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Council street trees and blocked sewer drains

Many of our clients say that local council street trees are the cause of their blocked sewer pipes.

Beautiful specimens like the London plane tree, Hills weeping fig (ficus microcarpa. var.) and Paperbark (melaluca)  all have extensive tree root systems that thrive on the moisture and nutrients flowing through our household sewer pipes out to the sewer mains in the street.

 

The roots from the council trees are growing in through the pipe joints.

Some councils offer their ratepayers a drain cleaning service at “no cost” as an acceptance of responsibility for the damage caused by the council trees.

We all know there is no such thing as a free lunch………………….. or drain clean.

Ratepayers are obviously “paying” for this service through their quarterly levies and at some point these local councils will put rates up or put the responsibility of drain maintenance back on the ratepayers.

Many homeowners, upon finding out council trees are blocking their pipes, insist they will lobby the council to cut down these beautiful trees to stop their invasive roots from blocking the sewer pipes. I have seen council street trees cut down because they continue to block the sewer pipes of the nearby homes.

So who wins here? Beautiful tree lined streets are raped by a chainsaw gang.

Not to mention the dramatic de-valuation of the homes that have had the street trees removed.

In one comical instance, the beautiful (but invasive) tree that was removed by the chainsaws and 4 weeks after the stump grinder churned through, was replaced by a junior version the same species. Now call me crazy……

So, I’ve got another idea!

If you’re one of these ratepayers with drains affected by council trees, next time you get a blockage and the council plumber clears your blockage for free, look for your local Vaporooter applicator to do a Drainoscopy of your sewer pipes.

If it’s suitable, have him apply Vaporooter to your pipeline.

You will be amazed with the results.

Vaporooter Stops Tree Roots in Drains!

All ratepayers keep their council trees, the council saves your money,  you maintain the value of your home and still have a free flowing pipe system!

Win Win Win Win

 

Tree roots grow through pipe joints to block your sewer.

Todays post is very simple!

In 98% of blocked drains caused by tree roots, the roots grow through the pipe joints to get into your sewer line.

They rarely enter the pipeline through the pipes themselves.

Older sewers made of terracotta or earthenware pipes usually 600-900mm (2-3foot) long, have sand cement joints and it’s through these joints that the roots grow.

Imagine this, a 40 metre or 120 foot sewer line, with bends, junctions and fittings will have at least 40 joints.

Each pipe joint is a potential point of entry for tree roots.

Once they grow into the pipeline seeking moisture and all those nutrients, they just keep growing!

During repairs or renovations to sewers, where new PVC pipeline sections have been inserted into the old earthenware lines and joined by sand cement or rubber adaptors, its only a matter of time before the tree roots grow into these pipe joints and cause a new tree root blockage.

I should have used Vaporooter years ago!

“Why didn’t I do this years ago!”

This exclamation was recently made by an old client with an investment property where tree root blockages in the sewer occur 3-4 times a year.

The block of 6 flats in inner Sydney has been plagued by sewer blockages caused by tree roots. Every time the tenants of the ground floor flats experienced a blockage, they would advise their landlord who would then call an emergency plumber.

The plumber was not familiar with Vaporooter! Every time he was called to the property for a blockage, he would remove the only toilet in the flat to get access to the sewer pipes in order to clear the tree root blockage. Most of the time the toilet had to be removed with a hammer and chisel as it was cemented to the bathroom floor. The china toilet was often broken when it was taken out, needing to be replaced. An extra cost!

When the toilet was re-cemented back to the floor, it meant the tenants could not ”sit” on the toilet until the cement set; sometimes this took up to 24 hours. Very inconvenient for the tenant!

The owner, in his wisdom asked us to  help him.

When we visited the site the first thing we asked for was a sewer diagram so we could see where all the sewer pipes ran according to the sewer authority. He had never been asked for the sewer diagram!

Once seeing the diagram, we suggested a simple excavation outside his bathroom toilet to provide a new access point to the sewer pipes. This meant anytime there is a blockage it could be accessed from outside, rather than taking out the toilet. Instant cost saving!

Our technician then suggested a “Drainoscopy” or sewer survey using a high tech drain camera to show the condition of the sewer pipes from the inside.  This had never been done before.

