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Tree Roots In My Sewer Line

Although this is an extremely common problem, it can be very costly and frustrating to deal with. Independently of each other, tree roots and sewer systems both contribute highly to our health and well-being. When these two systems come into contact with each other, they must be separated as soon as possible. There are many factors that should be considered when faced with this problem, the most crucial being information. Here are the answers to the top three questions asked when dealing with roots in a sewer system.

How do I know if I have roots in my sewer line?

Most commonly there are two ways to identify roots in your sewer line:

You had a backup and there were roots removed during the sewer cleaning process.
When a backup in your main sewer line occurs, it needs to be handled quickly and efficiently. A professional company will clear the line through use of a sewer snake. Sewer snakes are long cables that have different attachments added to help in clearing a sewer clog. The cables are attached to electric motors, which will spin a drum that holds the cable. Sewer snakes come in a variety of sizes of lengths. With the right length, diameter and attachment for the cable, you can clear most root intrusions. When the cable of the sewer snake is removed from the line, it will have roots attached to it that came from inside your pipe. This is the most common way homeowners identify they have roots in their sewer line.

You had a video inspection of your line and saw the roots.
A video inspection is one of the most useful ways to gather information about your sewer line. It can tell you where the line is, how deep it is and what condition it is in. To have a video inspection done, your sewer must not be clogged. Video inspections are generally performed after there was a sewer clog or prior to selling a home. Be sure to ask the technician performing the inspection for a recording. Professional sewer and drain companies will be able to record the inspection and electronically send the file to you.

Who will fix it?

As a homeowner, it is important to determine the right contractor for the job. The most important qualification for a contractor is the equipment they have available to them. Professional contractors will invest in different types of equipment for handling these situations. If your contractor is able to provide you with options and different solutions for addressing the roots, then you’re definitely in good hands. The qualified contractor should be able to provide at least two of the three options listed below. Along with options and solutions, it is recommended to check their online reputation to see what other customers have experienced.

 How will I fix it?

There are a few different options available when it comes to sewer repairs:

This is the most invasive and disruptive method. A conventional dig will require the use of heavy machinery, an excavator or backhoe. A trench will be dug from the foundation wall to the curb line. The trench will be the same length and depth as the sewer line and will generally be at least 3 feet wide.

“Cured In Place Pipe Lining” is a much less invasive process than Conventional and generally requires one to two small holes being dug. The holes will serve as access points to insert the lining equipment. A bladder which is covered in resin will be inserted into the sewer line, and then the resin will then be cured using air or water. As the resin cures, it attaches itself to the walls of the existing damaged pipe, acting as the structure, and fills most cracks or voids. This is considered a Trenchless Lining option.

Pipe Bursting
This method is also a much less invasive process and requires the digging of one to two holes. These serve as access points to insert the new pipe into the ground and will not require digging the entire length of pipe. A bursting head attached to a steel cable will be inserted into the existing damaged pipe and will also have a HDPE (High Density Polyethylene) pipe attached. It is then pulled through the damaged pipe, breaking it apart as it moves. The brand new pipe follows the bursting head and completely replaces the old damaged pipe. Since the existing damaged pipe is only used as a conduit for the bursting head to follow, this process will leave you with a brand new pipe in the ground. This is considered a Trenchless Replacement option.


Repairing a sewer line that has been compromised by an intruding tree root is a complicated process, so choosing a contractor who specializes in these types of repairs is vital. You do not want to compromise the health of yourself and your family by not having the issue dealt with properly. That is why it is very important to have an industry professional, like TLC Drain & Sewer, come out and resolve the problem correctly as soon as possible. We are full-service contractors, specializing in drain and sewer cleaning and repair, serving residential and commercial customers in the tri-state area and beyond. For more information or to schedule a service with us today, call (855) 852-4897 or contact us through our website. With qualified technicians and 24/7 Emergency Service, the TLC Guys are your go-to for all drain and sewer related issues!


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