Getting to the Root of the Problem: Detecting and Fixing Root Blockages in Your Sewer Line.


Roots can be quite the nuisance to home foundations, sidewalks, and your sewer line. And while many things can cause blockages and issues with the drain line, root blockages are typically the most common. But there are ways to combat root blockages that will get rid of the problem once and for all.

Most tree root problems arise in early spring and summer. This is because in warm seasons (historically during drought type weather), trees follow the trail of moisture to find water where they can – and they’ll travel long distances for it too. Oftentimes this source of moisture if a crack in a sewage pipe, which gives the tree roots a source of water to keep growing. If no action is taken or if it goes unnoticed for a long period of time, these root intrusions can warrant an entire sewage line replacement. Needless to say, these types of repairs and replacements can be extremely costly, as well as a health threat since sewage backups can soak up into carpeting and the padding, drywall and get under walls. If this does not get cleaned up could cause serious health issues.

The EPA states that leaking sewer lines pollute not only ground water, but nearby rivers and reservoirs. “If tree roots can get into the sewer pipe, then sewage can get out.”  

Most people begin to notice a root intrusion because of drains flowing more slowly and gurgling noises coming from toilet bowls. While these aren’t always the tell-tale signs, they’re frequent enough to be a good warning.

To get rid of the problem quickly, many people think that using a root killing product will do the trick. While this can seem like a quick and easy fix, it’s rarely a long-term solution.  Cabling the drain line doesn’t fix the problem, either. These two short-term solutions only maintain the problem, costing more time and money over the long-term.  The only long-term way to get rid of a root problem is to eliminate the intrusion altogether and make a repair or replace part of the sewer line that’s disrupted.

Another thing to keep in mind is that while a root blockage may be likely, there are a number of potential issues that could be causing slow drainage and clogged pipes. Old clay pipes can break and become offset and misaligned. Pipes can sag and create a “belly” that collects debris and eventually clogs up the line. There can be other miscellaneous foreign objects that end up in the pipes, or they could just collapse.

The only real way of telling what’s causing drainage issues is by running a camera down the sewer line to find out exactly what’s causing the problem and then fixing it. By using technology along with tried and true plumbing methods, we can make sure that a root intrusion (or any sewer blockage) issues is an easy and affordable problem to tackle.

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Dont forget to call us at 303.451.5057 to save on camera inspection of your sewer lines. We’re open 7 days a week with no extra charges.