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When will you do my Vaporooter?

I just had a phone call from Deborah wanting to know when we are doing her annual Vaporooter treatment.

Deb said “You usually come at the end of October”

You’ve been coming every year since 2010.

“Oh, my pipes aren’t blocked but, I don’t want to go back to those days with horrible sewage overflowing and my toilet won’t flush” she said.

Deb has a large fig tree growing on the nature strip at the front of her home.

Don’t worry.
We’ve got you covered Deborah

Apologies for the wind noise at the start of this 2.01 min clip.

Tree root Poonami closes Coogee beach

Sydney Australia has many world famous beaches. Yesterday morning, April 14th 2016, one of her crown jewels, Coogee Beach, had to be closed after a Sydney Water sewer main in nearby Dudley Street had a blockage that overflowed into the Randwick City council stormwater drains.

Daily Telegraph 2016 04 14

Daily Telegraph 2016 04 14

The blockage was caused by tree roots growing in the Sydney Water sewer main.

The overflowing sewer spilled into a stormwater pipe that discharged into the ocean, right under Coogee Surf club.

Randwick City council closed the beach and drained the Ross Jones pool next to the Coogee Surf club in the afternoon on a day when holidaying school kids and tourists alike were enjoying our beautiful autumn weather and pleasant 21 degree water temperature.
2014 04 14 Whats that smell
The Sydney Morning Herald reports the beach has been re-opened today after time and tide have cleaned up the beach overnight. Sydney Water technical crews were testing the water quality this morning.

The disappointing part is that this tree root blockage in the sewer pipe was totally preventable.

Cities across Australia are currently using Vaporooter to protect their sewer assets, drastically reducing maintenance costs and preventing sewer overflows like the Poonami that closed Coogee beach.

Vaporooter Helps Strata Prevent $40,000 Sewer Replacement

Tree Root Photo-1
Location: Clovelly, Sydney
Occupants: Mostly women over 40. 2 with teenage children.
Home: Block of four 2 bedroom flats 2 up, 2 down circa 1920
Trees in Vicinity: Tree lined Street, many large Hills Weeping Fig (Ficus Microcarpa Var.)

In total we have billed this client $9,772.00 for tree root cutting and repairs.

In March 2010, they finally indicated their interest in applying Vaporooter to control the tree roots in and around their sewer pipes.

The quote to apply Vaporooter is $1,586.00. This comes with a 12-month Guarantee.

The estimated cost to renew this sewer around both sides of the building and out to the sewer main in the street is estimated to be an astonishing $40,000.00.

The roots from the trees in this street are widespread and we have attended to blocked drains in houses and unit blocks up and down the street. The roots are getting stronger and without Vaporooter, a full sewer replacement will be the only (costly) alternative.

Some of the residents have indicated that instead of applying Vaporooter, they will lobby the Council to cut down the trees. That would change the entire streetscape and severely diminish their property value above the $40,000 sewer replacement and well beyond the preventative Vaporooter solution that is guaranteed to solve the problem.

This beautiful period block of flats, a 5 minutes walk from the beach is on a street lined with Hills weeping fig trees.
You know the kind; they produce the most beautiful summer shade with birds attracted to the fruit. The branch canopy stretches right across the street. But, so does the root system of these magnificent specimens.

We were first called to this property to attend a blocked drain in May 2005. The problem was tree roots from the specimens on the public footpath at the front of the property. The ground floor flats were the worst affected. Not only did their toilets back up when they flushed them, but when the flats upstairs flushed their toilet, that also came up and sometimes overflowed in the ground floor toilets.

That’s called The U-Tube (poo-tube) effect!

We recommended to the owner occupiers that Vaporooter would control the tree roots in their sewer. They declined to take up the offer.

In the 5 years since, we have attended to this sewer blocked by tree roots 7 times. We have carried out excavations to repair sections of drainage damaged by this aggressive tree root system. This unfortunately includes costly and inconvenient weekend and after hours callouts.

Questions about Vaporooter?

No matter where you are in Australia, if you have a blocked drain caused by tree roots and you want to discuss the situation, please ring me on 1800 637 600.

Every situation with tree roots in sewer pipes is different!

If you know that tree roots are causing your blocked sewer pipes but you’re not sure Vaporooter will work in your situation, I want you to contact me personally to discuss the situation.

As a regular reader of this blog you already know there are several ways to Stop Tree Roots in Drains.

Root cutting: Makes the roots grow back Thicker and Stronger!

Pipe excavation: Damages gardens, lawns and footpaths. It is messy and can be very expensive!

Pipe relining: Its expensive!

Vaporooter will do what all these processes do …..at a fraction of the cost!

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.

5 Ways to Prevent Blocked Drains

These simple measures will go a long way to prevent roots infiltrating and destroying your sewer 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 tree roots.   Many Australian trees have roots that have an incredibly wide spread.
    3. Pick proper foliage. Eucalyptus, for example, can have root systems that spread out as little as 6 metres. Hills Weeping Fig, on the other hand, can have a root spread up to 60 metres.
    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 straight to your pipes.
    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. An expert plumber and drain cleaner can come by and clear roots out of your pipes before they become a big problem.

Compare Vaporooter and  Stop Tree Roots in Drains.

Tree canopy

Neighbours tree roots are in my pipes

It can be quite frustrating when your neighbour has a beautiful big tree and its roots are growing under the fence between you and feasting in your sewer pipes.

In the interest of neighbourly relations it is very important to speak to the neighbours and work out a compromise on the control of the tree and its root system.

Vaporooter is a simple and effective way to stop the growth of tree roots in drains and control this persistent problem; because the tree roots will grow back after you cut them. Its just what trees do!

If your neighbour’s trees are blocking your pipes, they may be blocking the sewer pipes of the other neighbours around you. Why not find out if they’re affected and together work on a simple and cost effective drain maintenance strategy like Vaporooter.

Remember the Guarantee!

If you have a blocked drain caused by tree roots after we apply Vaporooter, we will clear your blockage for FREE!

Contact me for a copy of our Vaporooter Home Owners Guide to Tree Root control.

Did You Know this about tree roots in sewer pipes?

Did you know that a domestic sewer pipeline is likely to have more tree root blockages than a Council sewer main.
It’s true!

In domestic sewer lines we use our plumbing intermittently throughout the day, this allows the tree roots to drink their “fill” in the water flow and then be able to dry out when the flow is nonexistent. These are ideal conditions for tree roots to thrive!

However, in a sewer main the flow is constant; the sewer mains are like our freeways, there is always some form of traffic using them at any hour of the day.

Although there are exceptions, most trees and their root systems don’t like to have “wet feet” all the time.
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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 Block Drains

Did you know that the majority of sewer blockages are caused by tree root systems? A recent study found that tree roots are accountable for 54% of plumbing blockages; in some areas of Australia the number is as high as 93%

Plumbing blockages are a heavy price to pay for foliage. A root blocking inbound or outbound plumbing can quickly turn into a watery nightmare for home, business, and building owners.

Luckily, there are trees to avoid and trees that are okay. Trees with fibrous, or “spread out”, root can be dangerous near homes and businesses with plumbing. Trees with taproots, or roots that grow downward, can be safer for pipes. Also, some trees that are unsafe for plumbing become safer the farther they are away from buildings.

Don’t worry, if it’s too late for preventive landscaping, there are several ways to clear those pesky roots from pipes. Experts will use different methods depending on the circumstance of the blockages. Popular methods include rodding, jetting, root cutting, the use of chemicals, and a process called dig and repair.

No matter what the root blockage issue, Australia has a wealth of tree root and plumbing experts. They help our pipes live in harmony with our world-famous fauna.