The Dangers of Pinhole Leaks in Condo Developments: Keeping Your High Rise Plumbing Safe and Effective
-+*Behind the walls of your condo, there is a vast network of different systems that deliver the luxuries of the
Behind the walls of your condo, there is a vast network of different systems that deliver the luxuries of the modern world straight to your home. These systems include electricity, cable and Internet connections, and, of course, water.
Because these systems tend to be out of sight, they also tend to be out of mind for most people. You likely do not spend your days contemplating the merits of high rise plumbing. However, when problems with your plumbing occur, they tend to spread quickly and cause significant damage, turning from an invisible infrastructure into a serious concern.
Your Condo Plumbing: What Can Go Wrong?
There are plenty of problems that can arise with your building’s plumbing; from poor workmanship to aging pipes, it tends to be only a matter of time before something happens. The problem tends to be with copper piping; while in use for more than 50 years in delivering domestic water supplies in North America, it can cause problems for various reasons.
Here are two common issuesin high rise plumbing that we tend to see time and again:
Pinhole Leaks.These are tiny perforations that occur when corrosion of copper pipes manages to work all the way through from the inside of the pipe to the exterior. This results in a small leakage of water.
Generally, it is expected that copper pipes should last between 20 to 25 years, but factors like poor workmanship, chemicals in the water, and other issues can make that timeframe as short as 2 years.
Pipe Breakage. As plumbing systems age, they become more and more susceptible to breakage. This is particularly true when it comes to watermains – in fact, Toronto experiences an average of 1100 watermain breaks per year.
These large pipes can cause serious flooding and damage when they break, and they are particularly prone to breaking as they age. This is due to the factors mentioned above, as well as fluctuations in temperature causing the pipes to expand and contract regularly.
When these issues occur, it is time to seek out commercial mechanical services in Toronto for help.
How to Repair and Prevent Problems
First of all, it is essential to be proactive in ensuring your plumbing systems are in good condition. Mold can start to grow within 24 to 48 hours after moisture is introduced to drywall or wood.
This means that you should not wait for the symptoms of leaks to appear – you should be proactive in leak detection in Toronto so that you can start the pinhole leak repair process as soon as possible after a leak occurs.
When damage to the pipes is evident, it is time to start exploring your options. Should you simply replace the offending pipe or pipes, or is more extensive repair needed? You should obtain professional help from a licensed plumber in making this evaluation.
CPL offers consultations to property managers, condo boards, and owners who are concerned about their high rise plumbing. We can come in, evaluate your plumbing system, and make recommendations about repairs and steps you can take to maintain a system to keep it in good condition moving forward.
Often, you will be confronted with the choice between re-piping or doing a pipe lining procedure. We have plenty of information on both options, and can discuss with you the costs, timeframes, advantages, and disadvantages to each type of repair. Here, we want to educate you a little more about the pipe lining process and materials used.
The Pipe Lining Solution
The technology that CPL uses in rehabilitating aging high rise plumbing is known as Blown Epoxy Lining Technology (BELT). This system originates from Japan and was initially developed in the 1960s. In the late 80’s, it made its way to North America as a solution for rehabilitating pipe systems in US Naval ships and carriers.
These systems face significant wear and tear due to corrosive saltwater exposure. It was found that the BELT method was more convenient and cost-effective for rehabilitating these ships than the frequent re-piping they would otherwise need.
Eventually, the BELT method made its way into commercial and residential plumbing practices, where it has now been in use for more than 30 years. CPL is one of the companies that offers this solution to commercial and residential clients.
In particular, you should note that CPL offers the only epoxy lining on the market that is approved by the national plumbing code. It is certified as compliant with NSF/ANSI Standard 61, meaning that it is safe and reliable for use in potable water systems – that is, systems which deliver consumable water to customers.
It is this type of epoxy that we use as part of the commercial mechanical services we offer in Toronto, ensuring that safe drinking water is readily available to high rise residents.
There are many advantages to using BELT to rehabilitate pipes; it tends to be more affordable and effective than re-piping, as well as more convenient for your condo residents. In addition, it can prolong the life of your condo plumbing by up to 50 years. These linings are 10 to 20 mils thick, meaning they are durable enough for multi-unit residential use and will stand the test of time.
CPL is an experienced BELT applicator, having restored more than 1 million feet of high rise water piping in Canada. We offer unparalleled knowledge and expertise in this area, and are the trusted name for pipe lining in Toronto.
If you are responsible for maintaining the plumbing systems in a high rise condo building, we invite you to call us (647-559-4719) and learn more about how we can help with your plumbing and mechanical needs. From basic repairs to full rehabilitation and restoration, we can help you.Read More