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Tree Roots in Pipe And Drain Joints

So, how did the tree roots get into your plumbing in the first place?

Pipe Joints – Protect Them With Vaporooter

It’s possible that the three roots found their way in through a damaged pipe or a weak spot in your plumbing system. Most likely, they first infiltrated through pipe joints, which are one of the weakest points in the drainage system.

The joint is the part of the plumbing system that connects one pipe to another. Tree roots seeking food and moisture will travel along the outside of a sewer pipe until it finds a defective area that can be used to infiltrate the pipe.

Pipe joints are often made of one of three materials, rubber, cement or an unplasticized polymer material know as UPVC. Each kind of material has a different level of resistance to tree root intrusion.

Cement (or mortar) joints are not very stable, and lend to the exact ruptures and cracks that let tree roots right in.  Cement is unstable because it’s so rigid that any movement of the surrounding soil can cause it to fracture. Cement joints cannot be treated with root fighting chemicals because the chemicals can cause the cement to degrade. On the upside, if they don’t crack or degrade, cement joints offer good resistance to roots that would degrade other types of joints.

Rubber ring joints are both easy to install and flexible enough to withstand shifts in the surrounding soil. But, they are an easier material for the roots to penetrate. Rubber joint’s resistance to roots rests on factors such as the quality of the ring installation and chemical treatments to the material. For example, some manufactures treat the rubber rings with root fighting chemicals.

UPCV pipe joints are the plumbing joint superstars.  These plastic-like pipes offer huge resistance to root intrusion. They offer the same tree root resistance as undamaged cement joints and like rubber joints, they can be treated with resistant chemicals.