Cracked pipes that might lead to leaks, blockages and contamination can be caused by many different sources including tree roots, pressure build-up and digging by Council, private contractors, or individuals. Because most pipes are difficult to reach – located underground, in walls, under flooring or in the basement – fixing them can be a major challenge requiring a Professional Plumber. No one wants to continually suffer from the leaks, blockages and contaminated ground caused by cracked pipes, thus it is wise to find a complete solution that fixes the problem the first time and lasts for a very long time.
Many people take their sewage and wastewater pipes for granted until something serious happens with the system. When unsanitary stormwater or sewage begins to back up, then our cracked pipe problem then becomes a question of hygiene.
Common causes of cracked pipes
Tree roots are a common cause of cracked pipes. Having trees near buildings adds many benefits, including shade, protection and beauty. However, in many instances, large tree roots can cause extensive damage to pipes under the surface.
Root damage can lead to major, minor and microscopic cracks in stormwater and sewage pipes, but the damage caused by tree roots can be difficult to see until contaminated water (or sewage) starts to become apparent due to smell, or toilets, basins, baths and showers start to back up.
Pressure build-up can be caused by an accumulation of waste food, hair or debris, and that may create pressure at joins or even on the internal sides of the pipes. Wastewater and sewage naturally follow the “path of least resistance,” therefore, it attempts to flow through minor cracks when there is no other outlet.
During landscaping, renovation or remodelling projects, it is easy to puncture or crack pipes by accident. Direct digging can crack pipes easily because they are hidden in mounds of sand, dirt or clay. When the plastic, copper or galvanised pipes are cracked, the damage might not be immediately apparent. Always remember, “dial before you dig”.
Indirect digging on adjacent public works projects – roads, bridges or buildings – can cause the earth to shift and crack pipes as well. The vibrations from industrial-sized engines can shake the earth violently. Utility companies can also crack pipes when they don’t survey the area ahead-of-time to mark all underground wires, pipes, and connections.
Heavy storms are another cause of crack pipes leading to polluted water flowing in and wastewater contaminating clean water supplies. Loose pipes can also rattle against other fixtures when the foundation of the house is not firm. Once pipes are cracked, even small weaknesses grow in size due to water and debris continually flowing through.
Wise property owners fix their cracked pipes with a complete pipe relining solution. This method offers multiple steps to completely fix all cracks, holes and broken sections. The pipe reline is affixed inside the existing pipe using epoxy coating which is impervious to future tree root invasion and is just as strong as new PVC pipes.