The Problem with Cured In Place
Cured in place lining solutions have been around for decades and can be appropriate for underground systems, larger diameter drain and sewer lines. Cured in place pipe (CIPP) linings are thicker, heavier, resin impregnated liners, such as felt or fiberglass, that cure to a hard, structural finish, essentially creating a pipe within a pipe. CIPP has been proven to extend the lifecycle of underground sewer lines that are simply cost prohibitive to excavate and replace.
However, for above ground CIPP solutions within the building envelope, there are numerous risks – including health and safety concerns, hazardous material considerations, installation concerns, as well as cost, durability and warranty concerns.
Health & Safety Concerns
Health and safety concerns arise with the use of CIPP, because drain, waste and vent pipes are open to the environment with vent lines that run to open air on the roof. The use of CIPP lining presents some environmental concerns related to air quality (gas releases) as well as water quality (drain lines that feed into the ecosystem such as rain leaders). CIPP resins do not have the same requirements as epoxy, because they carry waste versus potable drinking water. Of particular concern is the effect of styrene, which is a component of the resin that saturates that lining tube and is considered a possible carcinogenic as classified by the EPA.
Warranty & Financing Considerations
Another cause of concern with CIPP lining for solutions within the building envelope is that CIPP installation and warranties are only as good as their installers. The warranties that manufacturers offer range from full one-year warranties to limited warranties on the lining material, but the manufacturer warranty will not cover improper installation. It’s absolutely critical to read the fine print of the installers’ warranties and understand how long the workmanship and material are warrantied for, especially if it determined that either the installation or the material is defective.
Provided the uncertainties of success with CIPP, some financial institutions have declined to finance CIPP installations which can challenge condominiums that do not have sufficient reserves in advance, requiring a special assessment or even a significant cash outlay. Given the cost competitiveness of a repipe and that the cost of CIPP is not straightforward, serious consideration should be given to whether or not CIPP should be used within the building envelope.
Assessing All Options
Due to the amount of risk associated with CIPP lining within the building envelope, it is not a comparable alternative to pipe replacement of drain, waste and vent piping within the interior of a building. Before making an investment decision, it is always advisable for a property to explore all its options, including a repipe, to ensure their community is making the most informed decision possible about fixing its failing pipes.
To learn more about pipelining issues, visit our epoxy site that organizes the facts into two types currently available in the marketplace: epoxy lining and cured-in-place pipe (CIPP).