Trees can add a beautiful touch to our yards, but did you know they can also pose a threat to our pipes underground? Having tree roots in sewer lines is a more common problem than you might think, and it can wreak havoc on your plumbing system.

How do tree roots get in your sewer line?

In order to survive, trees need a certain amount of water, nutrients and oxygen. If they don’t have enough of any of these, their roots go searching for them. Unfortunately for our homes, sewer lines provide tree roots with exactly what they’re looking for.

The easiest way for a tree root to find and infiltrate a sewer line is if there is a crack in a pipe. Not only will this send a signal to the tree that it can find water and oxygen in your sewer line, but it also makes it easy for the roots to break in. Once a tree root has penetrated a pipe, it will continue to grow into the pipe.

Although a crack in a pipe makes it easy for a tree root to enter your sewer line, it is not necessary. Tree roots can break through most sewer lines, even without an opening.

What are the effects of tree roots in your sewer line?

If a tree root grows into your sewer line, it will begin to slow the flow of the drains in your home. Often times the first sign of this is a gargling noise that comes from your toilet bowl. If the problem is not taken care of, it can cause a complete blockage of your sewer line. The root’s original point of entry will also expand and could eventually cause the pipe to collapse.

How can you remove tree roots from your sewer line?

If you think you might have tree roots in your sewer line, it’s best to contact a plumber like Cabrillo. We can perform a video inspection of your sewer line and identify the problem. If we do find tree roots in your sewer line, there are a number of different things we can do to fix the problem, depending on the severity of the situation.

If you have any questions about tree roots in your sewer line, or if you’d like a plumbing system serviced or installed in your home, contact Cabrillo, your San Francisco area plumbing, heating and cooling company.