Sewer line clogs are not a homeowner's best friend. Unfortunately, some of the simplest actions on your part, and some understandable actions on the part of the trees in your yard, can cause a real mess. Knowing where problems could potentially be coming from can help you get the situation corrected quickly.

Tree Roots

Whether it's because of a tree planted too close to the sewer line or a tree that has aggressive, spreading roots, the resulting clogged sewer pipe can be difficult to clean out. Generally, what happens to cause tree roots to grow into the sewer line is that the pipe has sprung a leak -- not necessarily a bad one, but a noticeable one -- and the resulting infusion of material into the soil has attracted tree roots. The roots seek their way into the main flow inside the pipe. Sewer workers can send a camera into the line to see what has happened and where the problem is. Keep in mind that the clog could be from one root or from several, depending on how long the problem has been going on and how many leaks occurred in the pipe.

Fat and Grease

Yes, the admonition to never put greasy or fatty materials in the drain is for real because the material can coat the insides of the sewer line, eventually causing a blockage. As the material goes down into the drain and adheres to the sides of the pipe, it solidifies and becomes difficult to move along just through force of water. Unfortunately, hot water from your faucets won't stay hot enough to liquefy the fats and grease throughout the entire line. So never put fatty, greasy, oily, etc. items into your kitchen sink.

The Pipe Itself

Another problem could be that the pipe itself has collapsed down and blocked the flow of sewage. This can happen if an aggressive tree root wraps itself around the pipe and crushes it (if the pipe is PVC, that could also indicate defects along the rest of the line as PVC is normally very strong) or if the soil above the pipe has somehow collapsed downward enough to crush the pipe. One potential scenario is that you had a landscaping crew bring in heavy machinery that caused the soil to compact so much that the pressure cracked the pipe.

Get a sewer crew in there with a camera so that they can discover the cause of the blockage and take action. Once you know what happened, you can take steps to stop it from ever happening again. Contact a company like Rapid Rooter Inc for more info.