Trees are beautiful. They enhance your landscape and provide vitally important shade during the summer months. But, tree roots can also be a significant concern for homeowners with underground water and sewer pipes. 

If left unchecked, tree root systems can extend into vulnerable areas of your pipes and cause messy and costly damage. Problems you may encounter include reduced or blocked pipe flow, overflowing pipes, and the worsening of pre-existing cracks or holes.

Why Roots are Attracted to Your Pipes

The short answer as to why roots infiltrate sewer lines is that they like it there.

Trees need water, minerals, nutrients, and ample oxygen for their root system to develop and flourish. Tree roots can sense where the best growing conditions exist and instinctively know to take advantage of such opportunities.

Further, living in an urban area or a highly developed neighborhood without a lot of nature or greenery will cause roots to retreat deeper into the ground. This is where they come into contact with your pipes. If pipes have any type of exterior damage including hairline cracks and tiny holes, the roots can make those problems worse. 

Trees with a higher potential of causing sewer line damage include willows, maples, birches, and oaks.

How to Prevent Root Havoc on Your Underground Pipes

Tree root growth prevention is the best way to keep your pipes safe. These are some warning signs to alert you to potential problems: 

  • Plumbing issues, such as blockages and slow drainage
  • Low water pressure
  • Soft spots and sinkholes in your yard
  • Abnormal sounds and smells coming from your indoor plumbing
  • Patches of thriving greenery in the yard indicating underground moisture
  • Unexplained increases in your water or utility bills

What To Do if You Suspect Tree Root Damage to Your Underground Pipes

The first and most important step is to consult a professional if you suspect tree-related damage to your pipes. These technicians understand how to clear roots from sewers without causing additional damage. And, they can help you decide the best steps moving forward. 

Your situation may require a few minor repairs or offensive measures to redirect the growth of the roots or strengthen the exterior of the pipes to prevent further damage. 

Fortunately, modern technology allows your technician to address bigger problems with little disruption to your yard, including restoration processes such as:

  • Video pipe inspection: This is a utility location tool and an efficient way to find leaks, cracks and blockages. Rather than digging up the entire length of a pipe to find and fix the problem, fiber optic video cameras are used to inspect inside the tube or sewer line. These special cameras can pinpoint damage or blockages even within cement or under the home’s foundation. 
  • Hydro jetting: Highly pressurized water (up to 4000 PSI) is used to break up and remove grease, sludge, and tree roots from sewer drainage pipes. Water this pressurized can clear away just about any obstruction. Think of hydro jetting as pressure washing for the inside of your pipes, only more powerful. 
  • Trench-less pipelining: This four-step process is essentially placing a pipe within a pipe. Lining is cost efficient and less disruptive in comparison to replacing the entire pipe.

Even with advanced technology, sometimes pipes are simply too far gone to save, or too outdated to provide ample protection. In such instances, we recommend replacing the sewer line. 

Regular maintenance is important, and annual drain cleaning is a good practice for homeowners. By acting quickly to remove tree roots and prevent them from tearing apart your underground plumbing, you will save yourself considerable worry and expense.

We Help Homeowners

Flader Plumbing and Heating is uniquely suited to assist you in determining the solution that best fits your home and family’s needs. We’ve been serving your neighbors and our community for over 100 years and 4 generations. 

The Flader Difference

Only Flader Plumbing and Heating delivers:

  • The most responsive service. We’re here for you 24/7.
  • Personal attention from certified and licensed technicians.
  • The most dependable equipment and parts.
  • Money-saving maintenance agreements.
  • 100% satisfaction guaranteed.


Flader Plumbing and Heating recommends equipment, models, and brands proven to have the fewest problems and service calls. We specialize in:

Comprehensive Services

Whether you’re concerned about tree-related damage, need a water heater, or your A/C is on its last July, we are knowledgeable and provide expert service. Our professional technicians arrive on time, listen to your concerns, and answer your questions. They will recommend the right solution and deliver as promised.

Flader technicians average 15 years of experience and are EPA certified.

Expert service, quality parts, and satisfaction guaranteed. There is no reason to compromise. Call us at 847-491-6980. 

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Flader thrives on exceeding expectations of our residential and commercial customers.  We deliver cost effective solutions for homeowners and businesses.  Our Service Centers in Evanston and Libertyville are ready to serve.  Call us today at 847-491-6980.

Flader Goes Skyward

A long-term commercial customer needed an upgrade on their air quality system.It required two 20-ton and two 10-ton Carrier units mounted on the rooftop, plus piping and custom sheet metal inside their manufacturing center. The Flader Team went skyward with a huge crane to land the units on the rooftop.In just 2½ days, the transformation was completed.Click “See our Work” to view more success stories.

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Flader continues supporting local youth programs. We proudly sponsor EBSA and events at Robert Crown Community Center. It teaches teamwork, builds confidence, and strengthens our community.

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Evanston Service Center: 3004 Central, Evanston, Il 60201
Libertyville Service Center: 523 3rd Street, Libertyville, Il 60048