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Water Damage Riddle: What Does Bruce Lee Have in Common with a Tree?

Published by 911 Restoration Connecticut on March 18, 2014 in category: Water Damage Restoration

Water damage and trees

When you were a little kid you may have pretended to be Bruce Lee as you Karate-chopped the picket fence or round-kicked that big oak tree in your front yard. But did you know that trees can pretend to be Bruce Lee and kick you back?

Bruce Lee once said, “Notice that the stiffest tree is most easily cracked, while the bamboo or willow survives by bending in the wind”, and it is indeed the bamboo and willow that punches back by striking our plumbing and causing a number of water damage disasters. These tree species (and others) have growing roots that are constantly searching for moisture. As your pipes sweat or deposit moisture, tree roots can sniff them out like Bruce Lee looking for a villain behind a rice paper screen.

What Kind of Trees Destroy Pipes?

According to South Australia Water, there are over 100 species of trees that destroy plumbing. Some of these include:

  • Hawthorn
  • Gum
  • Eucalyptus
  • Evergreen
  • Myrtle
  • Cypress
  • Ash
  • Juniper
  • Walnut

These are common trees planted in America, but this miniscule list doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface when it comes to the number of trees that are known for drop-kicking your plumbing into a full blown water disaster scenario. The South Australia Water board instructs individuals not to plant these tree species within two meters of any plumbing.

What Kinds of Water Damage Disasters can Tree Roots Cause?

As the tree roots seek water, they can crack and even crush pipes. If these nefarious roots find your sewer pipes, they can cause a massive sewage spill into the ground around your home, or even send black water spilling up from your toilet requiring immediate sewage cleanup services before additional water damage can harm the home. Furthermore, black water contains a plethora of bacteria that can make your family violently ill if prolonged exposure sets in. When water damage restoration crews come to restore a home from a sewage spill, they can be seen donning HAZMAT suits as a barrier, and use industrial strength products and equipment to remediate the entire room until it is pristine and smelling like a field of flowers.

Aggressive tree roots can even cause a mold problem, as punctured pipes can lead to water seeping in through basement walls. When moisture enters nooks and crannies where conditions are humid and there is little sunlight, mold can thrive as prosperously as Bruce Lee spinning from a carousel kicking enemy faces. This is why most water damage restoration Connecticut companies offer free mold inspections whenever water damage has tarnished a home.

Can I Remove a Tree from my Yard?

In almost all situations you have to get permission from the county before you can remove a tree from your yard. You will need to prove that the tree poses a threat to your home before most counties or cities will warrant the removal. In some cases the city will perform a sewer inspection on your property, or you will have to pay for one out of pocket. But the cost of a sewer inspection is small change compared to the repair bill that could rack up from menacing tree root damage to your home’s plumbing.

But if you do have an inspection performed, and the results warrant the tree to be removed, take pride in turning that nasty assailant into kindle. At the end of the day you can put ‘Enter the Dragon’ on TV, put your feet up, and enjoy your toasty warm fire and your victory over the tree-villain!

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