If you are a Chicago property manager, there could be a problem lurking below or near your building. It is an issue that is unseen and rarely a concern…until it manifests itself in an ugly and damaging way: a salt-corroded garage drain pipe.

You see, in a cold weather city like Chicago, salt and chemicals are used to keep our roadways clear in the winter. In severe weather, they are used in mass quantities. This material doesn’t just magically disappear. It eventually makes its way into the ground, city sewers, and parking garage drains. This corrosive material ultimately takes its toll on drain pipes in building garages, including those associated with your building. Let’s take a look at the problems caused by road salt and how epoxy pipelining can help repair the damage.

The Problems with Salt in Your Garage Drain Pipes

In order to deice roads and parking lots, the city of Chicago and many private and public entities utilize snow and ice removal services. These services also put down ice melt, which is a mixture of salt and other chemicals that are designed to lower the freezing point of water and speed up the process of melting the snow and ice. This helps ensure good traction between the road and vehicle tires so that safe driving conditions can be maintained. The deicing chemicals, however, don’t just stay on the roads. They get onto vehicle tires and flow down the garage and parking lot drains with the melting snow and ice.

1. Road Salt Can Accelerate Metal Garage Drain Pipe Corrosion

Road salt can contribute to the rusting of iron and steel garage drain pipes. When the salt and water come into contact with the metal of the garage drain pipe, a chemical reaction takes place. This chemical reaction causes rust or iron oxide, and if that rust is left to worsen, it can lead to holes and cracks in your garage drain pipe.

2. Cracks and Holes Can Lead to Clogs and Flooding

If your garage drain pipe develops cracks and holes, those imperfections in the pipe’s surface can catch debris, like leaves, twigs, dirt, sand, and any trash that accidentally gets into the system. Once a piece of solid debris is caught, it starts to collect more solid debris until the entire diameter of the garage drain pipe is clogged and no water flows past the clog. This can lead to your parking garage or parking lot flooding when it rains or when additional snow and ice melt.

3. Road Salt Affects All Ages of Garage Drain Pipes

Road salt and corrosion of metal garage drain pipes is not just a problem associated with older buildings. We’ve seen salt corrosion affecting drain pipes in garages in buildings as little as ten years old. This means that all property managers need to be vigilant when it comes to the condition of their garage drain pipes. We recommend getting your garage drain pipes inspected each spring and hydrojetted at least once a year after the snow has stopped and the weather has started to warm. If you want to be extra vigilant, you’ll have your garage drain pipe hydrojetted in the fall after all the leaves have fallen from the trees.

How to Correct and Prevent Garage Drain Pipe Corrosion with Epoxy Pipelining

When it comes to protecting the metal of your garage drain pipe, the solution is epoxy pipelining. Epoxy pipelining for drain pipes involves the use of Pipe-In-Place pipelining (PIP). This is where a felt liner is soaked in epoxy and inserted into your garage drain. Once the liner has been fully inserted, it is inflated with an air bladder to ensure the liner’s surface fully connects with the interior surface of your garage drain pipe. Then, it is left in place while the liner cures. Once the liner is cured and hardened, the bladder is removed, and the pipe is put back into service. With the liner in place, salt and water can no longer reach of metal of your drain pipe, which stops current corrosion and prevents future corrosion of the host pipe.

Keep Your Parking Garage Drain Intact with Help from NuFlow Midwest, Serving Chicago

Here at NuFlow Midwest, our pipe relining process starts with an inspection of your garage drain pipe. This inspection is used to determine the levels of corrosion in the pipe and the best course of action in getting it corrected. If your pipes are good candidates for the pipelining process, the inside of the pipe is then thoroughly cleaned with an abrading agent and dried. Once the pipe’s interior is clean and dry, we line it with an epoxy-soaked liner and wait for it to cure. This process typically only takes a day or so, and we are happy to answer questions about your specific pipe and the lining process so that you fully understand the procedure prior to its implementation.

Benefits of Epoxy Pipelining for Garage Drains

Our pipe relining service is completely safe and long-lasting. The cured epoxy product is impervious to the corrosive action of acids, alkalies, and petroleum. Ground demolition is unnecessary with in-place restoration, making the process much more cost-effective than traditional pipe replacement. All of our epoxy lining restoration work includes a full 10-year installation guarantee. NuFlow’s epoxy pipe restoration technology is an eco-friendly solution. It creates no waste for landfills and doesn’t generate carbon emissions during manufacturing.

Our process not only works for deteriorating garage pipes, but pipelining also works on potable water pipes and the drains inside your building. It can fix leaky pipes in buildings without tearing through walls and expensive pipe replacement. This can be accomplished with much less inconvenience to tenants.

If you would like to know more about NuFlow’s trenchless pipe relining process, contact us today at 815-790-9000. We’d love to talk to you about your plumbing pipes.