Causes of Blocked Pipes and How They Can Flood Your Home

February 15, 2023by Alex

Blocked pipes can cause a range of problems, from minor inconveniences to major property damage. Understanding the causes of blocked pipes and how they can lead to flooding in your home is essential for maintaining a safe and healthy living environment. Here are some of the most common causes of blocked pipes and how they can affect your home, and by affect we mean “flood” your home. Ok so let’s get to it…

Tree Roots

Tree roots are one of the most common causes of blocked pipes. Tree roots are attracted to moisture and can grow towards pipes in search of water, which can lead to the roots invading and damaging the pipes. This is especially common in older pipes made of clay or concrete, which are more prone to cracking and damage.

Once tree roots have infiltrated the pipes, they can grow and expand, causing blockages and even bursting the pipes. This can lead to serious flooding and water damage in your home or property. It’s important to take action as soon as you notice signs of tree root intrusion, such as slow drainage or gurgling sounds coming from your pipes.

There are several methods for dealing with tree root intrusion, including pipe relining and pipe replacement. Pipe relining involves inserting an epoxy lining into the damaged pipe, which seals any cracks or holes and prevents the roots from growing further. This method is generally more cost-effective and less disruptive than traditional pipe replacement methods, as it requires no digging or excavation.

However, if the damage is extensive or if the pipes are severely compromised, pipe replacement may be necessary. This involves digging up and replacing the damaged pipes with new ones. While this method may be more disruptive and expensive, it’s important to ensure that the pipes are functioning properly and that the tree roots have been completely removed.

In order to prevent tree root intrusion, it’s important to be mindful of the placement of trees and shrubs near your pipes. Avoid planting trees with invasive root systems near your pipes, and consider installing root barriers to prevent roots from growing towards your pipes.

Regular pipe maintenance is also crucial in preventing tree root intrusion. Regular inspections with a pipe camera can identify any potential issues before they become major problems, and regular cleaning can remove any buildup of debris or roots that may be blocking your pipes.

Grease Buildup

Grease buildup in kitchen pipes is a common cause of blockages. Grease can solidify and create a thick, stubborn clog that can be difficult to remove. This can lead to backups and overflows that can cause extensive damage to your home.

To prevent grease buildup, avoid pouring cooking oil and other fats down your kitchen sink. Instead, collect them in a separate container and dispose of them in the trash.

Foreign Objects

Foreign objects, such as toys and other small items, can easily find their way into your pipes and cause blockages. These items can be difficult to remove and can cause significant damage if they are not detected early.

To prevent foreign objects from causing blockages, keep small items away from sinks and toilets, and dispose of them properly in the trash.

Old and Worn Pipes

Old worn out pipes are another common cause of blocked pipes that can lead to flooding in homes. Over time, pipes can become damaged due to age, corrosion, or general wear and tear. This can cause the walls of the pipes to become thinner, leading to cracks or even holes. As a result, debris can become trapped in these areas, eventually leading to a blockage.

In addition, older pipes may be made from materials that are more prone to damage or corrosion, such as clay or cast iron. These materials can be particularly susceptible to cracks or breaks, especially as they age. If left untreated, these issues can escalate and lead to more serious problems such as burst pipes and even flooding.

Fortunately, pipe relining can be an effective solution for old worn out pipes. By using a durable and long-lasting epoxy liner, the walls of the old pipes can be reinforced and restored to their original strength. This not only helps prevent future blockages but can also extend the lifespan of the pipes, potentially saving homeowners thousands of dollars in replacement costs.

Overall, it’s important for homeowners to be aware of the risks associated with old worn out pipes and to take steps to address any potential issues before they escalate. By investing in pipe relining, homeowners can rest easy knowing that their plumbing system is protected and will continue to function efficiently for years to come.


Poorly Installed Pipes

Poorly installed pipes can also cause blockages and other plumbing problems. Pipes that are not properly installed or secured can shift and become misaligned, leading to blockages and other issues.

To prevent problems with poorly installed pipes, it’s important to work with a reputable plumber who has experience in pipe installation and repair.


Blocked pipes can cause a range of problems, from minor inconveniences to major property damage. Understanding the causes of blocked pipes and how to prevent them is essential for maintaining a safe and healthy living environment.

By taking steps to prevent tree root damage, grease buildup, foreign object blockages, and addressing issues with old, worn or poorly installed pipes, you can avoid the potential for costly repairs and protect your home from flooding and other water damage.

