Can Rose Roots Damage Water Pipes?

Roses are an excellent plant to add color to your yard. Unfortunately, the roots of some plants can cause damage to pipes and foundations. If you're considering planting roses, then you're probably wondering if you should be worried about their roots damaging water pipes. We've done the research and can tell you if this plant's roots can damage nearby pipes.

Rose roots aren't invasive, so they won't cause damage to water pipes or housing foundations. However, rose roots will grow towards water. If you have a leaking pipe, the roots may get into it. Fixing roots inside water pipes can be very costly and make removing the offending plant more difficult.

As you can see, rose roots typically aren't a problem unless you already have damaged water pipes. You'll want to get roots removed quickly to help prevent even more damage from occurring. Keep reading to learn more about detecting leaking water pipes, determining if roots are inside your pipes, and more important information!

water pipeline system of residential building under construction, plastic sewer pipe, close up. - Can Rose Roots Damage Water Pipes?


What Damage Can Rose Roots Do To Water Pipes?

Rose roots are unlikely to cause structural damage to your water pipes. The primary root of roses is a taproot. These parts are woody, but it produces fine, fibrous hairs horizontally.

These thin roots are what transport nutrients from the soil to the plant. Eventually, they will turn into secondary woody taproots, acting as anchor points for future growth.

These roots aren't strong enough to cause damage to well-built pipes or foundations. However, they can get into holes, fissures, or loose sections of pipe. Most rose root systems won't expand more than three feet wide and three feet deep. Pipes built farther than that should be safe from root growth, even if it's leaking.

Roots will naturally grow in the direction of areas that provide more moisture and nutrients. So, if you have leaking pipes within the root's growth range, the thin fibrous roots could easily extend into the pipes.

Getting any type of plant's roots into your water line isn't good. However, rose roots tend to cause less damage than other plants.

Even if the fibrous roots are able to turn woody, they are unlikely to create any more cracks in the pipe. However, roots can cause clogs in your system. So, it's important to remove them and fix leaking pipes promptly.

Blocked drainage pipe caused by ingress of tree roots

How Do You Find Leaks In Your Outdoor Water Pipes?

Water lines are typically buried at least 12 inches below the local frost depth. This can make finding leaks along your outdoor pipes difficult. One of the first signs of an unfound leak is an unexplained increase in your water bill.

Aside from that, there are a few other things to look for to determine if the leak is from an outside pipe.

You should inspect your yard for any wet and soggy places. Sinkholes are another visual sign of an underground leak. If parts of your yard are suddenly greener than others, it could be a sign it's getting extra water, a telltale sign of a nearby leak.

Finally, hearing unexplained rushing water can also be a sign of a leak. Even with a leak, you may not hear any running water, especially if you live in a noisy environment.

The best place to hear water through pipes is the lowest or quietest location in your home. You can also try to check for sounds by opening cabinets and getting closer to the walls.

Signs Of Roots In Pipes

Invasive roots of plant have encased themselves around PVC irrigation pipe and causing damage.

One sign of a blockage in your water line is a sewage smell. Unfortunately, this is usually the sign of a serious blockage.

Another sign of a clog is gurgle drains or low water pressure. Some common signs of low water pressure include slow filling appliances, a drop in pressure when two appliances are used at once, and a pressure gauge reading under 40 PSI.

Another sign of roots in the piping system is water draining slowly. You'll most likely notice this happening in the toilets first. If the problem continues to go unfixed, your drains may stop letting water through.

It's important to note that any type of clog in the pipe can cause these to happen. However, if they're accompanied by brighter plants, it's a likely sign that roots are the problem. Brighter plants are a sign that they're getting more water than nearby foliage.

What To Do When Roots Get In Your Pipes?

Roots being removed from a toilet drainage pipe using an electrically operated sewer snake or pipe cleaner

If you suspect that your water lines are damaged or have roots in them, you should call an experienced professional. An expert has the tools to remove any roots within the pipes completely. The most common methods for root removal are via hydro jetting or a mechanical auger.

Once the roots are cleared, the professional will be able to fix any damaged pipes. This will help prevent the problem from happening again in the future. In addition, fixing the leak will save you money and improve your home's water pressure.

Can You Get Rid Of Roots In Pipes At Home?

Unfortunately, if roots are in your water line, you'll need to call in a professional. There are options to help clear out roots that grow in your sewer line. However, if there is a leak or roots in the main water line, it's a bigger issue that cannot be fixed alone.

If you're concerned about roots in your sewer line, there are a few things you can use to help clear out potential growth in your pipes. These are generally best for preventative measures and not as permanent a solution.

One of the best ways to help prevent roots in your plumbing is by using a foaming root killer. You should pour these products into the toilet and then flush. After flushing, you'll need to avoid using water for up to twelve hours. This is why the best time to use root-killing products is at night.

Many root killer products are made of either sodium chloride or copper sulfate. These compounds can be used in their crystalized form to kill roots in your pipes. However, sodium chloride crystals can contribute to blockages in the drains.

Regardless of the form you use these chemicals in, you'll need to check your local laws for using them. Some states don't allow certain chemicals to be used within the sewer lines.

Check out this sodium chloride-based root killer on Amazon.

Take a look at this copper sulfate root killer on Amazon.

What Is The Best Pipe Material To Prevent Damage?

Close up to blue plastic pipe background, PVC pipes stacked in warehouse, PVC water pipes used for construction

Copper pipes have been used to transport water for thousands of years. It is well tested, and any issues that you may face will have a solution.

These pipes are fairly resistant to corrosion and are very durable. The biggest upside to copper is its recyclability. Old copper piping can be recycled and used in new products without any loss in quality.

Unfortunately, copper is an expensive option. Hard water can also cause damage to the pipes, and they can burst if they happen to freeze.

The most cost-effective material for preventing outdoor piping damage is PVC. This piping material is durable and can hold up to high water pressure. In addition, PVC is frequently used in drains both indoors and as the main water line.

There is some downside to PVC pipes. This material can't handle high water temperatures. There are also some concerns about respiratory issues caused by PVC pipe contamination.

What Type Of Pipes Are Most Likely To Be Damaged By Roots?

There are several types of pipes that roots can easily infiltrate. Cement, clay, Orangeburg, and cast iron pipes have been known to decay significantly over time. Pipes from these materials are frequently found in older houses.

To Conclude

Rose roots aren't very strong, so they aren't likely to cause any damage to your pipes and foundation. However, if you have leaking pipes within the rose root's growing range, they may be able to enter holes in the pipe.

The roots won't be strong enough to create bigger cracks, but they may be able to clog your pipes if left unchecked. Always be sure to call a professional to help remove roots and repair any weak points in your water line!

Take a look at these other great posts:

How To Tell If Water Is Flowing Through A PVC Pipe?

How To Insulate Buried Water Lines—6 Methods To Consider

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