Sewer Line Repair | Tree Root Blockage

Sewer line tree roots intrusion

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Toronto Drain Services offer drain camera inspection to check the condition of the pipe before and after drain cleaning, repair, or power washing. So, you could be assured free that the sewer line obstruction is gone for good.
What is sewer line tree root intrusion?

Before we can start with the article, let us see what sewer line tree root intrusion is. Sewer line tree root intrusion is a common and frustrating problem faced by many homeowners. As trees grow, their roots can seek out moisture and nutrients, leading them to infiltrate sewer lines. Intrusion can cause severe blockages, resulting in costly repairs and inconveniences. However, if you take the proper measures on time, you can effectively manage and mitigate this issue. In this article, we'll explore the causes, signs, prevention techniques, and solutions for sewer line tree root intrusion.

What is the actual problem?

Sewer lines that run in the ground create a moist and warm environment around them. Whenever such a moist environment is created, it tends to pull the roots of plants and trees toward it. As they penetrate the pipes through tiny cracks or joints, they begin to grow and expand, eventually causing blockages and even pipe damage. The roots of these plants create a net-type structure inside the pipe causing it to block.

What are some Signs of Sewer Line Tree Root Intrusion?

Before we can get to the solution, we need to look at some signs that will tell us if there is sewer line tree root intrusion in the specific area or not. Detecting it early on can save you from significant headaches and expenses.

Keep an eye out for the following signs that may indicate root intrusion:

Slow Draining:

If there is slow draining in areas such as sinks, bathtubs, and toilets, it could be due to root intrusion. Slow drainage means that water isn't flowing and may be seeping into the ground. We can also say that the roots might have entered the sewer pipes. As mentioned before, these roots create a blockage.

Gurgling Noises:

Unusual gurgling sounds from drains or toilets indicate blockage caused by tree roots. If you notice gurgling sounds, get some professional help because it is a root intrusion problem.

Foul Odors:

If you notice a foul smell from drains or sewage, it might be a sign of root intrusion and subsequent pipe damage. The smell is also because the water isn't flowing smoothly.

Sudden Green Patches:

Lush, vibrant patches of grass or vegetation in your yard, especially near the sewer line, could point toward root intrusion and leakage. Water from the pipe leaks promotes the growth of green patches on the ground due to moisture.

What are some ways we can adopt to Prevent Sewer Line Tree Root Intrusion?

You should keep in mind the following preventive measures:

Plant Wisely: If we plant plants at the right place, we can also somewhat solve the issue. Before planting trees or shrubs, research their root systems and potential spread. Avoid planting deep-rooted trees near sewer lines.

Regular Inspections: Inspect the area after several intervals throughout the year to ensure there isn't any intrusion.

Physical Barriers: Root barriers may also be installed to ensure that roots don't enter pipes.

Chemical Treatments: Chemicals such as copper sulfate can be used to kill the roots in that area and prevent further spreading.

Solutions for Sewer Line Tree Root Intrusion:

Now let us go into getting a solution for this issue! If you are already facing this issue, then look into the solutions provided below. The following are some solutions for treating sewer line tree root intrusion.

Mechanical Augering:

Professional plumbers can use mechanical augers to cut the roots and remove them permanently, restoring the flow within the pipes.

Hydro Jetting:

Throwing high-pressure water into the pipes can remove any excess garbage or tree roots inside the pipe. The power flushing method is pressurized water up to 3500 PSi so it can easily remove the roots.

Pipe Relining:

In cases of extensive damage, pipe relining involves installing a new lining within the existing pipe to repair the damage caused by roots, restoring functionality.

Pipe Replacement:

In severe cases where root intrusion has caused irreparable damage to the sewer line, pipe replacement becomes necessary. Modern trenchless techniques can minimize disruption and reduce costs.

What are some other tips and tricks you need to know?

Professional Root Cutting: A professional cutter knows exactly the way to effectively remove the roots. They can use tools like root saws or root grinders to clear the blockage and restore proper flow.

Regular Maintenance: It is always best to carry out regular inspections to detect intrusion beforehand. This can involve using video camera inspections to identify root infiltration and take action against it.

Avoid DIY Solutions: Using DIY methods can be tempting, but mostly you don't get the desired results, because you can't understand pipes the way professionals do. DIY methods can become ineffective and just cause you a loss of money. It's best to consult a professional plumber for appropriate solutions.

Tree Removal or Relocation: In some cases, when the root intrusion issue is redundant, you will have to uproot the tree and plant it somewhere far away. Consult with an arborist or landscaping professional to assess the situation and explore alternative tree species that are less likely to cause problems.

Education and Awareness: Raising awareness amongst the people will also solve the issue to some extent. Sharing information and resources can help prevent this issue from becoming widespread and save others from spending on it.

Insurance Coverage: Review your homeowner's insurance policy to understand the extent of coverage for sewer line repairs caused by tree root blockage. It's essential to know your policy's terms and conditions to ensure you're adequately protected in case of any unforeseen damage.


The tree root intrusion is a threat to homeowners, but with the right methods, it can be solved and terminated permanently. The causes should be understood and according to those, solutions should be applied. In some places where intrusion occurs frequently, you should take professional help to get the issue solved by methods such as sewer and drain hydro jetting, pipe relining, or sewer line spot repair.