Why Are Tree Roots in the Sewer Line?

Why Are Tree Roots in the Sewer Line?
We place a lot of trust in our sewer lines. And as they work in the background, we often don’t give them a second thought. That is, of course, until things start going wrong.

And unfortunately, it’s more common than you’d think for tree roots to find a new home inside your sewer line. But why are there tree roots in the sewer line? How can you prevent tree roots growing in your sewer line? What happens if they invade? And more importantly, how do you fix it?

Roots Grow Toward a Water Source

It’s a fact of nature. To survive, tree roots will grow in the direction of an available water and oxygen resource. Unfortunately for you, the best resource in your yard is your plumbing system. Even a small crack or hole can release enough water to attract roots. In turn, those roots will grow towards the crack in your pipe, eventually growing into and breaking the pipe.

What Happens If You Have Tree Roots in The Sewer Line?

So, what exactly is the problem with tree roots growing inside your sewer line? What damage can be caused? And how big of an emergency is it if you spot the signs?

Broken Pipes

Trees, by their nature, are strong. This extends to their roots. So, if there’s even the tiniest of fractures in your pipes, a tree root will start to grow into your pipe and will eventually break it.

Not only can tree roots break a pipe, but they can also grow into the pipe. This creates one of the worst blockages you could imagine. Literally, your sewer line is just filled with tree roots.

Yard Sinkhole

Broken pipes lead to leaks. And big ones at that. Your lawn will suffer massively, turning it into a huge, sewage-scented sinkhole.

This could spread and cause flooding to your property and possessions. While most sinkholes are small and will just need a bit of repair, the larger ones can cause massive damage.

You Will Need Repairs

Above all, tree roots don’t disappear on their own, and it’s a job that can’t be done by the average homeowner, you need to call in a professional. And if there are tree roots spreading, it’s only a matter of time before the problems get worse and will cost more to fix.

Signs You Have Tree Roots in Your Sewer Line

How do you know you have a tree-root problem? Since you can’t open the hood and look for tree roots, here are the tell-tale signs that you have tree roots in your sewer line.

Soft or Flooded Parts of the Lawn

Perhaps one of the more obvious signs is a squishy, soft patch on your lawn. This is due to a broken or fractured drainpipe, which causes water (and sewage) to escape. The excess moisture will cause your lawn to flood. Take a stroll around your yard, paying particular attention to the texture of the grass.

Most of the time, you’ll want to look for random wet patches. In more extreme cases, you may see obvious flooding. No matter the case, contact a professional immediately if you see these wet areas.

Recurring Drain Clogs

If you notice that you’re needing to frequently treat multiple drains in your home with a chemical drain cleaner, there’s a good chance you have tree roots in your sewer line.

The next time you spot a clog, write down the date you treated it or had a plumber clear the line. If you notice that you’re needing to do this regularly, there could be tree roots in your sewer line.

Sewer Smells

Perhaps one of the most unpleasant parts of having tree roots in your sewer line is the overwhelming scent of sewage.

No one wants a property that smells of sewage. But if you notice this scent, you’ll need to contact a professional plumber quickly to solve the problem.

What To Do If You Have Tree Roots in Your Sewer Line

You now know how to identify symptoms of a tree-root invasion inside your sewer line. But what are you supposed to do about it? How do you fix a sewer line clog?

Ultimately, you’ll need to contact a licensed plumber for repairs. Unfortunately, tree roots spreading in your sewer line isn’t something that can be fixed by yourself.

Do Not Treat Tree Roots with Chemicals

While it’s tempting to head to your nearest gardening or home improvement store to purchase a chemical solution, we strongly advise that you don’t. Certain chemicals can react badly with your pipes, and it may do more harm than good.

How to Avoid Tree Roots in the Sewer Line

Chances are, if you’ve ever experienced a tree root problem in your sewer line, you never want it to happen again. And, if you’ve yet to have a tree root issue inside the sewer line, it’s an experience that you don’t ever want to have.

So, how do you avoid tree roots in the sewer line?

Be Mindful with Landscaping

One of the best ways to avoid having tree roots in your sewer line is by being cautious about where you plant trees.

If you do want to plant a tree in your yard or change up the landscape, make sure you can locate where your sewer line is. And then, ensure you don’t plant any trees within close proximity of it.

Replace Any Broken Pipes

A broken pipe is irresistible to a tree root. It’s like an open invitation to set up shop. So, if you have even the smallest of cracks or fissures in your pipes, you’ll need to get them repaired or replaced. Not doing so can lead to a severe tree root invasion.

Consider a Plumbing Inspection

Finally, the last preventative measure for tree roots in the sewer line is to schedule plumbing inspection. During this inspection, a licensed plumber can send a camera down your pipes and look at the condition of your sewer line.

They will let you know if there are any issues you need to be aware of. Doing this can help you take care of small problems before they become big, and expensive, issues. Don’t hesitate to call the experts at Bell Brothers if you have any questions about your sewer line.