Most Common Causes Of Damage To Your Sewer Lines

Your sewer lines quietly do their job. That means most people never think twice about them. But, the sewer line is your responsibility until it reaches the main sewer pipe. That’s usually under the main road. If anything goes wrong with your sewer pipe you’re going to be responsible for the repair, even if that means digging up your garden.

Of course, that’s not the only solution. It’s possible that the repair can be completed by inserting a liner or that you’re simply dealing with a blockage.

But, if you’re looking at a problem with your sewer lines you need to  invest in a pipe inspection camera. This will allow you to inspect the pipes and find the cause of the problem. It will make it easier to decide on the best repair option.

It can help to know the most common cause of damage to sewer lines.

Tree Roots

This is surprisingly common. Tree roots will grow under the ground, travelling as far as they need to for water and nutrients. A sewer line offers both. If the tree is close enough to the sewer pipe its roots will grow to the pipe. They may find enough moisture next to the pipe but, in most cases, the roots will penetrate the pipe.

In the first instance, the pipe will start to become blocked as the tree roots suck the moisture out of the pipe. Then, when enough roots are in the pipe, the pipe will disintegrate.

Catching it early means you can kill the roots inside the pipe and slide an insert inside the pipe. If left, you’ll usually need to dig down to the pipe, replace the section, and insert protection for the roots.


Another common cause of pipe damage is age. Modern pipes are generally plastic and will last for many years. Older pipes are likely to be clay. These pipes were very effective when first used and generally lasted for years. However, over time, because these pipes are constantly exposed to water, they will simply collapse.

Put simply, if you have clay sewer lines it is only a matter of time before they crack.

Shifting Foundations

All properties settle after they are first built. It generally results in small cracks in the walls but nothing to be concerned about. However, foundations can sink further even after the property has been there for many years. This places pressure on the sewer lines below and even to the side of it. If the pipes crack the waste will go beneath the foundations, making them more saturated and increasing the likelihood of the foundations sinking further.

It’s not just your sewer lines that will be affected. Bad foundations can cause subsidence or even allow part of your property to fall down.

The bottom line is simple. An inspection camera, used regularly, will allow you to check all your plumbing is working as it should be, avoiding a host of potential issues.