Do you know what you’d do if your sanitary drain stacks started failing? Sanitary drain stacks funnel wastewater from toilets and urinals into the sewer system so that it can be properly treated and recycled. Since these stacks often run between floors in multi-story buildings, a crack or leak in the pipe can affect numerous floors.

Understanding Sanitary Drain Stack Corrosion and the Repair Options

Since most sanitary drain pipes in large multi-story buildings and historic buildings are manufactured from cast iron or another metal, they corrode over time due to environmental conditions and the composition of the wastewater flowing through the pipe. This can lead to cracks and breaks in the pipe. In severe instances, entire sections of the pipe can collapse, leading to wastewater leaking onto multiple floors. There are typically two options for repairing sanitary drain stacks, including traditional pipe replacement and pipe lining.

Traditional Pipe Replacement for Drain Stacks

Traditional pipe replacement involves opening walls, removing the old pipes and replacing those pipes. This can cause a severe disruption to your residents and create a lot of dust, dirt and debris. Not to mention, it can destroy finishes, leading to the need to have additional contractors come into the building and restore the walls that were damaged during the replacement.

A recently converted hotel in New Jersey faced this dilemma. The historic structure was recently converted into condominiums. During the conversion process, the former hotel fought to preserve as many of the historic features as possible. This included the plaster on the walls. Sometime after the conversion was completed, the sanitary drain stacks started leaking. This caused waste to leak from the stacks onto the first floor and in the restaurant. Obviously, the drain stacks needed to be repaired as soon as possible.

The first option, cutting through the plaster and concrete walls, was not desirable. Not only would it destroy the historic plaster, it would disrupt the residents with debris and noise. The condo association wanted to provide their residents with fully functional drain stacks, but they needed an option that was minimally invasive and fairly quick to implement because they did not want to severely inconvenience the residents.

Non-Invasive Pipe Lining for Drain Stack Repair

The condo association started looking into pipe lining as an alternative solution. Pipe lining does not involve cutting out large sections of drywall or plaster or removing finishes. Instead, the pipe liners look for existing access points where they can connect equipment.

The pipe lining process then involves inserting an epoxy soaked liner through the access point into the damaged pipe and inflating it until it firmly presses against the sides of the existing pipe. Once the pipe liner has hardened, it is just as durable as a new pipe, and there’s no need to hire additional contractors. This process is also much faster than a traditional pipe replacement and does not involve creating excess amounts of dust, dirt and debris. For these reasons, the historic hotel chose pipe lining as their drain stack repair option.

Choosing Pipe Lining in Chicago with Nu Flow

Your multi-story historic or modern building in Chicago can also have its sanitary drain stacks repaired via pipe lining from Nu Flow. We offer non-invasive pipe restoration options for sanitary drain stacks that will not damage your building’s finishes, walls, ceilings or floors. Instead, we always look for the least invasive access point where we can attach our pipe lining equipment, clean the pipes and insert the pipe liner. This makes pipe lining the most affordable option because it fully restores your existing pipes and doesn’t require the hiring of additional contractors to restore walls and finishes.

For more information on our Chicago pipe lining services for multi-story buildings, call us at 815-790-9000.

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