Have you ever wondered why so many people have sewer problems in the spring. Most people think it is just because of spring rains. The spring rains don’t help but the reason the spring rains have such an effect on our sewers is because while our trees were hibernating on the surface their roots were working very hard underground looking for water. Guess what, they seek and find the openings in your sewer and shazamm, they found water. The roots spend all winter infiltrating your sewer and when the spring rains come the combination is hazardous. Now what do you do? Well at this point you don’t have much of a choice, the roots need to be removed. The most common way to remove the roots is mechanically with a rodding machine. Once the roots are removed the sewer should then be video inspected to verify that the sewer has been adequately cleaned. If this is done believe it or not you may never have to have your sewer rodded again. Although rodding is a necessary evil when the sewer is totally clogged with roots, we don’t recommend rodding for future maintenance. You may be asking why, everything you have ever heard is that you need to rod every year. True, most sewer contractors will tell you that. They make there living by rodding. That’s all they do. We however are plumbers and we have better things to do than rod sewers unnecessarily. First, have you ever seen the machines we use. We put several hundred pounds of steel cable into your pipes, and if you are in Chicago, your pipes are made of clay tile (same as your clay planting pot), not good. Secondly when you only cut the roots there is still part of the root that remains in the pipe wall. Like ice, that root will continue to grow, not only back into the sewer but also wider in the opening it came into. As the root grows in, gets cut, grows in, gets cut, it gets wider and wider destroying your sewer.
Our recommendation is to treat your roots after rodding with Root-X. This is a foaming chemical that will kill the roots to a point about 3 feet outside of the sewer. The chemical will not kill the tree so no worries there if you care for trees like me. The chemical will however kill the roots far enough out of the sewer that it takes a full year to grow back in (Guaranteed). There are 2 benefits to this. First is the fact that it will take at least a year for the roots to grow back. Second and best of all for you is that when the roots do grow back they are NOT the same thick roots. They are now new finger roots and will not further open the already existing cracks in your sewer. Annual chemical treatments and you will never rod again.
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