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Trenchless Pipe Lining: Don’t Replace Something That Isn’t Broken
If you have had the misfortune of an underground pipe breaking, if you have seen the mushy lawn or the sinkhole or smelled the aftermath, you know you are in for a world of frustration and high-cost repairs. Unfortunately, some plumbing companies take this as a license to make matters worse, suggesting difficult and expensive repairs that you might not need.
But what can you do when a pipe breaks? How can you be sure of the right way to fix it? And most importantly, how do you know that you are not paying for replacements you do not need?
Why do pipes break in the first place?
There are a number of reasons pipe crack or fall apart. Perhaps they were installed poorly and are beginning to leak, or tree roots have found their way into loose joints or cracks and expanded. Freezing weather can make pipes brittle, and the expanding water can crack them completely. Sometimes, it is just the bad luck of old age.
What a plumber might suggest
Underground pipes require the plumber to dig trenches and pull the pipes out manually, right? That is what some companies will suggest. And while that can be necessary for the worst breaks, it is often overkill. A cracked or leaking pipe might not have to be completely replaced. There are other options, and they can save a homeowner from spending a fortune in digging up lawns, driveways and even the street out front (and then paying to have them all repaired again).
Instead, consider trenchless pipe lining.
Trenchless pipe lining
Instead of replacing the entire pipe, trenchless pipe lining is a method where the plumber uses an access port (like a clean-out pipe) to lower a flexible lining made of polyester, epoxy and plastic into the damaged pipe. A bladder system is also contained within the lining, which slowly inflates once it is in place.
The lining takes the shape of the pipe that it is in, expanding until it matches the size. Then, the epoxy (which is a two-part chemical) activates and begins heating up. This causes the lining to harden, almost like a cast, which becomes hard, strong and waterproof. This rehabilitates the original pipe, using its own structure as a scaffold for the new lining.
Avoid the landscaping trouble
Digging up landscaping can be ugly and difficult to replace while still looking natural afterward. Replacing driveway is expensive, plus it prevents you from using your garage or driveway until it is done. Having to dig up sidewalk or street means getting the city involved, which means permits and fees and fines.
Do not give up on those pipes
Save yourself time, hassle and a whole chunk of change by going with trenchless pipe lining instead of excavation and replacement. But how can you tell if the pipe is right for trenchless pipe lining? A quick sewer camera inspection can let the plumber know right where the break or crack is and whether pipe lining can do the job.
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