Why Tree Roots Inevitably Lead To Sewer Line Repairs

The sewer line runs from your home to the main pipe under your street. Most people don’t realize that although it is a sewer line, while it’s on your property, (or more accurately, under your property), it’s your responsibility.

That means any blockages or damage needs to be sorted by you or a contractor that you pay for.

Tree-roots-sewer line repair

The Cause Of Issues

Blockages in your sewer pipe are often caused by the incorrect posting of items down the toilet.

While it can seem like a catch-all system, toilets, and sewer lines, are designed to accommodate water, human waste, and toilet paper. Everything else should be disposed of separately.

This will help to prevent clogs.

However, tree roots can be equally concerning.

Trees use their roots to search for water and nutrition, growing them continually to find more. Your sewer pipe is a source of water and the tree knows this, even if it is inside a pipe. The roots will grow toward it. Once they reach the pipe they will push their way through it and start absorbing the wastewater.

Your pipe will be damaged and soil can get into it. Over time the damage will cause a clog and potentially an expensive repair for you.

Dealing With Tree Roots

The first thing to note is that tree roots generally extend as far as their canopy. In other words, if the tree has branches over your sewer pipe the roots are likely to be in it. If you have a tree near your sewer line you’re going to need to think about getting rid of it.

sewer-pipe-sewer line repair

The good news is that clogs don’t happen instantly. They take time and give you a warning, specifically the water in your drains will disappear slower.

At this stage, and periodically without clog warnings, you should find a good sewer camera for sale and slide it through h tubes. It will tell you if they are in good condition or help you to identify an issue and exactly where it is in your pipes.

You’ll then have to deal with repairing the damaged pipe.


The most common approach is a replacement, especially if the pipe is badly damaged. Unfortunately, this is costly and will make a mess of your yard.

You’ll need to locate the damaged section of pipe and dig down to it, allowing enough space on each side to access good condition pipe. You’ll need to be careful as you approach the pipe as raw sewage may be present.

Replacement means cutting out the damaged section and adding in a new piece of pipe.You’ll also want to deal with the tree to prevent it from happening again.


It is also possible to slide an insert inside your sewer pipe and into the damaged section. This adheres to the sides of the pipe and is a much easier way to effect a repair However, it is only viable if the pipe damage is minimal and you’ll want the specialist to help you complete this repair properly.

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