How to Stop Tree Roots in Sewer Line from Wreaking Havoc

Roots in Sewer Line

As a homeowner or business owner, there’s a lot on your plate when it comes to maintaining the building. You never know when a problem could arise, and that’s why it’s so important to keep things under control at all times. One problem that’s more common than you think is tree roots in sewer line pipes. 

When the roots invade the sewer lines, extensive and costly damage can occur. And once this damage occurs, it could turn into a big mess to clean up. To prevent this from happening, know how to stop tree roots from growing into your sewer lines and causing havoc. 

To learn everything you need to know about preventing this catastrophe, continue reading below!

How It Happens

So, why do tree roots grow into sewer lines and how does it happen?

Because sewer lines contain moisture, they attract the tree roots. This is the beginning stages of the invasion process. During this stage, it might be hard to detect a problem.

As they nourish themselves off of the moisture, the roots begin to grow and get thicker. Once the roots become thick and strong, the pipes begin to weaken. Tree roots can wrap around pipes causing them to bend and crack, or they can break right through the pipe and begin to grow inside the pipeline. 

At this point, the only way to fix the problem is to call in the professionals. Professional plumbers will know how to remove the tree roots with creating as little damage to your sewer lines as possible.  

Know the Signs

There are several ways to detect tree root growth in your sewer lines. You should be on the lookout for problems with your plumbing including gurgling in the toilets or the drains draining slowly. If there are trees located near your sewer lines, then you should have your lines inspected to determine if roots have invaded them.

Signs that your sewer line has broken include a musky odor and dips in your lawn. The smell is due to the fact that your sewer lines contain sewage and when it breaks, you smell the continents. If the line breaks, water is most likely leaking out. 

When the water leaks out, the soil around the line gets wet and the soil gives away, creating the dip in your lawn. If you notice any of these problems, then it’s a good idea to check your sewer lines for tree roots!

How to Prevent It

Unfortunately, you don’t have control over mother nature. You can’t stop tree roots from growing in specific directions (towards your sewer lines). You can remove all trees from your property, but trees on public property or trees in your neighbors’ yards can still grow onto your property and into your pipes. 

Here are several ways to prevent tree roots from growing into your sewer lines as best as possible.


There are both chemical and physical barriers made specifically for preventing roots from growing into your sewer lines. The chemicals made for this purpose contain copper sulfate and potassium hydroxide. The chemicals release slowly and are a common form of prevention with many commercial buildings. 

Spread these chemicals around the pipes and tree roots will stay clear of the area. You can also consider using materials such as woods and metals to protect your sewer lines from the roots. This prevention tactic might take a bit more effort, though. 

Heavy-Duty Pipes

There are heavy-duty pipes available for you to install. If your home or business is located in an area where there is an abundance of trees, then replacing your old pipes with heavy-duty pipes could save you money down the road. Heavy cast iron pipes are some of the best pipes to use for preventing tree root growth. 

The smallest crack in your sewer line could cause a frenzy with tree roots. Using heavy-duty pipes means less chance of cracks occurring and more combat against the roots.

Sewer-Safe Trees

A tree-less yard or business isn’t always the only answer you have. If you enjoy trees in your yard, but don’t want the hassle of their roots invading your sewer lines, then take great consideration in what type of trees you plant and where you plant them.

If the tree you’d like to plant is a large tree that’ll grow quickly, then consider planting it as far away from the sewer lines as possible. If you’d like to plant multiple trees, be sure that they’re smaller trees with small root balls. 

The most important thing to remember is that you want trees that have shallow root structures. These kinds of trees are less likely to grow into your sewer lines and cause problems. 

Do You Have Roots in Sewer Line Pipes on Your Property?

Now that you know how tree roots grow into your sewer lines and why, it’s time to ensure that your sewer lines are tree root free. Do you have roots in sewer line pipes on your property? Take the time to look for the signs of a broken pipe.

If you’re noticing some of these signs, then call in the professionals to do a full inspection of your sewer lines. This is the best way to ensure that your sewer lines are kept clear and functioning properly. 

Contact us today to request a free quote on our plumbing services! And once you fix the problem, or before the problem arises, be sure to follow our prevention tips!

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