Whilst we carried out the Drainoscopy, we found even though the pipes had been “cleared” just weeks before, they were still full of tree roots. So we cut out the roots with our high pressure water drain cleaner and re-surveyed the pipes until all the roots were gone.

The drainoscopy shows exactly where the roots are in the pipeline so they can be totally removed. It then shows the pipe condition.

Please remember, Vaporooter will NOT repair a broken pipe!

In this case the pipes were OK! The repeat blockage was caused by tree roots growing through the pipe joints. They had now been totally removed. This had never been done before either.

This pipeline is now ready to apply Vaporooter! We’ll be back in 6 weeks.

As our client observed all of these procedures, he was amazed at what he saw in his underground sewer pipes, it prompted him to exclaim, “Why didn’t I do this years ago!”

Sewer snake is an Anaconda

Last week we removed this large tree root from a drain in Kingsford Sydney.

In fact, it was a tree root anaconda, measuring 6.3 metres long and it had completely blocked the pipeline. After removing the tree root from the pipeline and carrying out a “Drainoscopy” to determine that there was nothing else wrong, our client elected to have Vaporooter sewer root control applied to his pipeline.

He understands the Vaporooter Guarantee:

” If you have a blocked drain caused by tree roots after an application of Vaporooter, we will clear your blocked drain for free”

Now, will someone call a reptile handler and have this beast removed!

 

 

 

 

Summer brings mysterious outbreak of blocked drains across Sydney suburbs…

…as well as NSW and the rest of Australia.

With summer now here and the weather getting warmer…

…there is one BIG PROBLEM that rears its ugly head at this time of the year.

Mysteriously, there is often a surge in the number of cases of blocked drains and clogged sewer pipes. Some years it’s so bad, you can rightly call it an epidemic (even a plague)!

And it has serious consequences for property owners and public authorities.

This epidemic is not often talked about. Most people are completely unaware of the problem until disaster strikes and they find themselves facing severe inconvenience and often costly repair bills.

And the cause of this huge headache for property owners and householders? It’s the penetration and invasion of sewer pipes and drains by tree roots.

That’s right. The roots of those lovely trees that grace many of our neighbourhoods and public places are silently causing havoc as they grow more rapidly in spring and summer. Blocked drains, backed up sewers and damaged foundations are just the most obvious consequences.

Now, of course, if you’re protected by Vaporooter, you can sleep soundly and not have to worry about the problem. That’s because Vaporooter is the proven treatment system that keeps tree roots away from drains and sewer pipes, without harming the tree itself. It was originally developed in California in 1967 to deal with a serious problem of tree roots blocking public sewer pipes.

Today, the patented Vaporooter system removes tree roots to protect the vital infrastructure of cities and towns, as well as residential homes and commercial property around the world.

Vaporooter…

• Is 100% safe; tried and tested around the world for over 40 years
• Deals with ONLY the tree roots in pipes and leaves the rest of the tree and surrounding plants healthy and intact
• CONTINUES to protect pipes and drains so property owners can sleep safe at night and not have to worry about waking up to crushed pipes and collapsed drains

Tree root damage is a growing problem. Here at Vaporooter Australia we’re having to deal with emergency calls pretty much every day (including the weekends).

The harsh truth is that if there are trees anywhere near your property, sooner or later the tree roots will be attacking the drains and sewers. Every single client we’ve had to rescue in an emergency wishes they had known about the potential problem and done something about it. Firstly, because of the huge cost to deal with the damage and secondly, because of the massive inconvenience of the mess and chaos that follows…often for days and sometimes weeks.

In one recent case, a property owner was faced with a potential bill of over $40,000 for sewer replacement. And it could all so easily have been avoided.

To find out if you have a problem with tree roots invading your pipes, give us a call on 1 800 637 600 to arrange a Vaporooter “Drainoscopy”.

A “Drainoscopy” is a CCTV survey that will quickly reveal if there are tree roots in your drains or sewer pipes. It’s not expensive. Better to be safe than sorry as every day you delay can make the problem worse.

Call us on 1 800 637 600.

Pros and Cons of Chemical Pipe Treatments

Chemical pipe treatments are one method to both remove and prevent tree root blockages, at the same time. These treatments have a combination of binding foam and herbicides. The force of the foam can be enough to extract the roots from your pipes. The foam then goes on to seal cracks in the pipes with a material that repels tree root growth.

