Help! Tree Roots are Invading My Sewer Line

Clogged drains or a leaking toilet may be expected plumbing problems, but invasive tree roots? They can disrupt your underground plumbing, and if the problem isn’t addressed immediately, you might need a major (and expensive) repair job.

Warning Signs Tree Roots are in the Sewer Line

If you’re continuously trying to relieve clogged drains or your water pressure weakens, you may be dealing with invasive tree roots. One of the best ways to confirm the problem is with a camera inspection by your local professional plumber. With a high-definition water proof camera and flexible cable, the plumber can see what’s happening inside your piping system. If tree roots are the cause, there are a couple of ways to remedy the problem.

  • Cut the tree roots: A temporary solution is to cut the tree roots out of the sewer line. A small, powerful drill is able to do the job. Tree roots will eventually grow back, so to avoid repeating this process every few years, move to a permanent solution.
  • Kill the roots: Roots can be killed with chemicals. Hire a professional plumbing company to handle this job to prevent damaging your plumbing or the environment.
  • Repair sewer line: After the roots have been cut and killed with chemicals, the plumber will be able to better identify the extent of the damage. If your sewer line has been severely damaged, you will need to repair the pipes. State-of-the-art technology allows plumbers to make the fix with a trenchless sewer repair approach. This avoids destroying landscape and will last long-term.

Prevent Tree Roots from Invading Sewer Line

If you’re buying a home or want to ensure you don’t have to make the same repair twice, use these tips to prevent tree roots from growing into your sewer line.

  1. Contact your city’s sewer department or speak with your home inspector to identify where the sewer lines run through your yard. Avoid planting trees near the lines.
  2. If you do decide to plant trees on your property, opt for a slow-growing, small variety like:
  • Red Buckeye
  • Crabapple
  • Dogwood
  • Japanese Maple
  • Eastern Redbud

3.  Remove present trees once you identify where the sewer lines run. Again, hire a professional for this job to ensure the tree is completely eliminated and no damage is done to your home by falling branches or the toppling tree.

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