Unseen intruders can create chaos
According to the Bureau of Meteorology, last month was Melbourne’s wettest autumn month in a decade. The bureau says 102 millimetres fell on the city last month, making it the wettest April since 2001.
It seems that Melbourne’s drought has broken at last. It’s great news for your garden, but potentially worrying news for your drain pipes.
That’s because tree roots thrive in a moist, nutrient-rich environment – exactly the type of environment you’ll find inside your sewer.
If roots have invaded your pipes, they may be silently, insidiously growing and multiplying.
And you won’t even know they’re there until disaster strikes – a disaster such as broken or blocked pipes or even a collapsed line.
Silent invaders
Roots find their way into your pipes through vapour leaks. Because the water flowing through the pipe is warmer than water flowing through the soil, condensation appears on the crown of the pipe.
Tree roots are attracted to this water vapour and they follow the vapour trail to the source of the moisture, which is usually a crack or loose joint in the sewer pipe.
Once the roots have penetrated the pipe, they thrive in the in the nutrient-rich environment within. Fine white root stems form at each entry point and the root mass hangs down like a veil across the inside of the pipe accumulating deposits of grease, slime and other debris.
Tree roots attack
As the roots grow, they expand and exert considerable pressure at the crack or joint where they entered the pipe. The force exerted by the root growth can break the pipe and may result in total collapsing of the line.
It’s a sad fact, but once roots are in your pipes they are likely to eventually cause a drain blockage.
Be vigilant against intruders
The best way to prevent blockages caused by invading tree roots is to treat your sewer pipes with a root inhibitor such as Vaporooter.
Vaporooter is a foam-based herbicide formulated to keep root growth out of your pipes. It works by penetrating the root cell walls and bursting them, causing the root to die and decay. As the root mass decays, it rots and is swept away in the flow. Once the root mass is gone, ground pressure helps to close the cracks and gaps in the pipe where the root mass used to be. With repeated annual applications, it also prevents regrowth.
It’s also a good idea to organise a CCTV drain camera inspection of your sewer line from time to time to determine its condition and let you know if any repairs are needed.
Talk to us today about removing roots from your blocked pipes and keeping them out.

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