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What Sewer Cleaning Works in Tree Roots Invasion


tree roots growing through a sewer drain

Imagine this: a relaxing evening at home takes a horrifying turn as sewage backs up into your drains.  This scenario, caused by tree root intrusion, is more common than you might think.  Tree roots, relentless in their search for water and nutrients, can wreak havoc on your sewer system, leading to blockages, breaks, and costly repairs.  But fear not!  Understanding the sneaky tactics of tree roots and taking proactive measures can help you avoid this plumbing nightmare.


Why Are Tree Roots Drawn to Sewer Lines?

Tree roots are like silent invaders, constantly seeking moisture and nutrients.  Sewer lines, running underground and carrying water, become a prime target for these persistent roots.


  • Moisture Magnet: Even without leaks, sewer lines emit a faint moisture vapor that thirsty tree roots can detect from a distance.

  • Nutritional Allure: Traces of organic matter and nutrients present in wastewater can further entice tree roots towards sewer lines.

  • Path of Least Resistance: Sewer lines often follow a straight path, providing a clear and easy route for tree roots to grow and infiltrate.




The Devastating Impact of Tree Roots on Your Sewer System: A Silent Threat

Tree roots, while seemingly harmless on the surface, can wreak havoc on your underground sewer system. Their relentless pursuit of water and nutrients makes them silent invaders, capable of causing significant damage over time. Here's a closer look at the destructive potential of tree roots within your sewer lines:


1. Cracks and Blockages: A Recipe for Drainage Woes

Tree roots are surprisingly strong.  As they grow and expand underground, they exert tremendous pressure on anything in their path. This pressure can cause cracks and breaks to form in sewer line pipes.  


These cracks, even small ones, become entry points for the roots themselves. The roots then grow inside the pipes, creating blockages that hinder the proper flow of wastewater.  Imagine trying to flush your toilet only to have the water back up into the bowl – that's the unpleasant reality of a blocked sewer line.


2. The Chain Reaction:  

These blockages don't just slow drainage; they can also lead to a chain reaction of problems.  As wastewater backs up in the pipes due to the blockage, it can put additional pressure on the already compromised areas, potentially causing further cracks and breaks.


3. Collapsed Pipes: The Worst-Case Scenario

In severe cases of neglect, persistent root growth can lead to the complete collapse of your sewer line.  Imagine the pipes being crushed by the unrelenting force of the roots – that's essentially what happens in a collapsed sewer line.  The consequences are dire:


  • Extensive Excavation: To repair a collapsed sewer line, extensive excavation is necessary to reach the damaged pipes. This means digging up your yard, potentially damaging landscaping and creating a major disruption to your property.

  • Costly Replacement: Collapsed pipes are beyond repair and require complete replacement. The cost of new pipes, coupled with the labor involved in excavation and installation, can be a significant financial burden.

  • Health Hazards: A collapsed sewer line can lead to sewage leaks underground. This contaminated wastewater can pose health risks to your family and contaminate the surrounding soil.

Prevention is Key

The good news is that tree root intrusion can be prevented with proactive measures.  By understanding the threat and taking steps like planting trees at a safe distance from sewer lines and scheduling regular inspections, you can safeguard your sewer system from this silent invader.  Don't wait until it's too late and a minor tree root issue turns into a major plumbing disaster.



photo of a sewer pipe and tree roots attaching to it

Warning Signs of Tree Root Invasion:

Early detection is crucial to prevent major damage to your main sewer line, the vital underground pipe that carries wastewater away from your home. Tree roots, ever-persistent in their search for water and nutrients, can become a silent threat to your sewer system.  


Here are some crucial signs you have a tree root invasion:


  • Slow Drains: This is often the first sign, affecting multiple drains throughout your house.

  • Frequent Backups: Sewage backups in toilets, sinks, or floor drains are a clear indication of a blockage, possibly caused by tree roots.

  • Gurgling Sounds: Strange gurgling noises coming from your drains can signal trapped air or water caused by a blockage in the sewer line.

  • Soggy Patches in the Yard: Soft, mushy areas in your lawn, especially near the sewer line, could be caused by leaking wastewater due to root damage.

  • Sewage Odors: Sewer gas odors wafting up from your drains can indicate damage to the sewer line, potentially caused by tree roots.

If left unchecked, these roots can infiltrate the main sewer line, causing blockages, breaks, and even complete collapse.  Here's how to identify the warning signs of tree root invasion and take action before it's too late:


Don't Reach for the Chemical Drain Cleaner!

