Tree Root Damage

Here in the Valley area, we have very little rainfall, and when it rains, the water washes over the soil without offering good penetration. So, thirsty tree roots will search for any means possible for obtaining moisture. One of the places they might find it is in your sewer pipes. Since many trees grow prolifically in the warmer months, plumbers see many cases of tree root invasion in late spring and summer when roots are digging hard for more water.


Inappropriate planting

When trees are planted close to the drain lines, their roots dig into the soil like iron claws. They also can dig right into sewer pipes to get to the wastewater. That’s why plumbers warn landscapers and homeowners not to plant trees too close to water lines. If the roots dig in, they will cause a blockage and waste from the household will start backing up.

Odors and soft spots

The first sign that a sewer line might be backed up is slow drains in the home, foul odors, or a soft, wet spot in the yard. Some of the more unexpected ways are when sewage rises up from the tub or shower, or the toilet bowl may be empty! Either of these is a distressing incident in itself, and rightly so.

Video inspection


The plumber may bring a video inspection camera to help. A video inspection camera can be used to reveal the exact nature of the problem and the location of the roots and damage in the line.  These cameras provide explicit detail, not just for tree root damage, but for any other plumbing issue which may be present along the length of the drain line. Sometimes other forms of pipe damage will mimic tree root invasion; for example, a collapsed pipe can have similar ‘symptoms.’ The repair solution will depend on the location of the tree roots and the amount of damage to the pipe.


After the pipe is cleaned out, the plumber will repair the pipe, itself. Usually, this can be done from inside the line with a pipe liner, sometimes referred to as ‘trenchless pipe repair.’

Clean out access

If mature trees are already present in the landscape, or if a homeowner suspects future trouble, a clean out sweep may be added to the sewer line to make cleanout easy in the future. We often see this in properties with a septic tank, which, by nature, are much more delicate systems than those connected to a city sewer system.

In some cases, the homeowner may opt to remove the tree entirely from the landscape to avoid another necessary plumbing repair.

911 Heating, Cooling and Plumbing can service all commercial and residential HVAC and plumbing needs. Call 602-795-2900 today!