What Is Trenchless Pipe Repair and How Does It Work?

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When pipe repair is needed, traditional methods leave a lot to be desired. They’re expensive and labor-intensive. Underground pipe repair projects take a long time to complete, and they can severely disrupt activity in the affected area. Traffic may need to be diverted while roads are demolished and replaced. If they’re in affected areas, rooms or buildings may need to be closed off while the project is underway. Wherever pipes are located, digging down to underground pipe systems for removal and repair is never convenient. There are various forms of trenchless pipe repair, and new innovation is constantly evolving.

In this article, we’ll be exploring an alternative to traditional repairs: underground pipe rehabilitation methods. Instead of non trenchless pipe repair, trenchless rehabilitation allows technicians to restore pipes’ function, still without removing them from the ground. Trenchless pipe rehabilitation can extend your pipes’ life between repairs. This can save you time, money and inconvenience in municipal, industrial, commercial and residential settings. Spray In Place uses revolutionary technology to perform affordable and effective pipe rehabilitation.

Callout 1: Why Do Pipes Need Maintenance? 2 facts listed.

 Why Do Pipes Need Maintenance?

Let’s first examine the reasons why pipes need repair or rehabilitation to begin with. Is it always due to faulty construction, or to an accident that caused damage? Not always. Even the best pipes will eventually need rehabilitation or repair, because they perform so much heavy lifting on a daily basis. Pipes are exposed to ongoing seasonal and environmental changes, and they’re constantly exposed to water, waste, and an endless variety of substances. However, there are also plenty of incidents that can cause sudden problems with pipes. A few common reasons why pipes need maintenance include:

  • Tree Roots. As trees grow, their roots burrow deeper and deeper into the soil. Sometimes, this means they collide with underground pipes. Tree roots are remarkably resilient and can seriously disrupt the operation of even the highest-quality pipe system.
  • Soil-related Factors. Different types of soil interact with the materials in pipes in different ways. Typically, clay-rich soils are less friendly to pipe materials than non-clay soils. When soil settles or erodes, it can cause pipes to be exposed to more weather damage, or it can increase the amount of weight on top of the pipes.
  • Poor Pipe Quality or Installation. Sometimes, pipe leaks are a result of faulty construction or installation. In a typical underground system, some pipes are made of newer, longer lasting material, while others are older and less sturdy. Due to the time and expense it takes to replace these older pipes, the project is often delayed until it becomes truly necessary.
  • High Water Pressure. When water pressure is too high, extra stress is put on underground pipe systems. Often, old pipe systems are pushed beyond their capacity when new housing developments are built, or a new factory opens its doors.
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Why Is Pipe Maintenance So Crucial?

Of course, these aren’t the only factors that can contribute to pipe malfunction. Whatever the reason, all pipes will eventually need rehabilitation or repair. Is it best to put off those jobs, or to take care of them as soon as possible? Unfortunately, leaking pipes can cause major issues, and repairs should be completed as soon as possible. A leak can cause the ground to become unstable, which can affect building foundations and cause topsoil to be soggy.

Water that sits against building materials can cause decay over time. Ultimately, when sewage isn’t contained within pipes anymore, it can cause a severe biohazard when it’s exposed to the environment. Flow rates and water pressure often decrease, while water bills go up. Pipe problems never improve over time–they only become worse until they can’t be delayed any longer.

Read more in our blog: Sewer Force Main: How It Works and How to Repair It

Why Not Traditional Repair Methods?

There’s a reason why trenchless pipe rehabilitation is becoming the nationwide standard for dealing with pipe problems. Traditional repair methods are just too problematic. Let’s take a look at conventional, non trenchless pipe repair methods and their effects. 

First of all, traditional non trenchless pipe repairs require technicians to remove anything in the way of the underground pipes. This may include roads, driveways, fences, landscaping, or sidewalks. Demolition and replacement are typically labor intensive and expensive.

