Are Roots in My Sewage Line a Big Deal?

White roofed home with flowering trees in the foreground

Trees are beautiful, but their branches and roots can damage your landscaping and wreak havoc on your home’s plumbing systems. When tree roots get into your sewage line, it’s a significant problem you should address immediately.

The longer you wait to resolve the issue, the more complex and costly the required repairs.

Roots Target Sewer Pipes

Tree roots don’t grow randomly; they dig their way through the soil, searching for nutrients. Because your sewer pipes are filled with water and organic waste, they’re prime targets for roots to seek out. As the root grows, it will search for seams and other points of entry into the pipe.

The more aggressive the tree, the more extensive the damage this can cause as the root grows and eventually clogs the pipe. 

Recognizing the Signs of Tree Roots in Your Sewer Pipes

Aside from digging your pipes up or inserting a camera, there are plenty of ways to determine whether tree roots have infiltrated your lines. If you notice clogged or slow drains, gurgling sounds, or bright green spots in the landscaping, there’s a possibility tree roots have penetrated your pipes. Similarly, you may notice sinkholes, damp spots, or foul odors. 

Of course, these problems don’t always mean the tree root has broken through your sewer line. They can be symptoms of many problems. Thus, it’s always best to schedule a video sewer line inspection to confirm the cause. 

Can I Leave the Tree Root Alone?

No. While it can be tempting to leave a small root in place, the fact is that little roots grow into big roots. Left unresolved, the potential for damage isn’t worth the risk.

It’s always best to repair the problem when it’s small rather than wait until you need to replace a longer section of pipe, a larger area of landscaping, or potentially sidewalks, driveways, or foundations. 

Prevention Is Key To Proactive Protection

Proactively protecting your sewer lines against tree root intrusions isn’t that difficult. It starts by determining the path of your underground sewer line. Your local utility provider can do this for you. Once you know where the pipes are, plant trees and large shrubs a reasonable distance away.

When you do plant, be sure to choose slower-growing, non-aggressive trees ideally suited for our climate in South Florida. Remember, the larger and faster growing the tree, the more likely it will seek out and destroy your sewer lines.

It’s also a good idea to install a barrier between trees and sewer lines. Copper sulfate or potassium hydroxide spread near sewer lines is a highly effective deterrent, but you can also place metal or wood barriers to shield your pipes from hungry roots.

Plumbing Troopers Can Help

If you suspect tree roots have infiltrated your plumbing system, contact Plumbing Troopers. Our certified, licensed, and insured plumbers can inspect your pipes, locate the cause of the problem, and then we can either hydro jet the root away, or replace or reline the pipe.

We have a wide range of tools and techniques at our disposal and guarantee we’ll select the most effective solution for your needs.

Contact Plumbing Troopers at (954) 532-9510 to learn more about our sewer line inspections and repairs for homeowners in South Florida.

We’re always ready to answer your questions and help you find the best solutions for your plumbing systems.