Repairing drains can be an expensive and problematic operation. The fact that drains may be buried many feet beneath the earth, often under concrete, tarmac or brick walls, means that a lot of digging can be required to carry out essential repair work. This digging of course not only creates plenty of mess but also increases the costs of repairing a drain.
In short, until recently repairing a drain suffering from a leak or a crack was, until recently, a major undertaking that could cause major disruption.
If only there were another solution that didn’t require significant earthworks to fix leaks, cracks and other damage.
Fortunately, as you might have guessed, there is – in the form of drain lining. In essence drain lining is a “non-invasive” way to repair damaged drains. Rather than needing to dig down to the actual drain, access is gained from ground level and all repairs are carried out from within the drain. Think of drain lining as like “keyhole surgery” for your drains, whereby the operation is carried out with the minimum of interference and from a small access hole that is easy to access.
Drain Lining Explained
Drain lining, as the name suggests, involves lining the inside of a drain with a polymer lining which then bonds to the inside of the pipe. It has been likened to manually building an extra pipe within the existing drainpipe.
Whilst this will slightly reduce the overall diameter of the pipe through which fluid can move, it is generally much more preferable to the alternative of manually digging up drains.
The Drain Lining Process
To begin with it is important to understand fully the damage that has occurred to the pipework. To this end the internal surface of the drain is jet-washed clean and then a small camera is sent along it to inspect the condition of the pipework and prepare the liner.
Once the team are happy that drain lining is a suitable solution to your problem the liner is gently fed into the drain. Bit by bit it slowly moves along until it covers the entire area of the damaged drain. Once the liner is in place, an airbag within the liner is inflated, pushing the otherwise flaccid liner out to the diameter of the pipe.
After a period of time the liner will cure and harden, in essence creating a second pipe within the existing framework of the drain. The inflated air balloon inside the liner can then be deflated and removed.
Lastly the robotic camera is once again fed through the drain, inspecting the quality of work. Where necessary holes are cut in the liner to enable it to connect to any adjoining pipes and shortly afterward the drain should be considered fully repaired and fit for purpose once more.
While the process may sound a little complicated, it is still generally much cheaper and easier than manually digging up the drain and means that your home or business isn’t overrun with pneumatic drills or diggers in order to fix your leaky drainage.
Drain lining is of course still quite an intensive process, lining metres of piping in one detailed operation. But what about cases where this full drain lining is either unnecessary or overly expensive for the purpose. In these situations there is an alternative, known as “patch lining”.
Patch lining allows one to “spot treat” individual damage which this is limited in size and location, and where a full lining would prove to be overkill.
The process is largely similar to full drain lining. In this case a single piece of lining material is used rather than a whole cylinder. The patch is then gently moved down the drain until it arrives at the optimum location. Here the air balloon is inflated, pushing the patch into contact with the damaged pipe.
The patch then cures, gluing rigidly to the inner surface of the pipe and so repairing minor damage.
If you’re interested in finding out more about drain lining or patch lining to repair a leaky drain we would encourage you to contact us for a no obligation quote.