While a clogged drain might seem like a quick fix for yourself,  chemical drain cleaners are a risky proposition, especially for potential tree root blockages in your main sewer line.  These harsh chemicals can damage your pipes, worsening the existing problem  and potentially leading to leaks.  They can also be ineffective against tree roots, which require more robust methods for removal.


The Importance of Sewer Line Cleaning and Sewer Line Cleanouts

If you suspect a tree root blockage in your main sewer line,  don't wait!  Contact a licensed plumber immediately.  They have the expertise and equipment to diagnose the problem and recommend the best course of action.  


Professional sewer line cleaning is often necessary to remove tree roots and restore proper drainage.  This may involve techniques like hydrojetting (high-pressure water jetting) that can effectively blast away roots and debris from the pipes.


Sewer Line Cleanouts: A Strategic Advantage

Many homes have sewer line cleanouts, strategically placed access points that allow plumbers to easily access the main sewer line for cleaning and inspection.  These cleanouts can be invaluable in the fight against tree roots.  Regular sewer line cleaning through the cleanout can help prevent blockages before they become a major problem.


Protecting Your Health and Your Home

Tree root intrusion in your main sewer line is not just an inconvenience; it's a potential health hazard.  Ignoring the warning signs can lead to sewage backups, leaks, and the spread of harmful bacteria.  By taking action early and calling a licensed plumber, you can protect your health, your home, and avoid a costly plumbing disaster.


Taking Action to Prevent Tree Root Infiltration

Here's how to safeguard your sewer system from tree root invasion:


  • Plant Wisely: Choose trees with non-invasive root systems for areas near your sewer line. Consider native species known for their well-behaved root growth.

  • Maintain Proper Distance: Plant trees at a safe distance from your sewer line. Consult a licensed plumber for recommended planting distances specific to your situation.

  • Regular Sewer Line Inspections: Schedule regular comprehensive inspections with a professional plumber. This may include video camera inspection, a valuable tool for detecting root intrusion early on.

  • Professional Sewer Cleaning Services: If you suspect a blockage, contact a licensed plumber for professional sewer cleaning services.



Admiral Plumbing Heating and Cooling logo in red, yellow, and blue, with an image of a admiral with a wrench in the middle.

Admiral Plumbing Heating and Cooling: Your Trusted Partner for Sewer Line Solutions

At Admiral Plumbing Heating and Cooling, we understand the urgency of sewer line problems.  Our team of highly skilled and licensed plumbers has the expertise and equipment to handle all aspects of sewer line repair, including tree root removal.  Here's what we offer:


  • 24/7 Emergency Service: We're available around the clock to address your sewer line emergencies promptly.

  • Comprehensive Sewer Line Inspections: We utilize video camera inspection to pinpoint the exact location and extent of tree root intrusion, along with the pipe diameter for a more precise assessment.

  • Advanced Cleaning Techniques: We employ various methods to clear blockages, including high-pressure water jetting (hydro jetting), also known as hydrojetting. This powerful technique utilizes a high-flow vacuum source to blast away roots and debris from the pipes.

  • Fast and Reliable Sewer Line Repair: Our experienced plumbers are proficient in traditional trenching methods for sewer line replacement, ensuring a high-quality and long-lasting repair.  Our highly trained plumbers can diagnose and repair cracked, punctured, or collapsed pipes caused by shifting soil, freezing temperatures, or settling. We use advanced techniques to minimize disruption to your property.

  • Traditional Sewer Line Replacement: For situations where trenchless methods aren't suitable, our experienced plumbers can perform traditional trench sewer line replacement with precision and care.

  • Upfront Pricing & Transparent Communication: We believe in clear communication and provide you with a detailed estimate before any work begins, so there is complete transparency and expectations right up front.

Don't Wait Until It's Too Late - Contact Admiral Plumbing Heating and Cooling

Tree root intrusion in your sewer line can be a stressful and costly experience.  By understanding the warning signs and taking proactive measures, you can significantly reduce the risk of this plumbing nightmare.


If you suspect a problem, don't wait!  Contact Admiral Plumbing Heating and Cooling today.

Call us at (801) 960-4115 to schedule a consultation with a qualified plumber.  We'll diagnose the problem, recommend the best course of action, and get your sewer system flowing freely again.  Let Admiral Plumbing be your trusted partner in maintaining a healthy and functional plumbing system for your Salt Lake City home.


Here are some additional resources you may find helpful:


Preventative maintenance is key to avoiding costly sewer line repairs.  Schedule your comprehensive sewer line inspection with Admiral Plumbing today!

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