Deans Home Services | Minnesota's Premier Home Services Company

Why Tree Roots LOVE Your Sewer Lines

A large crab- apple tree in front of an old style red brick house.

As a homeowner, one of the most costly repairs you can run into is sewer line damage. Often, sewer lines are damaged by the very trees and landscaping that attracted you to the house in the first place. If you have large trees in your yard, or you plan on planting trees in the future, you need to know why tree roots love your sewer lines and how to prevent them from getting in.

Tree Roots and Your Sewer Lines

It should come as no surprise that large trees require a large number of nutrients to continue growing. The job of the tree’s roots is to seek out those nutrients by burrowing deeper into the ground or moving toward a nearby source. In this case, your sewer lines present a perfect opportunity for a healthy tree to feed on. This is because your sewer lines provide a nearly constant source of water, as well as a variety of nutrients that are broken down from your household waste. Think of garbage disposal that is also breaking down raw food nutrients into your system. Also, the process of flushing waste out into the main sewage system serves to aerate the wastewater, making an oxygen-rich environment that trees can thrive on.

Why This is Bad News for Your Home

You may think that you are safe from worries because your sewer lines will keep tree roots out. Unfortunately, this is not entirely true. Tiny tendrils of tree roots can find their way into the porous surfaces on the exterior of the pipe. As they press inward, they exert pressure on the lines and can create cracks just large enough for them to inch their way in and feed on nutrients inside. At first, you may not notice any problems because the roots are relatively small.

However, as the tree learns how to access your sewer lines, more and more roots will find their way in, creating a tangled mess and blocking your pipe entirely. When this happens, you will notice that your plumbing starts backing up, and eventually the cracks might get so big that the pipe breaks completely.

Soon, you could be spending thousands of dollars on repairs and cleanup. If you need help repairing damaged lines from tree roots, call Dean’s Professional Plumbing, Heating & Air today!

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