Is tree root damage to drains covered by insurance?

Asked by: Dr. Cleve Bartell DDS  |  Last update: February 11, 2022
Score: 4.3/5 (22 votes)

Tree root damage to sewer lines is not covered by most homeowners insurance policies. This is because homeowners insurance pays for sudden and accidental damage, and tree roots grow over time. The water in your sink swirls slowly, then eventually seeps down the drain.

Who is responsible for tree root damage to drains?

The court held that the roots did not cause cracks in the drains. The owner of a property is primarily responsible for closing gaps in their drains and this would be the most effective way to solve the problem.

Can you claim tree root damage on insurance?

If your property is damaged by tree roots, your home insurance policy should provide you with the necessary cover in the event that you need to make a claim. ... if they advise you to remove a tree as a precaution and you refuse to do so, you may be held accountable for the cost of any future damage.

Are drain repairs covered by insurance?

Most buildings insurance policies include cover for damage to underground pipes, drains, cables and tanks (often called underground services). Policies generally only cover problems with pipes the policyholder is legally responsible for.

Does homeowners insurance cover roots in pipes?

Root damage is not covered by homeowners insurance or home warranty coverage.

Does Homeowners Insurance cover Sewer Pipe damage caused by tree roots?

16 related questions found

Can tree roots damage water lines?

Most sound pipes are able to withstand some amount of contact with tree roots. However, roots may penetrate or damage water pipes when the pipes are perforated drain pipes or are old, or the tree has a particularly strong, aggressive root system.

Does homeowners cover root damage?

Tree root damage to sewer lines is not covered by most homeowners insurance policies. This is because homeowners insurance pays for sudden and accidental damage, and tree roots grow over time. The water in your sink swirls slowly, then eventually seeps down the drain.

What damage can tree roots do?

It rarely justifies removal of a tree. The former is rare simply because trees are seldom allowed to develop and mature when in contact with a structure (other than boundaries walls). Roots encountering a solid object will divert and follow the course of least resistance, thereby causing no damage.

Can you claim a fallen tree on home insurance?

If the tree was healthy and toppled due to wind, a typical homeowners insurance policy may help pay to repair damage to your home and remove fallen branches. ... If the tree doesn't damage anything when it falls, homeowners insurance typically will not cover debris removal.

Can tree roots break sewer pipes?

Once a tree root has penetrated a pipe, it will continue to grow into the pipe. Although a crack in a pipe makes it easy for a tree root to enter your sewer line, it is not necessary. Tree roots can break through most sewer lines, even without an opening.

How do you know if tree roots are damaging Foundation?

When Tree Roots Invade Your Foundation
  1. Cracks in your foundation's floor.
  2. Mostly vertical cracks in your foundation's walls.
  3. Cracked or shattered windows with no other evidence of trauma.
  4. Uneven door and window frames.
  5. Buckling in the floor's surface.

How do tree roots get into drains?

Tree roots get into drains because there is a defect in the pipes. There is no evidence that they can create cracks to break into them. However, once roots have exploited the defect, which could be a crack or displaced joint caused by pipe subsidence, they can widen them by expanding as they grow.

Does full coverage cover tree damage?

Car insurance may help cover tree damage if you have comprehensive coverage on your auto insurance policy. Comprehensive coverage helps pay to repair or replace your vehicle if it's damaged or destroyed by falling objects, like a tree.

Is a tree falling considered an act of God?

A fallen tree is an Act of God only if it fell for reasons outside of human control. If a tree from your yard fell onto your neighbors home as a result of high winds, that is an Act of God, because you couldn't have controlled the winds from blowing onto the tree.

Who is liable for a tree falling?

Put simply: If the owner knew or should have known that a tree was a hazard and the owner failed to act, the owner is legally liable for any injuries or financial damages caused by a falling tree or tumbling branch.

How do you treat tree root damage?

Aerate The Roots

When damage to the roots occur—especially if the soil has been compacted—you will need to aerate the soil. Improved soil aeration allows for water, air, and nutrients to better reach the roots of your trees. It also alleviates soil compaction.

How do you keep tree roots from damaging your house?

These are:
  1. Excavate an 18-inch deep trench along your foundation and cut any tree roots you find.
  2. Install root barriers to prevent trees from sending roots under your house.
  3. Remove the tree entirely.
  4. Use Dichlobenil, copper sulfate, or salt-and-baking soda products to kill roots in plumbing.

How do you stop tree roots from growing into pipes?

Several types of barriers are available to discourage root growth into sewer lines. Slow-release chemicals, such as copper sulfate and potassium hydroxide, are commonly used in residential settings. Spread these growth inhibitors near the sewer line to prevent root growth into the area.

Can tree roots damage underground pipes?

Trees have a myriad of benefits and are beautiful to look at, but they can be a significant concern for homeowners with underground water and sewer pipes. If left unchecked, tree root systems can extend into vulnerable areas of your underground pipes and cause costly damages.

Can tree roots penetrate PVC sewer pipe?

Clay pipe, which is most common in older water and sewer lines, is also easily penetrated and damaged by tree roots. Concrete pipe and PVC pipe may also allow root intrusion, but to a lesser extent than clay. ... Once the trench is dug, the plumber can repair or replace the pipes and cut away any threatening roots.

How do I stop drain pipes from rooting?

Using The Right Chemicals

One thing you can do is to spread copper sulfate (aka rock salt) and potassium hydroxide on the ground where your sewer lines are located. These chemicals inhibit the growth of tree roots and discourage them from straying near your pipes.

Does insurance cover hitting a tree?

Yes — if you have collision insurance. If you hit the tree, you can claim the damage through your collision insurance policy.

Does homeowners insurance cover tree falling on neighbor's car?

If your tree falls on your neighbor's car, their auto policy covers the repairs. All the same rules apply with regard to comprehensive coverage and replacement value mentioned above, but this time, it's not your problem. Remember, however, that your neighbor is responsible for paying his deductible.

Who is liable when a tree falls on a neighbor's property?

Having trees checked regularly and dead wood removed is the most responsible – and wisest – thing you can therefore do. Where a tree from a neighbouring property has fallen onto your land, the owner of the tree will be responsible for the cost of clearing it, although it may well fall to you to arrange its clearance.

How do you get rid of tree roots in drains?

Cutting the roots mechanically is most popular for getting rid of the roots in drain pipes. A sewer auger with a spiral head which rotates is sent down the line. The head of the auger has teeth more like a saw blade. The roots are cut with the rotating of this auger.