Abbotts Blog

Tree Roots and Sewer Lines: Enemies ‘Til the End


We don’t want to give trees a hard time. We really don’t. After all, trees not only give us life via their oxygen-producing properties, but they also make our yards and streets look pretty. But… we really gotta talk about what their roots are doing to our sewer lines. 

As you’re probably aware, a tree’s roots are literally all over the place. They take hold in the ground soon after being planted and spread out in all directions. Ever see a car smash into a tree? It doesn’t budge because its root system has cemented it into the earth. It’s an amazing thing, really, but when those roots extend into your sewer lines and begin breaking them apart, the results can be devastating.

Early Warning Signs That Your Sewer Has a Root Problem

Once roots have invaded your sewer lines, the pipes will crack and leak. This can lead to a series of various problems both inside and outside your home, so it’s important to know when damage has possibly occurred. Here are some early warning signs that you may have a problem with roots that have grown into your sewer lines:

  • Water in Your Yard or the Road – You can probably expect to see puddles after it’s rained outside or you’ve watered your lawn, but if you see unexplained areas of standing water in your yard or in the road, this could definitely indicate leakage from your sewer lines.
  • Wet Spots Inside the Home – Finding puddles of water anywhere inside your home is an obvious sign that you have damage somewhere. No matter what the problem may be, it’s important to get this checked out right away. Delaying will cost you time and money.
  • Lower Water Pressure – Roots that have grown into your sewer lines will clog up your pipes, including the water main that carries water into your residence. This results in lower water pressure throughout your home.
  • Higher Water Bills – Even if you don’t see unexplained water anywhere in or around your home, that doesn’t mean you don’t have a water leakage problem. When water bills go up for what seems to be no reason, this is a good indicator of damage.
  • Foundation Damage – Leakage from your lines can hurt the structural integrity of your home over time. The first indicator of this is often cracks in the foundation.
  • Strange Sounds – if you hear strange sounds such as dripping, whistling, or clanking, especially in your bathroom or kitchen, then your sewer lines might have been compromised.

What You Can Do About It

Not far from the weed killers on the shelf of your local department store, you’ll typically find a root killer that you can pour down your toilet to kill any living matter that has invaded your sewer lines. The problem is that these chemicals are highly corrosive and can lead to severe pipe damage. The better strategy if you find yourself dealing with roots in your sewer lines is to call a professional restoration company right away. They have the expertise and equipment necessary to rid your home of the problem with minimum invasiveness. Of course, “minimum” could still mean quite a lot depending on the severity of the problem, so keep that in mind.

If you need assistance with sewer damage, fire damage, water damage, or any other type of damage to your home or business that has thrown your world into disarray, be sure to reach out to the professionals at Abbotts Fire & Flood. Our awesome crew of restoration and repair experts will get your home back to normal and your life back on track. Contact us for an evaluation today!

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