One of the most unpleasant experiences a homeowner can have is the situation where the whole front yard, and quite often the inside of a house, have to be dug up, because there is a problem with a drain pipe. Not only does it take a long time to fix, and we might be talking about weeks here, but it also runs up a huge bill. Still, there might be a solution available, and it’s supposed to give you peace of mind for decades.

Using various technological breakthroughs, this method was first used to repair a section of London sewage system back in the early 70’s. Naturally, it was greeted with a healthy dose of disbelief and scepticism, but the market has been developing ever since.

What’s in a name?

9112292492_a8b4185b4a_zA cured-in-place pipe (CIPP) is a method used to repair damaged pipes by creating a layer inside the existing pipe, thus filling the holes and cracks which cause the leaks. It can be used in water, sewage and gas pipelines and one of its main features is that it’s applied not only to circular pipes (1-270 cm in diameter), but also to a range of different shapes, such as ovoid pipes and box culverts.

How does it work?

First, the cause of the problem has to be identified. Plumbers usually do this using a pipe camera. Next, any clogs or debris must be removed, usually using high-pressure water jets, before the liner with an epoxy resin which hardens quite quickly is inserted. The liner is then inflated using a bladder, thus plugging the holes and cracks in the pipe. After the liner has “cured”, the bladder is removed, which completes the process.

Other issues to consider

It’s vital to check for any underground obstacles prior to commencing the relining works, and not only the existing, but potential ones, as well. Look for any trees in the vicinity of the line and have a look at this. There’s no need to make an investment if there’s a great risk of even greater damage occurring in the not-so-distant future, although it has to be said that there are liners resistant to root intrusion, but only to some extent.

Benefits

9112296086_cb0c240eef_zThis method is seamless and jointless and usually requires very little or no excavation, which means your garden, lawn or driveway shall remain intact. Also, the materials and technology used are said to last for decades without problems. Still, it doesn’t mean regular checks are unnecessary. “Just to be sure, the pipes should be inspected once a year,” advise experienced Sydney-based pipe relining specialists. Since the new layer is very smooth and not prone to creating calcification deposits on the inner wall, the flow capacity is boosted.

Limitations

Since chemical agents are used in the process, special attention must be paid to avoid contamination, which is why the installation should be left to professionals. Also, the material used in most cases does not bend well, so if the pipe is curved, another type of material needs to be used, which requires much more attention. Finally, once the layer is in place, no cables or any other machines can be used for cleaning it. The only way to go is to use high-pressure water blasting. For more information about what to expect and how to prepare, this piece provides a good insight.

This is one of the projects that most definitely requires professional assistance. Even though it’s primarily used as a method for dealing with present issues, it has become increasingly popular as a prevention method and definitely one to take into consideration because of the benefits it brings.

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