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When you purchased your home, did you ever think you would be curious about the signs of tree roots growing in your drain pipes? Most likely, it had never even crossed your mind because it sounds almost impossible. Unfortunately, it is possible to have tree roots on your property grow right through your plumbing system. These massive clogs can cause serious (and expensive) plumbing problems.

With dry conditions, trees are more desperate than ever to find moisture and your plumbing pipes are a great resource for them. As it becomes dryer, we see more and more tree root issues across the area. 

As plumbing specialists who offer sewer line repair and replacement services, we’ve seen our fair share of clogged pipes due to trees. Most homeowners wish they had known what to look for when early signs of plumbing issues began to crop up. We’ve created this guide to help you understand which signs indicate tree roots are growing into your sewer pipes.

Slow Drainage

Sewer systems are designed to carry wastewater away from your house. If there’s a blockage in this system, the wastewater drains slowly or not at all.

How do you know if your pipes are slow at draining because of tree roots? If you see drainage issues across multiple drains in your house, the problem could be tree roots obstructing underground drain pipes. If the issue is isolated to a single drain (such as just the sink in the kitchen), then the problem may be an obstruction in that one drain.

Unpleasant Odors

Have you noticed a strong rotten egg or sour smell in or outside of your home that you can’t seem to get rid of? This could be an indication that your drain pipes have a major blockage, such as a tree root. 

Because there are cracks in these lines, you’ll want to call a plumber to come out to your property to do repairs before contaminated water leaks into your yard.


A busted sewer pipe will leak water into the soil around your home. Over time, this water saturates the ground, creating sinkholes. These sinkholes not only destroy your lawn but also cause damage to the structural integrity of your home. You may have sinkholes near the foundation of your house if you notice doors do not close correctly and if you see cracks climbing up the walls.

Gurgling Toilets

Another common sign of a tree root infiltrating your sewer line is a gurgling toilet. Toilets do not typically make a gurgling noise unless there is a clogged pipe somewhere. It’s a good indication that a tree root is your problem if all the toilets in your home (rather than just one toilet) make this strange sound.

Remove That Tree Root!

If you suspect that you have an unwelcome tree root taking up residence in your sewer line, have an expert plumber do a camera inspection to locate the issue. Once they have an idea of the damage done, they will be able to quickly remove the tree root and repair or replace the piping so you can go back to draining things like normal!

Get in touch with Northern Services for tree root removal and drain cleaning services in Olivia, MN, and the surrounding areas today!