On the surface, this seems like an ideal solution, but the truth is a bit more complicated. Here are the pros and cons of using chemical treatments to rid your pipes of roots.

Pros

  1. Gets rid of the tree roots and seals the pipes at the same time.
  2. Just cutting out the tree roots will promote further root growth instead of preventing it. Chemical treatments will help prevent the tree roots from growing back.

Cons

  1. Doesn’t work if the tree roots or blockage is too big. This means the roots need to be cut first, then the chemical applied in a two-step process.
  2. Has to be done at least once a year, but at least the problem is solved!
  3. The herbicides may harm the trees near the pipes and surrounding foliage, unless applied by a professional applicator, then there is no risk.

It’s a fact that tree root systems will continue to infiltrate your pipes, especially drains made out of older material. Chemical treatments can be heaven-sent for some. You have to carefully look at this option to be sure that it’s the right one for you.

 

Preventing Damage to Trees

For the most parts, trees are a big bonus to property values. They make the land more attractive, they hold down topsoil and they provide shade. Many of the positive qualities of trees get ignored the second a root system infiltrates a pipeline. Some people will do anything to rid their pipes of root blockages, including the destruction of the intruding tree.

But, what if you want to prevent damage to the tree?

Just so you know, your trees will be safe if the tree roots are removed by rodding, cutting, or flushing methods. Unfortunately, one of the top reasons for the trees safety is the fact that cutting is good for the roots, it will cause your tree to flourish; but some of that flourishing may cause the roots to grow right back into the line.

Chemical pipe treatments contain herbicide, but it’s usually in doses that are just strong enough to kill the tree roots inside the pipe and deter further root growth in the surrounding soil.

Real damage to trees only occurs when there is multiple blockages, severe root growth, and damaged or crushed pipes. These situations are cause for an excavation of the trees and pipes. Large portions of the tree root system will have to be removed, which may end up killing the tree.

Fibrous tree roots will spread out to about 1 1/2 times the height of the tree, but they don’t need all those roots to survive. As a rule of thumb, trees generally only need roots that spread out as far as the canopy. Too much tree root removal will make the tree unstable, and it could topple over onto your home or property.

 

5 Things You Can Do To Prevent Blocked Drains

Here are a few measures that go a long way to prevent roots from infiltrating and destroying your pipes.

  1. Use pipes made of Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) for new and replacement drains. PVC pipes are strong enough to repel the tree roots. Experts agree that PVC is the best material for reducing the risk of tree root blockages.
  2. Don’t plant trees near pipes. This seems simple enough, but many home and business owners don’t realize what constitutes as ‘near’ when we’re talking about tree roots.   Many Australian trees have roots with an incredibly wide spread.
  3. Choose proper foliage. Eucalyptus, for example, can have roots systems that spread out as much as 60 meters. Hills Weeping Fig, on the other hand, can have a root spread as small as 6 meters.
  4. Maintain your pipes. Wear and tear, cracks, and leaks can cause nutrient-rich water to seep into the soil around your pipes. This attracts tree roots like mad.
  5. Routinely check and clear your sewer drain. Though roots can be attracted to any type of water-bearing line, they are most often lured towards sewer drains. Have an expert come by and clear roots out of your pipes before they become a big problem.

 

Clogged Drain or Tree Root Damage? Time for Vaporooter

Vaporooter is the perfect solution to remove tree roots in sewer pipesVaporooter is 100 percent effective in tree root control when applied repeatedly. No other process to remove tree roots in pipes and away from foundations has proven to be nearly as effective or efficient.

Vaporooter is delivered in a foam application to prevent tree root damage. The foam ensures that the combination of herbicides, Metham Sodium (herbicide), and Dichlobenil (growth inhibiting agent) reaches every root surface within the pipes to kill the root and prevent regrowth of the root cells. This effectively addresses the tree root problem within the pipe and eliminates roots in drains.

The use of a foam application also controls the amount of time the herbicide combination is in contact with a tree root. Vaporooter only affects the tree roots lodged in the pipes and does not affect trees or shrubs that are above the ground because it is not absorbed by the tree. No method to remove roots in pipes has proven to deliver the same safe and effective process as Vaporooter.

