Difficult damp problem in housing block cured by pipe patching

Deteriorating drainage systems in blocks of flats can be a prime cause for damp, and a major facilities management headache if blocked or damaged pipes are hard to reach.

Drainage engineers from Lanes Group’s Chester depot demonstrated that the company’s remote access repair systems are at the forefront of providing the answer to these challenges.

They have carried out a patch liner repair on a rainwater downpipe at Glyn Garth Court, a 10-storey block of 38 flats at Menai Bridge on Anglesey, in North Wales, curing a leak that had caused significant problems.

Lanes Group’s CCTV drainage survey technology is also being put to good use at Glyn Garth Court, providing a clear picture of other drainage maintenance priorities in the building.

Dewi Parry, Property Manager for Glyn Garth Court, said: “The service Lanes has provided is very useful. There was no way we could have repaired the pipe by conventional means because of its location.

“But Lanes came out and identified the cause of the problem, and returned the following week to carry out the repair.

“The block of flats is about 50 years old, and is getting to the point where facilities like drainage systems are getting tired and in need of increased maintenance.

“Having a full CCTV drainage survey of the structure’s complete drainage system, including rainwater and foul water downpipes will allow us to plan that maintenance cost-effectively.”

Lanes used a push-rod CCTV camera system to investigate pipework at Glyn Garth, which is made up of a mix of private residential, holiday properties and private lettings.

The 100mm diameter steel pipe was accessed from the balcony of one of two 10th storey penthouse flats via an external storage cupboard. A section of pipe with a 90-degree bend had to be removed to allow the camera to be fed into the pipe.

High definition video images revealed a displaced joint had been allowing water to escape and seep into the bathroom in the flat below.

The Lanes drainage engineers installed a 500mm-long glass-fibre patch liner impregnated with resin into the pipe, positioning it over the defective joint. A packer was then inflated to press it against the pipe.

Once the resin had cured, or hardened, sufficiently, the packer could be removed, leaving a tough and waterproof pipe-within-a-pipe, preventing water from escaping.

Lanes Group is now due to use a specialist narrow-gauge CCTV camera system to investigate 50mm-diameter pipes within the building, to assess if they too need to be cleaned or repaired.

Lanes Chester Area Development Manager Sian Wyn-Jones said: “Property owners and facilities managers are using us more and more for this kind of building maintenance work.

“Our remote-access diagnostic tools and pipe repair and rehabilitation technologies are just as well suited to pipe systems above ground as below ground.

“We also now have an in-house professional services team who can support complex maintenance and repair projects with structural and civil surveying and design, including digital and GPS mapping.”


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