Trusted South Florida Licensed Plumbing, Air Conditioning & Electrical Experts Since 1983!
EMERGENCY HOTLINE 1-800-475-1504
Hours of Operation: Monday – Saturday 8am – 7pm

Signs You Have Tree Roots in Your Sewer Line

tree roots in sewer line
Reading Time: 2 minutes

You probably don’t think about your sewer line until something goes wrong. And when something does go wrong—like when you get a big clog in your drain that won’t clear with a plunger—your sewer line suddenly becomes your top priority.

While it’s true that tree roots can cause clogs, there are also other signs that you may have tree roots in your sewer line. Here are some of the most common symptoms to look out for that means you need to call a professional plumber to inspect your sewer line.

How do roots get into the sewer line?

Roots from trees and other plants like shrubs grow into sewer lines because the roots are searching for water. Any crack in pipes or loose joints leaks small amounts of water that naturally invite the root systems in your garden to grow into and through your sewer lines.

This can be a more significant issue in older properties that have aging sewer lines with damaged pipes.

Slow drainage

The first indication of a clogged pipe is often a slow drain or slow flushing toilet. Beyond noticing that the water in the sink or bathtub moves slower than usual, you may also hear a gurgling sound.

It’s essential to have your sewer lines checked at this stage. Tree roots in sewer lines cause improper drainage and trap dirt, grease, hair, and other wastewater that can lead to bigger problems.

When wastewater isn’t draining correctly, it can have harmful effects on your property, but it can also impact the treatment facilities and water quality.

Bad odors

A strong sulfur-type smell from drains or other water sources accompanies slow drainage. The bad odor may emerge when running water into a drain, as water is draining after the water has finished draining, or in small rooms like the bathroom with sitting water in toilets.

When tree roots break through sewer line pipes, small amounts of waste can leak out, causing a strong, unpleasant smell that won’t go away.

Foul odors can be present in washing machines or washbasins too. Don’t forget to check the laundry room for the same smell. So, if you keep smelling a foul odor that won’t go away, it’s time to contact a professional plumbing service.


Sinkholes can be expected in South Florida because of the weather, humidity, porous sand, and shallow ground surface. But, a noticeable divot in your lawn or soft spots can indicate a tree root system invasion into your sewer lines.

If a tree root in sewer lines hasn’t yet caused a sinkhole, other signs are soggy lawns or a sudden overgrowth of greenery that aren’t usually present. You may notice mold growth in backyard spaces that may be near concrete-like with a pool or porch.

Water stains

Damp stains inside your home like the ceiling, drywall, or under sinks can mean a tree root invasion in your sewer lines.

Tree roots in sewer lines change water flow, sometimes causing a backup inside of your home that can leak water in small amounts. Also look for discoloring around the seams of walls, ceilings, and corners.

Not sure if you have roots in your sewer line?

If you’re experiencing any of the signs of tree roots in sewer lines, don’t wait; contact Art Rooter, Sewer, & Drain Cleaning. We can help check your sewer system, assess the damage, and get your plumbing functioning in no time.

We are a team of fully licensed and insured plumbing professionals ready to serve South Florida’s residential, multi-family, and commercial properties. Schedule a service today or contact us at 1-833-470-2880.


art plumbing, ac and electric

Schedule a Service Call

For Immediate Emergency Assistance Call 1-800-475-1504

Schedule Service