How to Identify, Prevent & Remove Tree Roots in Your Sewer Line

Concerned about roots in your sewer line? If you are, you’re right to be worried. Tree roots are very powerful and can break through any pipe material by growing through gaps and joints. The pipe breaks apart, collapses and causes you serious plumbing problems. Invasive root growth is a very common problem in the Chicago area. That is why the professional plumbing team at J. Blanton would like to walk you through a few steps to help you identify and treat tree root intrusion, and prevent future problems with roots in your sewer line.

There are effective actions to take to prevent or remove roots in your sewer line.

Step 1: Identification

You sewer pipes are a pretty inviting place for tree roots because of the moisture and nutrients within.

There are three stages of tree root invasion:

  • Early Entrance
  • Progressed Invasion
  • Pipe Collapse or Structural Failure

At first, you won’t be able to tell if you have a tree root problem. You will just have a few roots peeking in and won’t have any signs. This is a great time to go ahead with preventative treatments.

There are effective actions to take to prevent or remove roots in your sewer line.

If you are in the second stage, you might notice a lot of backups and clogs, especially involving multiple drains. You should take action to remove the invading roots and repair your sewer line before the problem progresses any further. At this point, your sewer line will require extensive repair or replacement. If you’re dealing with stage three, you will notice a lot of stage two signs along with possible sinkholes, indentations in your lawn and foundation cracks, mold problems or sewer smells in your home. 

Step 2: Action or Prevention

If you aren’t wrestling with clogs or backups, you’re probably in the prevention stage. You can kill invading roots and ward off future root incursion with copper sulfate crystals. It will remove the roots in your sewer line without harming the tree and can easily be found at any garden center. Simply flush half a cup of copper sulfate crystals every day for two weeks to prevent root problems. If you are landscaping in the future consider planting “sewer-safe” trees, including:

  • Paper-Barked Maple
  • Flowering Dogwood
  • Serviceberry
  • Fringetree
  • Cypress
There are effective actions to take to prevent or remove roots in your sewer line.

If you’re beyond prevention, you will need professional assistance. Contact J. Blanton to schedule a camera inspection to confirm that tree roots are in your sewer lines and provide sewer line repair to remove them. Just call us at (773) 724-9272.