If you suspect that you have a blockage in your pipes, it’s important to address the issue as soon as possible. Contact a professional plumber to assess the situation and recommend the best course of action to restore your pipes to proper working order.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to Streamline Pipes for expert plumbing services, including pipe camera inspections and pipe relining solutions in Sydney. With affordable pipe relining costs and reliable plumbing steps, they can help you keep your pipes flowing smoothly and avoid costly repairs in the future.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Pipe Relining?

Pipe relining is a trenchless pipe repair method that uses a resin lining to fix pipes. The existing pipe is cleaned and inspected, then lined with a resin material that’s cured to form a new pipe within the old pipe. With Streamline Pipes, you can expect 60 years of service life out of your relined pipes!

If The Pipe Has Collapsed Can It Be Relined?

If your pipe has collapsed partially, we can reline it. If the sewer or stormwater pipe is fully collapsed then this will require, digging and a pipe replacement, to fix it correctly and costs more in labour. The pipe is impregnated with an epoxy Liner. Once cured, this creates a ‘new pipe, within the old pipe’. Very similar to a medical ‘stent’.

The benefits of using pipe relining for a cracked or partially collapsed pipe include:

  • No digging required
  • Permanent solution
  • Cost-effective
  • Less disruption – you can use your pipes within hours not days.
  • Landscaping, flooring, and driveways are not damaged.

How Long Does Pipe Relining Take?

It depends on many factors, including the size of the pipe and the access to this pipe. In most cases, your pipe can be relined in a few hours.

If you need the work done as a matter of urgency then StreamlinePipes can be there the next day after the quote is provided.

How Long Does Pipe Relining Last?

Pipe relining is a long-term solution. The pipe lining can last just the same if not longer than replacing in with a new PVC Pipe. Once it is in place you don’t have to worry about repairing or replacing it for years.

Relined pipes are more cost-effective than replacement of the entire pipe, which can be very expensive. Relining leaves your property intact, so there’s no need to dig up your yard or pathways or remove any landscaping features. You won’t even notice when our qualified plumbers are onsite!

StreamlinePipe relining saves money in the long run because:

  • It doesn’t require digging up yards and pathways in order to replace pipes that may be causing water damage under concrete slabs or driveways
  • We guarantee our work for 60 years – an industry first

How Does CIPP Relining Work?

Cured-In-Place-Piping (CIPP) relining is a method of repairing pipes that involves injecting a high-density polyurethane material into the pipe. The material hardens and forms a new pipe within the old pipe. This method of pipe repair was pioneered by Streamline Pipes and Drains over 31 years ago.

How Do I Know If My Pipes Are Blocked Or Broken?

If you are unsure whether your pipes need to be relined or repaired, contact us for a free, no-obligation inspection. We can help you to evaluate the condition of the pipes and advise you on all available options, contact us for help.

Does Pipe Relining Need To Be Done By A Specialist?

Absolutely.  Pipe relining requires specific equipment and training. The no-dig pipe repair solution is not taught at Tafe. Relining training is learnt ‘on the job’ and can take decades to perfect. It is worth thinking ‘will the plumbing company be around for 2o years to fix any possible problems”?

There are many companies out there claiming to be able to do this work effectively, but no one can match the quality and expertise of Streamline Pipes and Drains as they are only just beginning and Streamline has be Relining for over 31 years.

Is pipe relining approved by Australian standards?

Yes, pipe relining is approved by Australian standards. In fact, AS3600 (2016) and its subsequent revisions include requirements for the use of pipe relining as a method of remediation in both stormwater and sewer systems.

AS3600 is a set of standards for stormwater and wastewater systems that have been developed under the auspices of Standards Australia New Zealand (Standards NZ). The following standards apply:

  • AS3600 – general requirements for design, construction, operation, maintenance and decommissioning of water supply schemes including wastewater treatment works
  • AS3600.1 -2018 – quality management system standard for health sector facilities; quality management system standard for medical devices; other technical regulations made under Food Act 2014; classifications under Industrial Chemicals (Notification & Assessment) Act 1989; classification under Ozone Protection & Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Act 1989; environmental performance standards under several statutes including Hazardous Substances (Emergency Response Management) Regulations 2007; risk assessment framework under Hazardous Substances (Emergency Response Management) Regulations 2007

Can Root Intrusion Be Fixed With Pipe Relining?

Root intrusion is the result of tree roots growing into the pipes. Pipe relining is a perfect preventative solution when roots have invaded your sewer pipes, as the use of a High-Pressure Water Jet and inspection camera, is the precursor work required in order to clean and clear the blockage. Once this is done, then the StreamlinePipes relining system is able to install the pipe liner and get your pipes working again, with tree roots permanently removed from that part of the drain system.


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