Call: (707) 570-0555 | Email:

restoration clean up

Tag Archives: Pipe

tree with exposed roots

Detecting & Preventing Tree Roots in Your Sewer Line

One cause of a sewer backup may be due to tree roots getting into your sewer line.

Tree roots can block the line and cause sewage to back up into your home, in addition to causing damage to your sewer line and plumbing.

Here are some of the things to watch for and ways to prevent tree roots from causing a sewer back up.

Why Tree Roots Grow in Sewer Lines

A big shady tree is a beautiful landscape feature, but the bigger the tree, the longer the reach of the roots.

Tree roots are drawn to a leak in a sewer line because it provides the perfect environment for the tree to grow. A leaky sewer line gives the roots oxygen, water and food.

While tree roots don’t initially cause problems with sewer backups, it’s when the tree roots grow and flourish over time that give them the potential to cause all kinds of damage.

Older homes or those surrounded by large trees are especially prone to this type of problem.

Signs of Possible Tree Root Problems

Here are some signs that you may have tree roots blocking your sewer lines:

  • Slow draining sinks and tubs
  • Frequent plumbing back ups in floor drains or tubs
  • Toilets that won’t flush or make gurgling noises
  • Gurgling noises from floor drains
  • Unpleasant, lingering sewer odor
  • Frequent clogs

Tree Root Fixes

There are a few options when dealing with tree roots that have infiltrated your sewer lines.

Mechanical Removal

Rent an auger, which is a piece of equipment you “snake” down through a floor drain or toilet to clear through the root blockages.

The upside of this method is that it most likely will clear enough of the roots to provide a temporary fix until the problem is properly corrected.

The downsides of this method are that it requires some sweat equity, may require several attempts, and may not be able to clear through the blockage. The biggest drawback is that it’s only temporary and those tree roots will grow back.

Chemical Removal

Using a foaming herbicide-laden root killer might do the trick and doesn’t harm your pipes.

The chemicals contained in these products kill tree roots on contact and prevents most new growth. These products are typically used directly in the toilet but follow directions carefully.

Prevention Measures

  • Identify where the sewer lines run through your yard. Digger’s Hotline can mark your property, so you know exactly where underground lines and utilities are located. A phone call requesting this service can save you a lot of money and headaches down the road.
  • When planting trees for landscape purposes, don’t plant the trees near sewer or water lines.
  • If you plant trees near sewer lines, choose smaller, slow-growing varieties.
  • If you discover where the sewer lines are located and large trees are planted nearby, you may want to have them removed now to avoid potential future issues with ever-growing tree roots.
  • You may need to hire a plumber who specializes in identifying and clearing clogs in sewer pipes. They can “camera” your pipes and verify whether you have tree roots or something else blocking your pipes.


If it’s too late and the damage after a bad sewer backup is done, call the Sonoma County water and sewage extraction specialists at RCS.

leaking faucet

5 Signs You Have a Broken Pipe

Are you finding water stains on your walls? Do you hear clanking sounds when you run water? If so, it might be due to a broken pipe. This article will explore common causes of broken pipes and a few signs that your living space might have one.

What Causes Broken Pipes?

Broken pipes can be the result of various things. Some of the most common culprits behind them include:

  • Freezing temperatures
  • Old or worn pipe pieces
  • Tree roots
  • Strong water pressure
  • Clogs

5 Signs You Might Have a Broken Pipe

There are Water Stains: One common sign that your home has a broken pipe is that you see water stains on your walls or ceiling. Most of the time, these stains indicate that the pipe is corroded and leaking water. If the pipes are located close to your walls, they will soak into them causing discoloration and potential mold growth.

There are Strange Smells or Sounds Coming From the Pipes: If you smell an unpleasant odor or hear loud noises behind your walls, it could be a cracked pipe. The strong odor is usually because of heavy minerals in the pipe that caused it to crack. On the other hand, unusual sounds tend to indicate an obstruction or puncture that is adjusting the air pressure inside the pipe.

You Have a High Water Bill: Another indicator that you have a broken pipe is that your water bill is surprisingly high. This shows that there’s a leak somewhere causing the pipe to constantly drip. Because it doesn’t stop, the consistent water flow will rack up your water bill and will continue to do so until it’s fixed.

Your Home Has Poor Water Pressure: Poor water pressure often shows there’s a problem with your pipes. While this could be a sign of a blockage, it could also be due to a crack in the pipe causing water to drip out of it.

