We're Open & Here For You! Important Coronavirus Information - Click Here to Learn More

Q&A: Can Tree Roots Block My Sewer Line?

I’ve heard that the roots from really old trees can grow into and block my sewer line? Is that true, and do I need to cut down trees near my sewer line?

Both no and yes. Follow us here.

Your sewer line is made of metal or sturdy PVC piping. Both of those materials are far stronger than the roots of a tree—even the most-powerful, centuries-old California redwood. If your sewer line is in good condition, it is completely impervious to tree roots.

However, if your sewer line is compromised, that’s a different story — you might be at risk. Thin, hair-like roots can infiltrate your pipes through the smallest cracks and fissures.  When inside your sewer pipe those roots grow larger and larger. Eventually they reach a size that blocks the sewer pipe completely.

Tree root infiltration occurs over several years and you have no way to see it coming on your own. A no-mess sewer-line camera inspection is the only way to detect the root infiltration before the sewer line becomes completely blocked.

What Happens if Tree Roots Block My Sewer Line?

An emergency. Your sewer pipe is necessary for transporting the waste from the drains in your house to the municipal sewer or septic system. If tree roots completely block your sewer pipe, that waste will have nowhere to go.

Eventually, with nowhere to go, the waste will flow up through your drains, flowing out of your toilets, sinks, and shower. That plumbing phenomenon is known as a sewer line backup.

Yes, it is as disgusting as it sounds. And yes, it is expensive to cleanup and repair.

You shouldn’t remove a beautiful tree on suspicion alone, yet if you have proof tree roots are growing into your sewer line, you need to take action immediately. Unfortunately, that may mean you need to cut down the tree.

If you have a blocked sewer line, we do everything but cutting the tree down.

Contact us for help with a blocked sewer line and all of your plumbing needs.