company will now excavate and repair the section of pipe in this location. There is a possibility that roots may have grown in either direction from the “mark” and can be cleared from below ground once the pipe is open.
The reason that this does not guarantee for the long term is due to the pre-existing surrounding piping. There is no way to tell if the other sections of pipe are damaged or may experience root intrusion in the years to come.
Where nobody can ever guarantee that the sewer will never have another problem, this option is the best opportunity to avoid a sewer backup in the next 50 years, and would be surprising if the pipe had any issues in the years to come. Replacing the sewer line from the property, to the city sewer with new cast iron pipe.
Installing new cast iron piping is your best bet towards avoiding any future sewer problems. It is important to make sure that all sidewalk/roadway work is inspected by DEP and the contractor uses cast iron pipe only. As a precautionary measure we also suggest that all new sewers are setup on a sewer cleaning maintenance plan to ensure that there are no future backups due to roots, grease, wet wipes etc.