Street Trees block drains

 

Are these Beautiful Trees in your street?

Liquid amber, London plane tree, Golden Robinia, Hills weeping fig, Brush box

Every year as they grow a little bigger their expanding canopy adds thousands of dollars to the value to your home, bringing energy saving cool shade from the summer heat, the beauty of the colours of autumn, some, when they lose their leaves, provide much needed natural lighting and in some cases a windbreak in winter. 075

These same trees help replenish our oxygen supply, and bring birdlife in abundance, a place for the kids to play, making your street one of the most sought after in your suburb.

Imagine your street without the trees.

Now if you have lived in your tree lined street for some time, you will know that there is a downside to having these trees.

Did you know their luxurious canopy is fed by a root system that is fed nutrition from the non stop supply running through that main artery from your home, also known as your sewer pipes.

Tree roots are growing around the clock, they don’t just grow overnight. They start, finer than the hairs on your head, searching for that hint of moisture or condensation on the top of your sewer pipes. (Condensation is caused as the water running through the sewer is slightly warmer than the pipes and the earth they are laying in).

Their task has been made easier by the trench excavation, breaking up soils to fit the pipes in the first place. Backfill and compaction is still way easier for tree roots to penetrate than virgin soils.

Once the fine hairs get in through the slightest crack in old earthenware or terra cotta pipe joints, they feast on the nutrients available, and grow constantly.

They can end up as thick as your arm with a horse tail attached.

Amazing!

We have cut tree roots from sewers that fit this description and up to 8 metres in length

As the roots grow in length they grow in diameter and can actually crack the earthenware pipes as they grow.

They don’t just grow overnight.

Who knows how a tree thinks?

Once they get in the pipe and have a constant source of moisture and nutrients they will keep coming back for more.

Having their roots cut by drain cleaners is like pruning the roots.

As any gardener will tell you, pruning makes them grow thicker and stronger. Think hedges or Rose bush.

It’s the same with the root system.

Will this blocked drain go away?

If you have a blocked drain it is very very unlikely that the blockage will simply go away.

Blockages caused by tree roots act like a strainer within your sewer pipes. Water and liquids will pass through the strainer but the poo and toilet paper and any other foreign material you flush down your sewer will get caught in the strainer.

Most busy family homes appear to have a blockage during morning or evening peak hour or during the weekend or holidays when there are extra visitors in the house.

That’s when there are multiple users of the shower, bath and the toilet, dishwasher and washing machine. It’s at this time that all that waste water can’t get through the “strainer” and the blockage appears.

Some home owners will see the blockage and promise to call an emergency plumber “in the morning”.

But, when morning comes and they use their toilet and it flushes normally, many people believe that the blockage has miraculously fixed itself and they either ring their emergency plumber to call him off visiting or they just don’t ring a plumber at all.

So, What has happened?

During the night, whilst everyone is sleeping, the dirty waste water has seeped through the tree root “strainer” in the blocked sewer pipes giving the appearance that the blocked drain has fixed itself. The new morning peak hour will bring the blocked drain back again only this time it will be even uglier.

So get on the phone and contact your emergency plumber to clear your blockage promptly. Ask your plumber to do a drainoscopy on your sewer pipes. Its actually quite an interesting process and if its during the holidays all the family can see what is really going on in your blocked drains.

If the drainoscopy shows tree roots in pipes, ask your plumber about a drain maintenance program at the same time.

Remember, if you have a blocked drain caused by tree roots, The tide will go out overnight……but it will come back in the morning!

Peak hour

How can tree roots destroy pipes?

Tree root cells, which can be microscopic in their first stages of development, look for warmth and humidity so that they can mature. In their search, they are attracted to and discover drain lines, which they can penetrate through extremely small openings in the pipe joints and gradually grow inside them.

As the tree roots mature inside the pipes, they create blockages when waste water is flushed through them.

Now, one of the least efficient methods of unblocking the pipes is cutting the roots, this “pruning” action actually leads to a more vigorous tree root regrowth.
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