Are your drains causing problems?
Unfortunately, it’s very common for drain pipes to break down or require
repairs as they age. The main issue here is that the pipes are likely
underground and may be set into concrete or other structures, depending on when
and how they were installed.
It can be nearly impossible and very
expensive to get in to fix a damaged drain pipe. However, technology has found
a way to repair many minor cracks and issues in the drains without having to
dig them up. It’s called drain lining and it eliminates the need to dig up your
pipes, since you can do all the repairs from within the pipe itself.
Not all drain issues can be fixed by drain
relining, but if you can, it’s a much better way to go. Essentially, you’ll be adding
a polymer lining to the inside of the drain pipe. This then adheres to the
interior of the pipe to form what is basically another pipe inside a pipe.
While this method does slightly shrink the
size of your drain pipes, it is a much simpler way to repair minor damage.
To add the liner to the pipe, the liner is
carefully fed into the pipe and then pushed down the drain. Then an airbag is
inflated inside the liner, which forces the liner to stick to the walls. It
takes a little time, but then it hardens up and cures, while bonding to the
pipe’s interior walls.
The end result is that any cracks or leaks
will be blocked and the pipes are usable once more. However, if you have any
pipes that attach to the main on, you’ll need to open or cut holes so that the
other pipes can feed in easily.
There are two types of drain lining
available. One is full drain lining, which involves sealing the entire pipe in
one go. This is intensive, but can be useful if there are multiple cracks and
flaws within the pipe.
The second type of lining is patch lining,
which allows for repairing only the specific spots where there are damages. The
method is similar to the regular type of drain lining, but instead of inflating
a balloon to push everything into the walls, it will only press the patch where
it’s needed most.
In order to determine what the problem is
and whether it is fixable with drain lining, you’ll need to see exactly what is
going on in the drain. This requires using high pressure water to clear the pipe,
then feeding a small camera and light into the tube. You’ll be able to see what
sections are bad and how they need to be protected.
The camera is also used after the drain
lining procedure, to ensure that the lining has adhered correctly and
everything is in order. This will let you know if you can begin using the drain
Signs Your Drain Needs Lining
It’s essential that you repair your drains
before they completely collapse. A collapsed pipe will cause some serious
problems and you will end up spending far more to repair the resulting damage.
Not only will replacing the pipe cost you money, repairing any water damage
that is done will also cost you.
Smelly Sewer Gas
Does your home smell of sewage? It’s an
odour that no one ever wants to deal with, but if you have a crack in a pipe,
it may be leaking sewer gas into the house.
Properly built sewers are airtight, but
have vents on the roof which allow the sewage to continue moving downhill. Due
to the method of construction, sewage gas should not be an issue. However, if
you do smell it that means something has happened to your sewer lines. Most
likely a pipe has cracked or developed a leak.
Have you noticed that your toilet is no
longer draining correctly? Or perhaps your sink holds water for a while and
doesn’t actually drain for a few minutes. These are signs that there is
something going on in the drain pipes.
The most common issue is a drain blockage.
This may be cleared with a plumbing snake or with chemical agents, though you
do need to be careful. Chemical drain cleaners will destroy your metal pipes as
well as PVC ones and if they are just sitting there, the chances of ending up
with a hole in your pipes is much higher.
It’s a good idea to look into putting a
camera down the drain to find out what the issue is. You may have a regular
blockage, a crack in the pipe, or there could be a tree root pushing on the
pipe. Each of these issues will be evident when the camera is snaked through
Rodent and Pest Issues
You might not think of rats being a sign of
something going wrong with your pipes, but they are. Rats live in dark places,
which most people know. What you might not know is that they can move through
the pipes to your home and get through a tiny crack in the pipes to make their
way into your home.
If you have noticed a sudden influx of rats
or mice or cockroaches in your home, it’s time to take a peek at your sewage
lines. Insects are even more likely to come through the pipes, as they require
the smallest of spaces to get through.
Sewage Backing Up
It’s a homeowner’s worst nightmare, the
sewage backing up. If you have sewage coming out of your shower or tub drain
when you flush the toilet, you’ll likely find that you have a sewage pipe
problem. This may be from a tree root or perhaps the pipes are simply
poorly lined up. There may also be cracks or a blockage that is causing the
sewage to come out another drain.
This is a problem you need to fix and fast,
since sewage leaking onto floors can cause mould and water damage, not to
mention the contamination. Just trying to get everything clean will require
plenty of disinfecting and it can be a messy job. This is definitely something
you want to get under control rapidly.
Green Patches in the Garden
If certain sections of your garden are
looking particularly lush and green, you should inspect where your sewage pipe
goes. It may run immediately under the section where the grass is so
Since sewage is a wonderful fertilizer and ends up
giving plenty of nutrients to the grass, a leak can cause a spot of very lovely
grass. If there are multiple leaks, you may even notice patches in a line,
running toward the main sewer pipe. This is a very good indication that your
drain pipes need to be repaired.
The Next Steps
Once you have identified a problem with
your sewer or drainage pipes, it’s time to call in a drainage specialist. They
will inspect the evidence and check the interior of the pipes with a camera to
determine if pipe relining is an option.
If there is a bigger obstruction, such as a
tree root, or uneven pipes that no longer match up, you will need to dig the
pipes up. However, for other, minor issues, you can simply patch or line the
drain and return to using it.
The camera is essential in seeing what is
going on inside your drains. The drainage specialist will be able to tell you
the best course of action once they have seen where the damage is and how bad
it is. You may then choose a course of action.
Drainage systems can be complex,
considering how basic they appear at first. However, even minor things can
cause the drainage to be cut off or damaged. A tree root passing nearby, for
example, can lift the soil and cause the pipes to fall out of alignment.
Vehicles driving by may cause vibrations
that affect your drains. There are so many things that can affect them and
cause issues that it’s important to identify the problem before you try to
repair it. That’s why it’s also a good idea to have an expert come in and help.
As long as the drainage situation is fairly
minor, a simple pipe relining should be enough to fix the problem. Then you can
continue using the drain pipes as usual.
Do you suspect a drainage problem? Contact Drainage Consultants today to learn
how we can help you.