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How Trees Break Your Sewer Lines

Sewer line damage can happen to anyone. If you have a tree in your yard that has grown too large, it could be causing problems with the sewer lines in your home.

Tree roots and sewer lines are a common problem for homeowners in the United States. In fact, tree root damage accounts for an estimated $1 billion in property damage each year.

According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, sewer line damage occurs in about 3% of homes annually. As a result, this issue leads to approximately $4 billion in insurance claims annually.

Moreover, we’ve all heard the stories of the tree root that grew through a sewer line, causing sewage to back up into a home. Unfortunately, this is a problem that is becoming more prevalent in US homes as the country’s trees grow older.

In fact, one survey found that nearly 1 in 5 US homeowners have experienced sewage backup due to tree root growth. The survey also found that nearly half of those homeowners had no idea how to deal with the problem themselves.

If left untreated, sewer line damage can lead to costly repairs and even flooding inside your home.

Wondering, “How do you know if your tree root damage has broken your sewer line and how to clear tree root damaged sewer lines?

Don’t worry. This article is all about tree roots and sewer lines.

This article will discuss the different types of trees that can damage your sewer line, what to look for when inspecting your sewer line, and how to clear tree root damage from your sewer lines.

Do Trees Break Sewer Lines?

Trees are nature’s most beautiful creatures. They provide us with oxygen, shade, and a sense of wonder. But did you know that trees could be breaking your sewer lines? Not just breaking them—but causing them!

In fact, the American Society of Civil Engineers reports that tree roots cause nearly one-third of all sewer line breaks. That’s right: one out of every three times your toilet gets clogged, or your sink starts spewing sewage into your kitchen sink, it’s not just because you didn’t properly dispose of that banana peel. It might be because a tree root got tangled in your sewer line and caused it to break!

As the tree roots grow, they can exert pressure on the pipes, causing them to crack or break over time. Additionally, tree roots can infiltrate small cracks or joints in sewer pipes in search of water and nutrients, which can lead to blockages and further damage.

What Trees Can Grow And Break Your Sewer?

Certain tree species are known to have more aggressive and invasive root systems, increasing the risk of damaging sewer lines. Here are some tree species commonly associated with potential sewer line damage:

Willow (Salix spp.)

Willows have extensive and invasive root systems that can seek out sources of water, including sewer lines. Their roots are known to be strong and can cause significant damage to pipes.

Poplar (Populus spp.)

Poplar trees have aggressive roots that can spread widely and exert pressure on underground pipes. Their roots have been known to infiltrate sewer lines, leading to blockages and pipe damage.

Silver Maple (Acer saccharinum)

Silver maples have vigorous and fast-growing roots that can aggressively seek out water sources. They are notorious for infiltrating sewer lines, causing cracks and breakages.

American Elm (Ulmus americana)

American elms have expansive root systems that can extend long distances in search of water. These roots can potentially damage sewer lines if they come into contact with them.

Fig (Ficus carica)

Fig trees have a wide-spreading root system that can cause damage to underground utilities, including sewer pipes. Their roots are strong and can exert pressure on pipes, leading to cracks or breaks.

It’s important to note that not all trees of these species will necessarily cause damage to sewer lines.

5 Signs of Tree Roots in Sewer Line

When tree roots infiltrate sewer lines, they can cause various signs and symptoms that indicate their presence. Here are some common signs of tree roots in Santa Rosa County sewer lines:

Slow Draining

If your drains are taking longer than usual to drain and are clogged with tree roots, this is a sign that your sewer line is compromised. Tree roots can grow into the sewer line and block it completely, so keeping an eye on your drains is important.

Multiple Clogged Drains

If several drains in your home are clogged and slow-draining, this could be a sign that tree roots are growing into multiple places in your sewer line. If this happens, it may be time for a professional sewer line inspection.

Gurgling Noises

When wastewater tries to pass through a blocked area due to tree roots, it can cause gurgling or bubbling sounds in the plumbing system. These sounds often occur when using sinks, toilets, or showers and can be an indication of root-related issues in Santa Rosa sewer lines.

Foul Odors

Tree roots can cause foul odors in your home’s plumbing system. If you notice an unusual smell coming from your sink or toilet, it could be that tree roots have entered the pipes and are causing damage.

Sewage Backups

Tree roots can also cause sewage backflows, which can lead to flooding in your home or yard. If you notice that water is coming up through drains or toilets at unexpected times, this could be a sign that tree roots have made their way into your pipes, causing them to back up with sewage water.

How Tree Roots Can Damage Your Sewer Pipe?

Did you know that tree roots can damage your sewer pipe? It’s true, and it happens all the time. 

If you’re like most homeowners, you don’t pay much attention to your sewer pipe. You know it’s there and that it works, but you certainly don’t think about it much beyond that. Well, we’ve got news for you: tree roots can damage your sewer pipe and cause major problems.

Here are three ways that tree roots can damage your sewer pipe:

Root Penetration

The first way your sewer pipe can be damaged is by root penetration. Roots can grow into the pipe and cause it to weaken, which could lead to cracks and breaks in the pipe. These cracks and breaks can allow sewage to leak out of the pipe, causing a serious public health risk.

