If tree roots have ever caused you sewer pipe problems, you understand how frustrating the whole thing can be. In most cases, homeowners decide to attack the roots, which leads to the destruction of the tree. Though this may look like a simple, fast and rational solution for some, many others find this method problematic because they would to like to preserve the plant. What most people don’t realize is that the issue can be resolved in an eco-friendly way.

Why trees go for the pipes?

Roots thrive in the warm, moist, nutrient-rich atmosphere above the water level inside sanitary sewers. The flow of warm water inside the pipes causes water vapor to escape to the cold and/or dry soil surrounding it.


Tree roots are attracted to the water vapor leaving the tube and they follow the vapor trail to the source of the moisture, which is usually coming from cracks or loose joints in the sewer pipeline. They will penetrate the opening to reach the available nutrients and moisture. This continues in winter even though trees appear to be dormant. Once inside the tube, roots will continue to grow and if not disturbed, they will completely fill it.


As roots continue to grow, they exert considerable pressure at the crack or joint where they entered the piping. The force exerted by the root growth can break its structure, which may result in total collapse of the pipe. Severe root intrusion and damaged pipelines can even lead to complete replacement, which usually costs a lot of time and money.

How to save both the pipes and plants?

The key to work out a problem such as this without having to sacrifice a whole tree is using trenchless technology. This type of sewer repair gives the professionals the ability to address the situation without causing any damages by digging up your yard. Not only that they can perform the job without going underground but can also replace your old clay, concrete or iron pipes with new ones.


High-quality HDPE is used, which has been shown to last more than 100 years.

Here is how the procedure is performed?

The technicians work with certain tools to clean and remove all the obstructions. They also use techniques such as relining and bursting to replace or repair old pipes. Professionals can complete the job all at once, within a few hours or in small intervals depending on your preferences.


Once completed, the visual difference is barely noticeable. This process has been around for over 10 years and it is affordable in comparison to an excavation. The cost for the trenchless replacement method is a bit higher than a traditional sewer excavation but it is still much cheaper than having whole trees removed. Another major plus is that you are left with an intact garden.

What is a trenchless sewer repair?

A trenchless sewer repair is exactly what it sounds like – it’s a method that replaces damaged pipes without trenching. This technology is preferred because it is less intrusive, more affordable, and quicker than traditional, open-trenched repair.


There are two types of trenchless sewer repair:

1. Pipe Bursting

As alarming as it sounds, bursting is quite an effective way of handling cases like these. “This procedure doesn’t require digging trenches.”, says Shem Bruce, a fantastic plumbing expert from London, “Professionals will intentionally break the existing pipe with mechanically applied force. This is accomplished by pulling a head, also known as a “bursting head or bullet,” through the old one. The head fractures the existing piping while dragging and laying the new one behind it.”


This technology does not require the use of any added chemicals or other contaminants during the trenchless repair process – it simply replaces the existing piping with environmentally-safe HDPE. Because of HDPEs long lifespan, bursting also prevents future disturbances to the surrounding environment through additional projects and replacements.

2. Sliplining

Sliplining is an older method for trenchless rehabilitation of existing pipelines. Basically, an epoxy liner is installed into an existing sewer lateral. This essentially creates a “pipe within a pipe”. The most common materials used to slip line an existing pipe are high-density polyethylene, fiberglass-reinforced tube and PVC.


This method is very cost-effective. Easy to install and requires tools and equipment widely available to any pipeline contractor.

Why you should choose this method

  • Less damage is caused to the site
    Pipe bursting causes less damage to the area that’s been worked on – there’s less cleanup and repair necessary, subsequent to the work. It is also “greener” than other more conventional ways on the marker. When using excavation, a lot of toxic substances are used, and since trenchless repair doesn’t involve digging, there is no way for them to enter the water supply or anywhere else on upon land, for that matter.
    Another important factor is that the state of your yard will be in the same condition as before the procedure – no holes, no missing grass, flowers left intact.
  • It’s a much cheaper option
    At the end of the day, pipe bursting will save you tons of money. Just think about it: with excavation, you’re going to hire an army of workers to dig a huge hole (either that, or a large loud machine). Upon completion, you’ll have to clean everything up, right? This means you need to spend on new soil, grass, plants, flowers, etc. You can see how quickly this process can empty your pockets. Opt for the trenchless version and only a couple of workers will be required, while the site they are working on won’t be damaged in any way.
  • The flow capacity of the pipes can be increased
    Bursting and splitting can be used to upsize the pipeline thereby increasing its flow capacity if this is necessary.
  • You get a lifetime guarantee
    Modern sewer tubes offered by trenchless technicians are much sturdier than the traditional clay and iron pipes. They do not support rust making them indispensable and are resistant to potential chemicals found in salt water and sanitary sewerage wastewater. In fact, manufacturers have concluded that your new pipelines should last as long as a century. Unlike a lot of the materials today, this type of plastic is impervious to the damage roots impose.