How To Deal With Tree Roots In Your Sewer Line

Gazing up at a large tree, we often admire its beauty and forget the complicated system below the surface, working hard to seek its water and nutrients. 

Unfortunately, living by trees like this—although beautiful—can lead to damaged pipes, clogged drains, pipes, and sewer systems. And the problems don’t end with your drainage—root intrusions can also lead to issues with your foundations, septic tanks, and more.

But don’t worry. If this is something you’re experiencing, there are cost-effective solutions and ways to save your existing pipe. Best of all, you don’t need to dig up your entire lawn.

Why are roots attracted to sewer lines?

Roots typically sit roughly six inches below the surface, seeking nutrients, such as water and oxygen, making your pipes very appealing. 

Not only this, but the ground around your pipes is often disturbed, which makes it easier for root systems to spread. Hard surfaces, like driveways, are ideal, too, as the ground below is granular and porous.

These factors make homes perfect for roots, but the roots are far from perfect for your home!

How do tree roots get into pipes?

There are several ways roots can get into a drainage system, but, essentially, they will look for cracks, weak spots, and joints along your sewer pipes. 

Once the root’s found its way in, it continues to grow, reducing the diameter and blocking the flow—leading to problems like blockages, leaks, or even burst water mains.

How to recognize your pipes are damaged or blocked

Several signs often point to roots in your sewer line:

  • Cracks in the pavement or driveway
  • Slow flowing drains
  • Water draining from your sink and/or toilet very slowly or not at all
  • Very green patches on your grass
  • A foul smell from the water blockage

plumber snaking a clogged toilet

So you’ve spotted these signs. What now?

If you suspect you need a sewer line repair, give our team a call to schedule a service. We’ll come out with our camera inspection system, which will show us exactly what the problem is and where.

The best thing about this service? It’s only $99 with Spencer’s camera inspection special!

Removing the tree roots

Drain snaking is an effective method to remove tree roots. Our equipment has a rotating drill attached to the end of a cable that slices the roots and opens your drains so water and waste can flow through again. This is another service we offer for just $99!

However, there are times when the pipe’s damage is so significant it needs repairing or even replacing.

Trenchless pipe repair and how it works

Once the roots have been located and removed, we’ll start repairing your line.

A trenchless repair is when we orchestrate a pipe replacement without digging a trench. Instead, we’ll create a small hole and use one of two methods. 

The first option is to use a hydraulically powered pipe bursting head. The second, is a trenchless sewer pipe lining repair. 

Pipe bursting

Pipe bursting is the favored method for trenchless sewer repair. This is because it causes the least amount of disruption. 

It is done by pulling a sleeve through the existing pipe, which is the same diameter as the previous pipe—meaning you don’t lose any capacity.

Pipe lining

With a pipe lining repair (or cured-in-place pipe), a flexible tube coated with resin is blown or pulled into the damaged line and inflated. The resin then hardens, making a jointless pipe within a pipe. 


At Spencer Home Services, we understand that services like these aren’t typically planned and often come when you least expect it. This is why for larger jobs, like pipe repairs or pipe replacements, we also offer financing options.

Do you have blocked or damaged pipes from a tree root? Schedule a service or call us on 978-293-5770.


Locally Trusted For 40+ Years

Locally Trusted For 40+ Years

Call Now: (978) 293-5770

Same Day Emergency Service