How Tree Roots Can Be Causing Your Drains To Clog

Posted on: 15 January 2015


Unfortunately, that big beautiful tree that you've loved for years can be the cause of your sewer drainage problems. Those beautiful shrubs and gorgeous bushes you planted in your yard can also be causing the same problem. The reason? Their roots could be invading your sewer pipe and causing it to back up. This type of sewer issue can not only cause clogged drains and sewer backups, it can also cause an entire collapse of your sewer system. See below for more information and for tips on what you can do to help prevent this problem.

How It Happens

The roots of your trees, bushes and other landscaping are always looking for a water source to stay healthy and strong. A sewer pipe isn't going to stand in a root's way of finding water, so these roots will penetrate your sewer pipe and create a web of roots throughout your pipe. Toilet paper and other debris that you send down your drains become caught in this webbing and can cause a sewer back-up in your home.

This backup can come out and overflow any drain in your home, your sinks, toilets, even your showers. Root penetration of your sewer pipe can also cause a complete breakdown of your sewer system, which can be awfully expensive to have to repair.

Help To Prevent It

You can help prevent a sewer backup due to root penetration, see below for a few tips.

  • When planting trees and other landscaping, be sure to keep them at least ten feet away from your sewer line. You may not want to cut down existing trees that may pose a problem, but you may want to think about doing so. 
  • Use one-ply toilet paper or quick dissolving toilet paper to help prevent clogs. Also, be sure only toilet paper is being flushed down your toilets. Other toiletry items or feminine products can cause clogs.
  • Use a root-kill formula in your drains to help kill roots that have invaded your sewer pipe, without damaging your pipes. You can purchase this type of product at most hardware stores.

What To Do If You Have A Problem

If you already have a root invasion issue with your pipes, you can try and use an auger to clear your drain. You can rent one from a rental company if you don't have one already. Be careful when doing this, as you can cause damage to your toilet.

Oftentimes, the clog in your line may be too far out. In this case, it's best to contact a professional drain clearing company like Arrow Plumbing & Drain Clean to help clear your pipe.