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Cracked drains are a serious problem that may result in property damage, malodour, pollution of soil and groundwater as well as the spread of diseases.
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Causes of cracked drain pipes include the incursion of roots, underground movement and corrosion in the case of metal pipes.
Common signs of cracked drains include foul smells, localised wet patches and sinkholes as well as cracked walls and floors. The signs of cracked drains are not always apparent to property owners and sometimes the condition may only be confirmed through professional inspection by a qualified plumber.
If it is suspected that a drain is cracked, the best course of action is to call on the services of a professional drainage company, such as Express Drainage Solutions, to conduct a thorough CCTV inspection of the drain pipes.
Should it be found that the drain is cracked, it is then necessary to decide on what measures should be taken to resolve the problem depending on the seriousness and extent of damage.
On some occasions, the best option for drainage repair is to fix drain using trenchless technologies such as patch repairs, which are cheaper, less time-consuming and cause less destruction, while other instances will necessitate full excavation and even drain replacement.
The slip lining method, invented in the 1940s, is the oldest form of trenchless pipe rehabilitation technology, and involves the insertion of rigid tubes into the cracked or otherwise damaged drainage pipes to improve structural integrity and prevent leakage.
The two methods of slip line installation:
Either involve the tubing being inserted as one separate piece or the installation of tubing in separate pieces.
Common materials from which slip line tubes are made include fibreglass and high density polyethylene (HDPE).
Cured-in-place pipe (CIPP) is a drain relining method utilising trenchless technology that dates from the early 1970s and is an effective means of rehabilitating cracked drain pipes.
The process involves an inverted, tubular material saturated with resin being inserted into the cracked drain pipe with the use of either a winch or air pressure.
An inflatable device is then used to expand the material to fit the form of the pipe interior after which the resin is activated via the use of water or UV light and held in place by the inflatable. The resin is allowed to cure before the inflatable device is removed.
On some occasions, the severity and extent of drain pipe cracking is so great that no-trench rehabilitation technologies are incapable of remedying the problem.
In those circumstances where drainage pipes can not be repaired the only remaining option is to excavate the site in full and to replace the damaged pipe.
Full excavation and drainage pipe replacement, which is more expensive and time-consuming than modern trenchless methods, as well as being more destructive to the site, is worth the temporary inconvenience and cost in the face of the disastrous consequences of leaking drains.
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