Most of the time, it is possible to unblock drains, clear out the mess, and then get everything running smoothly again. However, in some cases, the blockage may be caused by a damaged drain, or have caused damage to a drain itself. When a drain is or becomes damaged, it will need to be professionally repaired. Cracked pipes are a serious issue that can wreak havoc on plumbing systems.
At the very least, damaged or broken pipes can attract pests and rodents and cause a foul smell. While in worst cases, a cracked drain or pipe lets water seep into the surrounding soil, which can pollute the rest of your water supply, and even cause structural damage or subsidence.
If you’re not sure if you have a broken drain, there are a few warning signs you can look out for, such as bad smells, cracks in your walls, or wet patches. Although on the whole, a broken drain is quite difficult to spot, so if you’re at all unsure whether a pipe may be damaged or broken, it is always best to call in the experts.
There are several causes of fractured pipe work and broken drains, all of which require prompt repair. These include:
- Root incursion in the drain. The roots of a plant will always grow towards the nearest and most accessible water source, and can cause huge damage to pipework.
- Bad connections. If there are bad connections between your pipes, this will make blockages more likely, and eventually lead to leaks and breakages. How to fix a drain depends on the type and extent of the damage caused. Occasionally, when all other options have been discounted, a full excavation and drain replacement will be necessary. However, there are plenty of newer, ‘no-dig’ options available that we can use in most cases to fix your drain quickly and easily. If there are bad connections in the pipeline which are causing blockages or letting waste water drain into the ground, we can carry out a patch repair. A patch repair is a great, non-intrusive way to fix a broken drain or pipe. For this method, we use a resin saturated, fibreglass mat of 300mm-500mm in length, which is pressed onto the problem area in the pipe. The mat is then inflated to fit the shape of the pipe, filling in any holes or cracks. This method is particularly good because it requires minimal excavation and causes very little damage or inconvenience to you.
The patch repair technique is also an effective method for fixing a broken drain if there are roots. The roots are cut out and a patch repair is placed to stop the roots growing back into the pipe.
If the damage is more extensive, and a pipe is full of cracks in multiple places, we can reline the whole pipe using a material with resin. This is then cured so it bonds to the pipe walls, and forms a new pipe within the old pipe. This is known as drain relining, and is a great technique for many reasons. It is one of the most flexible repair options available, because it can be used with pipes of anything from 100mm to 1500mm in diameter. Best of all, it requires no excavation at all in some cases, so it is ideal for repairs in a huge variety of sites, such as driveways, roads, railways, residential and commercial buildings, rivers, and many others. It also removes the need for much industrial technology or equipment, so it is greener as well as cost-effective.