Frequently asked questions
Question: Will the pressure or heat of the water damage my property or leave a mess?
Answer: No, unlike conventional water & pressure blasters, EnviroSteam uses Weedtechnics patented technology to produce super-heated water at low pressures, we also have the ability to control our pressures & temperatures. Thanks to our ability to control theses factors we can almost guarantee no surfaces or property damaged within reason.
Question: Do you use saturated steam to clean my house and outside areas or just cold water like water blasting?
Answer: Absolutely we do, this is what sets us apart from traditional water blasting. Unlike traditional water blasting, we kill the the moss, lichen or algae on your driveways or retaining walls rather than just removing it, preventing its return for longer periods and also helping stop the spread by killing the majority of the plants spores/seeds.
When cleaning your house, we use lower pressures to protect your paint finishes.
Question: Are the seeds of weeds killed by the steam?
Answer: Yes – the steam kills the plant and the seeds and most cases it will kill the spores from moss, lichen and more.
Question: Does the steam damage plants around the weeds?
Answer: No – steaming is highly concentrated and precise, With our custom applicators we can direct the saturated steam to exactly where its needed without damaging your bulbs, flowers and other planted plants.
Question: What is saturated steam?
Answer: Without getting technical, saturated steam is produced when water has been superheated past the point of boiling. This can only be done under pressure - when under pressure the water remains as liquid rather than becoming vapor (steam) in an unpressurised environment like in your household kettle.
The "steam" process begins once the water leaves the applicator head or makes contact with a colder surface.
Question: Is it harmful to the soil to have high temperature steam applied?
Answer: No – the steam doesn’t affect the soil, in fact the break-down of the decomposing plant matter into the soil releases minerals & nutrients, increasing the health of your soil.
Plants that have been exposed to saturated steam break down faster thanks to the saturated steam destroying the plants cell and fibre structure.
Common weeds appear in different types of soil. We will recommend an ongoing approach for you to reduce the risk of recurring weeds.
Question: Is there anywhere steam weeding cannot work?
Answer: Steam weeding is ideal for most areas – including those difficult to reach places, like along waterways or around the base of your shrubs. In addition to safely killing weeds, saturated steam can be used for cleaning BBQs, concrete, children’s playgrounds and areas around food consumption areas.
Question: Does it kill all types of weeds?
Answer: Steam weeding kills most weeds on contact. Some plants can hold up to direct exposure, but that’s where our custom applicators come in handy - we can target the roots and crowns of plants. We are yet to find a species of weed that has been able to stand up saturated steam.
Question:. Can it be used at any time of the plant growth cycle?
Answer: Whilst it can be used at any stage of the plant growth cycle there are preferable times to maximize effectiveness. Please contact us to discuss your needs.
Question:. How long does it take?
Answer: Saturated steam weeding is much like water blasting. Every job is different depending on the size of the area. Please contact us do discuss your needs and we will arrange an assessment with you.
Question: Can I use the area immediately after steaming?
Answer: Yes – steam weeding is 100% non-toxic in every way. It is safe to use the area immediately after application - the saturated steam & water only remains hot for about one minute so pets and kids wont be hurt if they happen to splash in a puddle.
Question: How long does it take for the weeds to die?
Answer: The weeds will begin wilting immediately after the initial treatment, they begin to change colour to a bright green or a very dark green (just like wilted spinach). The die-off and decomposing process starts immediately and the weeds will begin to brown within 1-3 days depending on species and environment.
Question: Are earthworms and other soil organisms affected when spraying?
Answer: Our saturated steam provides rapid penetration and transfer of heat to any vegetation which the applicator heads pass over, A benefit of our economical application use of saturated steam is that it does not penetrate more than about 5mm into the soil with standard application times. This has great effect on the crowns of weed species but little to no effect or impact on either the roots of your perennials, trees, vines, bulbs etc. or on the important soil organisms.
Earthworms tend to be found lower down in the soil profile, unless there are very wet surface conditions.
Our observation is that the destroyed weeds brake down more quickly thus providing food for a rapid repopulation of soil organisms which helps builds a humus layer in your soil.
Question: Is your service available for small residential backyard /courtyard applications?
Answer: Yes, no job is to small for us at EnviroSteam. One of our core goals is to reduce and minimize the use and exposure to poisons in New Zealanders' day to day lives. We are happy to do any small one-off jobs, be it a small moss covered courtyard, an algae covered path leading to the front door, or a vegetable patch. We can even clean your oily, greasy garage floor using nothing but saturated steam.
Question: Can you kill invasive trees (like gorse or manuka) and other larger shrubs?
Answer: Yes & no - it depends on the target plant in question and its environment. Once a tree or shrub starts to mature, it gains its protective outer bark, protecting the plant from insects but also protecting it from heat making it very hard for the saturated steam to penetrate. We recommend treatment of the targeted plants before they reach a height of 40cm. However, we are able to kill larger and difficult to remove plants like agapanthus using our specially designed lance to penetrate the crown or roots of the tree or shrub.
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