Pipe Displacement

When a tree root grows through the wall of your sewer pipe, it displaces the surrounding soil—and ultimately dislocates the pipe itself from its position within the ground. This can cause cracks in your plumbing system, blockages, and other problems down the sewer line.


Tree roots grow underground and can easily get into your pipes, causing them to become blocked by tree roots. This will make it difficult for water to flow through the line and may result in flooding or other damage to your property.

Pipe Corrosion

When tree roots enter your pipes, they release certain enzymes that eat away at the metal piping inside them. Over time, this corrosion can weaken or even break apart the piping itself—potentially causing massive floods in your home if enough water gets through!

Pipe Collapse

When tree roots grow into the ground beneath your home or business, they can cause pipes to collapse. This can happen if the root grows into the pipe and causes it to bulge out from the ground. A collapsed pipe will not only make it difficult for water to flow through it but also compromise the strength of your structure and put you at risk for future problems like flooding.

How to Clear Tree Roots Jetting Sewer Lines?

Tree roots are the bane of any homeowner’s existence. They can cause serious damage to trees, and they have a tendency to grow through your sewer line and into your home. When this happens, it can cause sewage backups and other problems that you don’t want on your hands.

Luckily, there are several ways to remove tree roots from your sewer lines. Here are some common approaches to clearing tree roots from sewer lines:

Mechanical Augering

A mechanical auger, also known as a rooter or drain snake, can be used to physically break up and remove tree roots from sewer lines. The auger is inserted into the pipe, and its rotating blades or corkscrew-like design helps cut through the roots, allowing them to be cleared or flushed out.

Hydro Jetting

Hydro jetting is a highly effective method that uses high-pressure water streams to clear tree roots and other debris from sewer lines. A specialized jetting machine generates a powerful water stream that can cut through roots, flush them away, and clean the interior of the pipe. Hydro jetting is often performed by professional sewer line repair plumbers equipped with specialized equipment.

Chemical Root Killers

Chemical root killers, available in liquid or foam form, are designed to inhibit root growth in sewer lines. Best root killers for sewer lines products are typically applied directly into the drain or toilet and travel down the pipe, killing or discouraging root growth. However, chemical root killers are not always a long-term solution and may require repeated applications.

Mechanical Cutting Tools

Specialized cutting tools, such as a robotic cutter or a root saw, can physically remove tree roots from sewer lines. These tools are typically operated by professionals and are effective in cutting through and removing stubborn root masses.

Trenchless Pipe Repair or Replacement

In cases where the tree root damage is extensive or the sewer line is severely compromised, trenchless sewer repair or replacement methods may be necessary. These methods, such as pipe lining or pipe bursting, involve minimal digging and can rehabilitate or replace the damaged sewer line without extensive excavation.


You can use a commercial root-dissolving chemical or mix up a home remedy using vinegar and baking soda.

The city is responsible for them if they are in a public space, such as on the street or in parks. Otherwise, you may have to hire a professional to fix them.

The best way to prevent damage from tree roots is by planting trees away from your house and ensuring that their roots do not grow over or near your home’s foundation.

The root grows under the soil and breaks up the pipe, making it easier for water to get into it. When this happens, you could have a leak in your home or business. The roots can also push against the pipe and cause it to crack. This means there will be more places for water to escape from your pipes into your home or business.

There are several ways that you can fix this problem: You can hire someone to remove the tree, or you can hire someone to repair or replace your damaged sewer pipe.

It’s Time To Call Trenchless Sewer Repair And Replacement Expert In Santa Rosa, CA!

When your sewer is clogged, it can be an absolute nightmare. Not only do you have to deal with the inconvenience of not having access to your bathroom, but you also have to deal with the possibility of flooding. If this happens while you’re away from home or sleeping, it could be catastrophic!

Looking for an expert in trenchless sewer repair or replacement in Santa Rosa, CA? Look no further than Holman Plumbing. We are one of the most trusted names in the plumbing business and experts in all kinds of trenchless Sewer Lines Repair and Maintenance Services in Santa Rosa. We have years of experience helping homeowners get their drains back on track.

We understand that you don’t want to trust just anyone when it comes to your home’s sewer system. That’s why we offer free estimates and free consultations so you can learn more about our services before deciding whether or not we’re right for you.

Our sewer repair and replacement services are high quality, reliable, and affordable. When you call us, you can get: 

– A licensed, insured, and bonded plumber who will give you a written guarantee on their work.
– A plumber with over 20 years of experience in trenchless sewer repair and replacement.
– A local plumbing company that has been serving the Santa Rosa area for many years.
– A comprehensive inspection and evaluation of your problem so you know exactly what’s wrong and how it can be fixed.
– 24/7 emergency services so that you never have to worry about your pipes freezing or bursting at an inconvenient time.
– A guarantee that we’ll only use the most durable, high-quality parts and materials.
– The best customer service in the industry

Our technicians are happy to answer any questions you may have about our sewer line repair and replacement services or how we go about performing them. We’ll even come out for an estimate at no charge! Call us today at (707) 347-8958 for more information about our plumbing services!

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