Many property owners and managers have seen the effects of leaking rainwater or sewer drainage pipes. When such damage is present, regardless of the cause, it can set off a chain reaction involving a variety of other problems, such as ground movement and shifting, calcification, root intrusion or premature aging of the line. Unfortunately, occurrences of this type can cost property owners a significant amount of money each year. In addition, municipalities must sometimes raise taxes to repair crumbling underground infrastructure caused by faulty pipelines. Now, property owners are pleased to discover that cured in place pipe repair offers a far less costly solution to these problems. Also referred to as simply CIPP, the process is a type of underground construction rehabilitation. The technique has greatly increased in popularity since its debut in 1971.
The first step in the CIPP installation process is to evaluate, clean and inspect the damaged pipe. After this task is completed, measurements must be taken to ensure the epoxy sewer liner or other pipe liner material is cut to the appropriate length.
Epoxy resin is then mixed and poured into the material liner, which is placed in the launching unit and inserted into the pipeline through an inversion technique. Finally, the CIPP liner is positioned properly and cured with special epoxy resins. The result is the creation of a seamless, smooth “pipe within a pipe.”
The fact that cured in place pipe repair projects requires no digging or destruction is arguably one of the greatest advantages associated with this technique. Because the entire process is completed underground, the work can be done without disturbing floors, concrete or the surrounding landscape. In addition, because the process results in a seamless pipe, roots can no longer penetrate the line and cause damage. Similarly, deposits will not adhere to the interior walls of the pipe due to its special sewer epoxy lining. This ensures that calcification and the damage with which it is associated will no longer be a concern.
When root intrusion, separation, or cracks change the structural integrity of pipes, rainwater or sewage can seep out below the property into the surrounding landscape or underground structures. Uncontrolled seepage of this type leads to sinkholes and other hazards. The cured in place pipe lining process completely eliminates such issues. Flow capacity is also increased when such techniques are used. This is because the “new” pipe is smoother than its predecessor, the latter of which is usually made from aging concrete, cast-iron or clay pipe.
Not surprisingly, CIPP also offers significant financial benefits, as the process is considerably less expensive than the costly alternative of pipe replacement, which requires extensive underground excavation.
As with all techniques, CIPP lining is also associated with certain limitations and disadvantages. For instance, this method cannot correct the pipeline’s structural problems, if any are present. Additionally, it will not remove curves, sags or offset joint defects that are found in the existing pipe.
The liner also requires proper handling during the installation process. Liners must be delivered and stored in refrigerated trucks to prevent the temperature-sensitive resin from curing before the appropriate time. This is particularly important in areas where hot weather is common throughout the year.
In most cases, maintenance contracts can be purchased after the project is complete. Regular maintenance will ensure that soft scale build-up is detected and eliminated and that any potential issues are uncovered before they lead to major problems. When one considers the pros and cons of cured in place pipe repair techniques, it is easy to see why this option has remained popular among property owners for many decades.