Second, traditional, non trenchless repair techniques often disrupt traffic. Workers are needed to direct the flow of traffic around the repair site, which is expensive and dangerous. Since repairs can take several days, if not longer, this can have serious implications for the surrounding community.

Furthermore, digging down to replace broken pipes creates a large mess, and someone will be responsible to clean it up. After work is completed, the repair site is often unsightly and unsafe.

Callout 3: underground sewage pipes being repaired on city street- Traditional methods are too problematic - 3 reasons listed

What’s the Alternative?

Clearly, traditional methods can be improved on. This is where trenchless pipe rehabilitation comes in. These methods allow technicians to access and troubleshoot affected pipes, without removing the soil or structures on top of them. Spray In Place offers trenchless rehabilitation methods that can help prolong the life of your pipes. These rehabilitation techniques are a game changer, but not all of them are created equal.

What Are the Different Types of Trenchless Pipe Rehabilitation?

There are four types of trenchless pipe rehabilitation commonly known to technicians. Unlike non trenchless pipe repair, pipes are rehabilitated without digging large trenches to access them. Each method involves a small amount of digging, but only enough to reach a small amount of pipe surface. The entire length of the pipe doesn’t need to be exposed.

  1. Slip Lining Trenchless Pipe Rehabilitation. The slip lining technique involves a bit more digging than the other trenchless methods. It’s also the oldest of the four. A slip lining is a new pipe that’s slightly more narrow than the old pipe. The space between the two is filled in using grout. The new pipe is called a “carrier pipe,” and the old pipe is called a “host pipe.” The host pipe must be inspected, cleaned and cleared before the new pipe is inserted. Small cameras can be inserted, to help determine whether using this technique is advisable. After the procedure, the pipe ends are sealed to prevent leakage. This can give the pipe a longer life and avoid the need for non trenchless pipe repair. 
  2. Pipe Bursting Trenchless Pipe Rehabilitation. This technique is just what it sounds like. It involves using a bursting tool to force the existing pipe outward until it passes its breaking point. A new pipe is pulled in, pressure-tested, and then connected to the existing system. A temporary bypass is often used while work is  being completed. This method isn’t workable in all situations. If other pipes are too close, there won’t be enough room to burst the old pipe without creating damage. Also, not all soil types are appropriate for this procedure.
  1. Cured-in-Place Pipe Lining Trenchless Pipe Rehabilitation. This method allows technicians to build a new pipe within the existing one. A liner is passed through the existing pipe, then inflated. It is then cured using heat or UV light, so that it adheres to the surface of the existing pipe. Cured-in-place pipe lining, or CIPP for short, can help create a smooth surface on the inside of the pipe. By replacing jagged, rough, or eroded surfaces that previously gripped any material passing through the pipe, this method can restore proper function. The pipe can now function properly without the need for non trenchless pipe repair.
  1. Spray Pipe Lining Trenchless Pipe Rehabilitation. This trenchless pipe rehabilitation method improves upon the cured-in-place technique. Instead of using a liner to create a new inner pipe surface, flexible material is sprayed directly onto the pipe’s damaged lining. A camera is used to assess the pipe’s surface, and pipes are carefully cleaned. Then spray tools are passed directly into the pipe. The coating dries quickly and easily, and it’s very durable, too. Spray-in-place technology can be used to address existing pipe problems, but it’s also an excellent choice for preventing problems before they start. This method is cost-effective, quick, and truly innovative. Spray In Place’s revolutionary method is your best bet for prolonging your pipes’ function as an alternative to non trenchless pipe repair.
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Ready to Get Started?

Spray in Place Solutions uses state-of-the-art technology to restore pipe function. Why pay for non trenchless pipe repair when your pipes can be rehabilitated? Non trenchless pipe repair can take forever. With trenchless pipe rehabilitation, pipes can be up and running quickly after the procedure. Whether pipes are large or small, our techniques can solve your problems safely, efficiently, and with minimal invasion and disruption. Call us today or use our quick quote form to learn more about our trenchless pipe rehabilitation services!