Tree roots and what they can mean for your sewer line
August 19, 2011

Trees can add a lot to the beauty of your yard and the surrounding area, but their roots can cause serious damage to your sewer pipes or septic drain field. If the problem becomes bad enough, the damage roots cause to the inside your pipes can be quite costly to eliminate and repair.

How do roots become a problem?
Even if you don’t have any in your yard, trees and shrubs growing near your property line can still pose a threat to your sewer line. Mature trees can have thousands of feet of root system, and can extend several times farther than the height of the tree. Small cracks and holes in your pipes can allow moisture vapors to escape into the soil, and since the ground here in Lawton is particularly dry, tree and shrub roots tend to gravitate towards the water and oxygen they need to grow – even if it’s from your pipes.

Once roots locate these cracks and weaknesses in your sewer lines, they will enter your pipes to reach the nutrients and moisture inside. As the roots expand they increase the chances of a clog as household debris and other substances become tangled in their masses. In some cases, the growth of the roots can exert enough force to completely break and collapse the sewer line.

What are some signs of trouble?
Early signs of trouble include slow flowing drains (despite several drain cleaning attempts), gurgling noises from the toilet and drains that back up into your home. In some instances, you may even notice a sewer odor. Sewer odors, especially outside, could mean a pipe has burst and sewage is leaking into the soil.

What can I do if I think I have root problems?
If you suspect roots are damaging your sewer drains, contact a professional right away. Plumbing professionals are able to perform thorough inspections like video drain inspections to help determine if roots are present, and where the problem areas may lie. If roots are identified, rooting techniques can be employed using a rooter machine to remove the blockages, or if the problem isn’t too severe, root intrusion solutions like ROOTx can help. In some instances where pipes have burst or are no longer effective, sections of the sewer line may need to be repaired or replaced. To

Pippin Brothers offers sewer services designed to help you diagnose and repair root problems using minimally invasive techniques that leave little or no damage to your yard.

If you think you may have root problems in your yard, consult with one of our experts online, or request a quote for services online today.