The Benefits of Pipe-lining Technology for Multifamily

Research shows that the most prevalent resident complaints include clogged drains, pipe leaks and a general lack of preventative maintenance.

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By Amanda Strouse, ACE DuraFlo

Multifamily communities are some of the most challenging types of buildings to maintain. With dozens or hundreds of residents with diverse ages, backgrounds and monetary situations, they all have different expectations of what an accommodating, enjoyable and safe living environment is. For the majority of residents, preventing inconveniences is key. Research shows that the most prevalent resident complaints include clogged drains, pipe leaks and a general lack of preventative maintenance.

Multifamily property managers and condominium HOA board members can easily eliminate these common complaints and maintenance requests, all while increasing the value of the property and putting the residents at ease.

The solution? In-place pipe-lining technology.

Blown-in place pipe-lining technology was brought to the United States in the 1980s as a beneficial alternative to a traditional repipe—otherwise known as a pipe replacement. This conventional method of repair is still utilized today, although it has proved itself null. The repiping process consists of digging up floors, hardscape and landscape, tearing open walls and ripping apart ceilings in order to access the pipes and replace them. Not only is this method incredibly wasteful, it is also extremely time-consuming, expensive and so disruptive to residents living or working in the building that it is often uninhabitable during the work. Due to these significant disadvantages, more and more property management professionals are choosing pipe lining over repiping.

Copper before and after

Copper before and after

Blown-in place pipe lining, a particular type of in-place pipe-lining technology, restores and preserves pressurized pipe systems, including drinking water mains and pipes, HVAC pipes, fire sprinkler systems, pool pipes, decorative fountain pipes and natural gas systems. This process prevents resident relocation, as well as unsightly and disruptive destruction. There are several companies in the United States and the international business community that use their own patented blown-in place pipe lining technology, but they follow some basic common steps:

1) Hoses are connected to the pressurized pipe system’s existing access points. Preheated, filtered air is pushed throughout the isolated system to dry it.

2) Next, an air and sand mixture is pushed throughout the pipes to clean the inside surface of the pipes and prepare them for the proper bonding of the epoxy coating that is to follow.

3) Liquid epoxy is pushed through the pipes using the compressed air, until the pipes’ interiors are fully coated with a layer of the epoxy. The epoxy cures and then the protective epoxy coating is left inside the pipes.

This process has many advantages that greatly benefit multi-unit residential buildings, prompting more and more property managers and HOA boards to choose this type of technology to rehabilitate their property’s pipes or prevent leaks from occurring.

1) Minimally-destructive: Using existing access points, the blown-in place pipe-lining method minimizes tearing open walls and ceilings, digging up floors, landscape and hardscape. The prevention of destruction means that residents can continue to live in their homes during the project and the project doesn’t create an ugly eye sore for residents, their guests or prospective residents.

2) Minimally-disruptive: Since there is minimal destruction, the residents are not disrupted like they would be during a pipe replacement. Depending on the epoxy maker, fast curing epoxy will allow one unit to be completed in just one day, so the home’s pipes are functioning normally by the evening, and the residents are left with peace of mind that they are protected from pipe leaks and other failures.

3) Cost-effective: Generally, a pipe lining project is less expensive than a pipe replacement, since a repipe consists of tearing apart the building and then putting it back together again. Pipe lining is also a low-cost investment as opposed to paying for many temporary Band-Aid-type repipe fixes throughout several years, as well as the damages brought on by pipe leaks and mold.

4) Effectively prevent leaks: The epoxy cures into a strong barrier coating which prevents corrosion that leads to pinhole leaks and slab leaks.

5) Mold prevention: By preventing the formation leaks within walls and ceilings, property managers, residents and homeowners do not have to fear unknown water leaks that cause mold, damaging the property and posing health concerns.

6) Improved water flow: The epoxy coating prevents the build-up of corrosion, MIC (in fire sprinkler pipes) and leaks, thus greatly improving the water flow to the pressure the pipe system was intended to deliver.

7) Clean water: Some epoxy coatings are effective at preventing metals from leaching (lead leaching from lead and galvanized pipes into drinking water and copper leaching from copper pipes into drinking water), promoting safer and healthier drinking water for the residents. The barrier coating also prevents unattractive rusty water, discoloration from metal leaching or corrosion buildup inside the pipes.

8) Eco-friendly: This non-destructive method of reusing the existing host pipes is environmentally friendly and prevents waste, pipes and building materials from being added to the already-crowded landfills.

Pipe lining is the revolutionary, time-proven pipe repair method that multifamily residences should embrace in order to save costs, prevent unsightly destruction, encourage eco-friendly practices and provide residents with a peace of mind.

Amanda Strouse is on the marketing and public relations team for ACE DuraFlo, the creator of the patented ePIPE product and worldwide group of installers that utilize the patented ePIPE process to restore pipes in-place. For more information, contact us at www.restoremypipes.com or 1-800-359-6369.