The Water is Discolored: Discolored water is caused by mineral build-up, especially iron and manganese. If you find that discolored water is coming out of your faucet, it could indicate that you have rusting pipes that could be corroding.

Broken pipes are a common issue in homes, especially if they are older. If you’re concerned you might have water damage caused by a broken pipe, contact RCS. We offer a 24-hour water extraction service in Sonoma County that will quickly remove water damage. We can also offer tips as to how you can keep your pipes in good condition.

Warning Signs Of A Sewer Pipe Damage

Warning Signs Of A Sewer Pipe Damage


If you can’t truthfully say that you’re a plumber or a professional of a related field, chances are you won’t know about the warning signs involved with having a pipe about to break or fail. It’s important as a homeowner or building manager for you to be able to recognize the signs of an impending sewage spill. Spotting it early can mean saving thousands of dollars, so it’s important to know the big signs.

Warning Signs Of An Impending Sewage Spill


Unexplainable Water Bills

This is actually perhaps the most telltale sign of a pipe breakage or need for repair. Your water bill gives a factual record of how much water you are using. Bill overages indicate a leak or a burst pipe. Most Pennsylvanians average a water bill around $40 a month, and if you find yourself with a bill $5-10 dollars more expensive in a month, you likely have a problem with one of your pipes.

Repulsive Odors

If you smell a foul odor in your home or building, then you likely have water damage internally that has allowed mold or mildew to form. The water buildup comes from a damaged pipe, and the foul odors from the stagnant water. If you are smelling odors like these and can’t find a source for it in your house, you need to get your system checked ASAP.

Poor Water Pressure and Flow

Water pressure in your home or building is another great indicator for pipe damage. If there is less flow, how much water is put out, in your sink, shower, etc., there is a leak somewhere in one of your pipes. Water pressure, rather, is how hard the water is pushed out, and variance here indicates an expanded or burst pipe.

Constant Clogging

Blockages may seem like a normal occurence in your household but they may spell trouble. These blockages can result in more serious damage, particularly if you have old or damaged pipes and the clog proves to be the tougher. If after thorough cleaning, you still experience clogs, you most likely have a broken pipe in your sewage system.

Damp Spots

Lastly, if you see damp spots that you know aren’t from a spill, especially on carpet, there’s likely existing damage that could lead to serious problems if not treated.

To learn more about water damage and repair services, visit us at or call us at (707) 570-0555.


toilet leak santa rosa

Common Causes of Residential Water Damage

There are many reasons why residential water damage can occur in or around the home. There are things out of our control—like flooding, heavy rain, or snow—but most issues are all problems that could have been prevented.

Every day problems start to occur from maintenance we’ve forgotten to attend to as Santa Rosa homeowners, or things that have been left unchecked for too long. Here are a few of the more major problem-makers that make water damage a far too common a problem for homeowners:

Clogged or Continuously Running Toilets
You know that annoying running water sound coming from your toilet tank—the one that keeps you up at night? That sound could mean you’re running up your water bill, or it could mean there’s a major problem on the horizon. Inspect your toilet every so often and check or cracking rubber or damaged parts. Replace them as necessary to avoid more serious concerns.

Dishwasher Puddles
Washing dishes has gotten a lot easier over the years, but it’s also given room for water damage to occur in the kitchen. Oftentimes, rubber or plastic tubing that is coming into, or leaving, the dishwasher aren’t properly sealed or start to leak over time. If you notice any water coming from underneath the unit, remove it immediately to see if things underneath or behind it are starting to leak. If anything if gives you a chance to clean behind there once in a while.

Leaky Pipes
Bathrooms, kitchens, supply rooms, or garages, leaky pipes have a habit of making a mess of things. It’s important to keep tabs on all the rooms with running water in your house. The best way to make sure everything is running smoothly, is to properly clean your kitchen disposal, unclog any drains regularly, and to winterize any piping that leads into the house or is located in a basement.

The only thing worse than water damage, is water damage that occurs in the winter. Also make sure to check your washing machine and water heater regularly, since they are used pretty heavily in most households.

Damaged Roof
When it comes to keeping the outside out, and the inside in, it starts from the top down. Check your roof yearly, and especially after any hailstorms, to make sure you don’t have missing shingles or holes in the roof. A roof can last a while depending on your location, but if it’s more than 10 years old it’s good to have a professional check it out.