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Pretend for a moment that you’re a young suburban tree. Times are tough with drought conditions all over, and you need to find water. You know that the house right next to you has water you could capture a few times a day — so it makes sense that a tree would choose to grow roots under the shower tiles, right?

I’m not sure if someone neglected to remove the roots before construction of the shower stall or if a tree managed to figure out where a good source of water might be, but I’ve never seen this — it’s cool and a little bit creepy, like something from a horror movie. Props to Flickr pool member gregjsmith for the sweet photo.

Toolmonger’s Photo Pool [Flickr]


6 Responses to From the Flickr Pool: What’s Under Your Tile

  1. Greg Smith says:

    Hey, thats my picture! This is part of my master bath remodel. I haven’t used the bathroom since I moved in because it leaked so bad. The roots grew after the shower was installed. Now that I got it all demo’ed, I need to put it back together.

    Here’s a link to the original picture: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gregjsmith/2081024427/

  2. Zathrus says:

    Now for the real question — what are you going to do about it?!?!

    Just cutting the visible roots off won’t solve the issue, and finding and killing the tree that’s causing the problem seems like overkill (and difficult, and may not solve the issue either).

    Can’t wait to show this to one of my coworkers — he just finished a master bath remodel for a neighbor.

  3. Greg Smith says:

    The roots come up around the drain, there’s a 1/2″ gap around the drain. I pulled them out the best I can. Beyond that I’m not sure what else to do. Haven’t got any expert opinions yet.

  4. SuperJdynamite says:

    I would remove the tree. Like Zathrus said, this problem will only continue as the tree grows.

    I would also get a company that has one of those scope cameras to make sure that the roots haven’t crushed/penetrated the drain lines running through the slab.

  5. Gapsard de Coligny says:

    Put copper powder/plate where the roots arrive… copper kill any vegetal by contact , so I don’t think i can even try to grow around…

  6. PaulS. says:

    The long term care center that I’m employed to remodel has this condition in some bathrooms. The building is slab on grade and thin roots grow up around the sewer line to the toilets, where the line rises through the concrete slab. When I lift the old toilets I find this mass of fine roots underneath. They are seeking the nitrogen rich sewage.

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