News of a broken sewer line is difficult enough to process; all the more when you find out it is located below the slab foundation. Properties that are built on top of slab foundations do not have any basements or crawl spaces. Thus when the pipes underneath need to be fixed, the process is not as simple as one would hope.
There are two main ways to repair a sewer line located under a slab. Below, we break down each of the methods for you to better determine which one is best suitable for your property.
Method 1: The Traditional Way
The first step in the traditional method is locating the leaking pipe below the cement. Cement is known to be very porous, which means an excess of water will work its way up to the surface.
Because of this, leaks will be easier to spot once the water rises from your floors. You may notice it in the form of a damp carpet, mould under rugs, or actual puddles of water indoors.
Once you have detected the area where the leak is, you will need to excavate. . You will then repair or replace the exposed broken pipe, refill the groundwork under the slab, relay the concrete, and then reinstall your flooring.
With having to jackhammer through concrete, you can imagine the cleanup and health hazard of this method to be rather extensive. It can be inconvenient, costly, and the risk of disrupting the structural integrity of your home depending on how big the excavation had to be.
Method 2: The Trenchless Pipelining Way
Through the trenchless pipeline method, you can expect to have a less invasive form of repairing your sewer line. This process typically starts with a video inspection by inserting the small camera through common access points. This could be a bathtub drain, the sink, or other entry points connected to the sewer line in question.
This video is then utilized to map out the entire pipework located under the slab in order to design and develop customized pipelining materials. The pipes are then cleaned out through mechanical and descaling methods. These are very powerful cleaning techniques that can effectively get rid of built up oil, built up grease, tree roots, and even heavy corrosion.
After cleaning out the pipes, they can then be re-lined using the customized liners developed earlier on. These are tailor-made to fit inside the specific pipes concerned, and are manufactured with malleable and flexible material. This is pushed through the entire pipeline and then left alone to cure and harden.
Once it has set, this hardened liner acts as your new pipe! With this non-invasive method, there is no need for digging, reinstalling of flooring, or cleaning up of debris. Furthermore, the new pipe is made of material that is proven to last an average of 50 years, making it well worth the investment.