Are drain valves a permanent solution to rats?
Posted on 4th May 2020 at 08:27
You get what you pay for and buy cheap buy twice are both sayings that resonate with me and certainly this is something that I apply when purchasing goods and services however what if the service we pay for is expensive and seems to be good quality?
Unfortunately we’ve all been there as well; its called getting ripped off and we saw that recently at a job in Wokingham, the householder had been plagued with rats coming into the kitchen extension walls and running across the ceiling for years.
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Rats in Wokingham
Various pest control companies had been out to treat the problem all with their own ways, some using poison in the ceiling and others poisoning in the drains. Various ways with different results, some rats died in the ceiling and some died in the walls; all leaving the householder with the stink of decaying bodies and then … rats again.
Rubble lying in the bottom of the drain is always a sign that rats are present digging through the screed or the ground beneath the house.
Unorthadox and poor constructiuon leads to drain faults, these can take years to develop and it can be difficult to persuade the builder to take responsibility.
The last company that attended fitted a one-way valve with the assurance that this was the cure and from now on all would be well. Unfortunately, the quality of the valve was poor as it was made from plastic, with teeth that are harder than cast iron a plastic drain valve is not going to stand up to rats for long.
In fact, drain valves aren’t a “cure all” for drain defects, they have their place and a valve is a cheap way to get over a rat infestation until such time as you can make the full drain repair. We see about 70% of our internal rat infestations coming in via the drainage system; broken joints, poor quality construction and wear by the rats all accounts for the defects that these rodents to slip into our homes and businesses.
We now have evidence that rats can slip a paw under the lower lip of the valve and simply lift the door up and enter at will. There are two styles of valve, one with a smooth door and one with a serrated edge, which you choose to use is up to the pest controller’s preference. A smooth door will not clog or jam up with flushable wipes whilst a serrated door might, however, a serrated door will not be opened by rats so you can see the dilemma.
We install drain valves with one simple message – no matter what type of door they need to be checked on a regular basis and that frequency is down to you and what you flush in your household? Occasionally we find a fault with part of the system that doesn’t connect to the toilet section; just a run to the kitchen for example and here a valve is a permanent solution to the rat problem as it will not block.
The house in Wokingham with the rats? Well, we replaced this valve with a steel one and conducted a CCTV drain survey; unfortunately when the kitchen extension was built the contractor neglected to cap over the main Thames Water sewer line that runs beneath the cavity walls. The only way to stop the rats on a permanent basis is to remove the kitchen, dig down through the floor and expose the pipe, cap it over then seal up the cavity walls.
Sadly this is a major job and one the householder will need to complete before they attempt to sell the house but at least we now know the how’s, the why’s and the where’s of the rat infestation.
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