9 Serious Problems Caused by Tree Roots in Plumbing Lines


You must have heard of several causes of plumbing issues, but do you know trees can also affect your plumbing?

Yes, they can very much affect your plumbing system, and some of their consequences are severe headaches. To keep those bantering plumbing problems at bay, you should first understand how trees affect your plumbing and how to figure it out.

When tree roots invade your sewer line, they can cause a multitude of issues, such as clogs, leaks, and more. So, in this blog post, we will discuss 9 plumbing problems caused by tree roots and how to put a check on them.

Why Tree Roots Impact Plumbing?

Tree roots are attracted to your plumbing system. Why? —because of the oxygen, moisture, and nutrients in your sewer lines.

If you have any cracks in your pipelines, no matter how small, they will release moisture, luring in the tree roots. Tree roots can sense vapour from warm water from fissures in your sewer pipes, even from a few metres away, and get drawn to it.

Tree roots can crawl into your pipes’ cracks and openings and establish a root network. At first, they will slow sewage flow and serve as a filter for your sewage waste. The root network will eventually expand over time and completely obstruct your sewer lines.

If these tree roots are strong enough, they can push their way into a tiny crack in your pipes and spread out until the pipe blows up.

Tree roots can get into your plumbing system via:

  • compromised seals
  • clogged pipes
  • clogged pipes
  • Failed or loose joints
  • pre-existing damage

What Plumbing Problems Do Tree Roots Cause?

1. Clogs

One plumbing issue we see often is blocked drains in Melbourne. Most people immediately try a plunger or drain blast pumping to clear the clogs. However, the cause might be tree roots sometimes.

Tree roots can cause clogs in your sewer and drain lines by growing into the pipes and blocking the water flow. More importantly, if you hear any gurgling sounds from your toilets as you flush, it may signify a sewage line obstruction.

You should have a professional plumber check your sewer system to see if any tree roots are obstructing the pipes and blocking the toilets.

2. Leaks

Tree roots can also cause leaks in your sewer line by growing into the pipes and cracking them. You should check your pipes if your house is more than 25 years old. Clay pipes in older homes are porous and allow moisture to escape.

Ask your area plumber to replace them with PVC pipes because they are non-porous, leak-proof, and will not draw tree roots.

You should check your pipes, even if they are steel, as they are susceptible to corrosion and may need to be replaced with PVC pipes. Also, check the pipes for cracks and gaps and ensure they are all tightly sealed.

3. High Water Bills

Have you just received an unexpectedly large water bill?

Well, broken pipelines can be the reason. So, check your pipes and see if they are damaged by any root intrusion, which is a serious problem.

A broken pipe means gallons of waste water. And you have been paying for all that wasted water, which is why you received such an escalated bill.

Therefore, call for a plumber to fix the harm tree roots have done to your water lines.

4. Slow drains

As said before, tree roots are drawn to your plumbing system. Once these roots enter your pipelines, they begin to develop and spread. At first, you might not notice anything at all, but as they grow, they can clog pipes or even cause significant damage.

The first warning indication of a problem is slow sink and shower drainage. So, it is better to check your sewer pipes often for tree roots if you notice slow drains.

5. Sinkholes in the Yard

If your pipelines have serious root damage, your yard will have soft places and sinkholes. Because your pipes break or split due to the rapid growth of tree roots, they allow water to escape into the ground.

So, your yard would develop sinkholes after a continuous water leak. Given that root obstruction in the sewer pipes is a major problem in this situation, you should have a professional inspect your sewer line.

6. Foundation damage

Another problem that the invading tree roots can cause is damaging your home’s foundation. If there are faulty plumbing lines, tree roots will approach those voids in quest of water and nutrition through the gaps.

Also, they have the potential to move the dirt around, which would put a lot of strain on the foundation of your house.

7. Landscape damage

If tree roots grow into your sewer line, it can damage your landscaping. Your sewage system may draw the roots of large trees in your landscaping. It not only becomes the root cause of your plumbing issues but also damages your landscape.

Your yard should be filled with smaller-rooted plants and bushes. If you have large trees, ensure they are all at least 10 metres away from the sewer pipes to prevent root intrusion.

8. Toilet Backups

Backups are another problem caused by tree roots in your plumbing system. Because toilet paper and other things become caught in tree roots that have pushed their way into your pipelines, it can seriously clog a toilet drain.

9. Bad Odour

You cannot miss this sign! You will smell bad odour continuously if there are tree roots in your sewage system. Tree roots that obstruct the sewer pipe trap the waste, causing the terrible odour to escape from your sewer lines.

The odour will worsen if the garbage stays piled up for a long time. So, it’s best to get it mended as soon as possible.


Tree roots are a common cause of plumbing problems. One solution to this problem is tree root removal. You can either use a manual root cutter or use a tree root removal chemical to get rid of any roots that are present in your drain pipes. The toxic nature of certain chemicals, such as copper sulphate crystals, prevents roots from forming inside or around your sewer pipes.

If you need emergency blocked drain repair or other plumbing services, you can get in touch with a reliable service provider.

NLK plumbing blocked drain plumbers, for example, will fix all types of plumbing issues and help you protect your home or business.