We were called out to investigate a severely blocked storm drain which, when it rained, only a small amount of water trickled out.
What was the cause of the blockage? Tree roots! Approximately 15 metres of tree roots. It’s fair to say both the plumbers involved in removing the roots and the property owner were suitiably impressed and shocked with what came out of the drain! A known problem, this issue could have been avoided by getting the sewer pipe relined. Read on to find out more.
Why do tree roots enter pipes?
As water flows through the sewer pipes, vapor is released into the surrounding soil. This vapor is filled with moisture, oxygen and nutrients – which of course, plants need to grow. The roots get in to the drains, pipes and sewers through cracks and gaps in the joints. As some tree roots are as thin as a strand of hair and can very easily snake their way through in to the smallest joint between pipes.
What damage can tree roots cause?
Tree roots can cause serious damage to your pipes and sewerage systems. They are top of the list for causing blockages in sewer pipes and once they are in they can be quite difficult and costly to remove as they will keep coming back!
- Dislodging or crushing your pipes (yes even PVC ones)
- Causing serious blockages – catching fats, oils and grease and whatever else you shouldn’t be flushing down your drain!
- Affect the foundation of buildings or driveways
- Tree roots can break in to other drains and sewerage systems
- If left untreated, can cause thousands of dollars worth of damage.
How do I know if I have a tree root problem in my drains?
- Slow drainage – particularly after heavy rain
- Gurgling – toilets and
- Unpleasent odours – caused by sewerage sitting in your pipes and not draining properly
- Visable sink holes – soft spots in your landscaping or sunken concreated or paved areas
- Enhanced tree growth – Your trees in the surrounding area have been growing faster than normal or look greener
Solutions to tree root problems
The short-term temporary solution
Remove the tree roots in the drain causing the problem and clean the drain. This may have to be done many times over the space of a few months or even years. As the tree roots will just keep coming back again and again and can come back thicker.
Not really a solution, but removing your troubled trees from the garden could be an option.
Pipe Relining – the long term permanent solution to protecting against tree roots
Pipe relining – a trenchless no dig solution. When the pipe relining process is complete, the newly relined pipe is good as new and protected against tree roots for 50 years! The liner will seal off tree roots permanently, preventing the roots from penetrating and will renew the pipes structural integrity. The liner itself will seal cracks, breaks, displacement, joins and voids, to create a seamless and smooth surface.
Pipe Relining is suitiable for any storm drain, sewer or pipe. Including PVC, cast iron, concrete, Earthenware, bends and slight changes in pipe diameter.