Because Vaporooter is a chemical compound,  it must be applied by a  licensed applicator using a Mini Foamer machine. By following this process to address a clogged drain, it helps to ensure the Vaporooter foam safely and truly penetrates the root to remove the roots in sewer pipes.

The machine generates the foam and pumps it to remove tree roots. The technician is trained to ensure this process delivers foam completely throughout the pipe to penetrate roots in drains and prevent their growth. The herbicides in Vaporooter will penetrate the roots in drains and burst the root, causing it to die and decay. Grease and slime are stripped away from the clogged drain to allow for deep penetration to prevent the tree root problem.

Removing tree roots from a clogged drain must first be done with an auger to clean out the root mass and make way for the proper method to treat roots in drains. Vaporooter should be applied within 6 to 8 weeks of new implementations or fresh root cuts to prevent continued tree root damage. When this process to remove tree roots from pipes is done annually, it can effectively prevent future tree root damage.

Removing tree roots in sewer pipes and away from foundation walls can easily be achieved with Vaporooter. We can show you how to remove roots in pipes with our licensed applicator and proven Vaporooter method. You no longer have to pay for tree root damage, nor should you be at the mercy of invasive tree root problems on your property.

Don’t wait for your tree roots to become a problem that will cost significant resources to repair. Call a Vaporooter profeassional today to assess your tree root problem and eliminate your clogged drain. They can show you how to remove roots in pipes before they cause a clog and backup your system. Sewer root control is proven and effective with Vaporooter!

Need to Safely Remove Roots in Pipes? Turn to Vaporooter

For more than 40 years Vaporooter has been the premier solution to remove tree roots found in pipes. Because the growing incidents of tree root problems threatens building foundations and the basic infrastructure of cities and towns, municipalities needed a way to mediate tree root damage. Roots in sewer pipes and penetrating foundations can cause challenging and expensive problems. Vaporooter can provide the ultimate solution to sewer root control.

This go-to solution delivers a proven product for any tree root problem as it keeps the infrastructure of cities and towns up and running. When tree roots in sewer pipes impede the free flow of liquids, the backup and associated damage demands an optimal solution for roots in drains.

In 1967, the County of Sacramento, California sought a solution to the growing tree root problem. Sewer lines were increasingly damaged and clogged drains were backing up into buildings. The current process to remove tree roots from pipes could not keep up with the rapid movement of root growth. Cutting methods to remove tree roots were also time-consuming and labor intensive.

Botanist Oliver Leonard at the University of California-Davis (UC-Davis) was enlisted by Sacramento city and county officials to determine why cutting roots to eliminate tree root damage was falling short of eliminating the problem. To get a better understanding of the science behind tree roots in sewer lines, Leonard and his UC-Davis team excavated infected areas.

By closely examining sections of infected tree roots, researchers could document and analyse the root growth patterns. It was determined that cutting to remove roots in pipes ensures the roots are exposed to nutrition, causing them to grow back bigger and faster, thereby exacerbating the problem.

With continued testing on methods to remove tree roots in pipes, researchers discovered the virtue of metam sodium. This unique chemical has been proven to be very efficient in the process of removing roots in pipes as it treats the growth of the root, without hurting the plant itself. In addition to effectively preventing tree root damage, this compound dissipates quickly without leaving behind any harmful residue.

Researchers had discovered how to remove tree roots from pipes safely and effectively, yet they still wanted a way to prevent the root from growing back into the lines. The answer came with the addition of dichlobenil, discovered by Fred Horne in 1968. This growth inhibitor helps to ensure a tree root problem in pipes would not return once treated with the chemical application.

The removal of roots in sewer pipes became easy when the herbicide metam sodium was added to the growth inhibitor dichlobenil as roots in drains could be covered with a foam application. The resulting surfactant formulation created dense foam that could thoroughly cover the tree root and pipe surfaces.

With the discovery of the effectiveness of this foam in the process to remove tree roots from sewer pipes and keep them root free for years, Vaporooter was born. The patented Vaporooter today demonstrates how to remove roots in pipes and ensure the free flow of waste fluids through the pipe line.