What does Simply Smarter Pipe Replacement actually look like?
A behind-the-scenes view of a SageWater Repipe
Failing pipes in your community is stressful enough. The repipe process doesn’t have to be.
Certainly, replacing a failing piping system without displacing residents is no easy task. But SageWater has exclusively been replacing aged and defective piping in occupied buildings since 1988, with 35 million feet of replaced pipe under our belt in more than 100,000 apartments, condos, hotels, and office buildings nationwide.
We don’t just offer quality work, we have a proprietary, turnkey system that manages the entire process from plumbing to paint. Our expert pre-construction team can provide the foresight to help you navigate the severity of your leaks and make thoughtful recommendations on how to best proceed with repairing your community when you have problem pipes. And once we are on site, rather than juggling a number of contractors across different trades with varying levels of expertise, you’ll have one main point of contact to guide you through the entire process, including a project manager dedicated just to your community.
Just as important, we make things easier on building occupants. A resident-focused approach ensures the best available resolution with minimal disruption.
Here’s what you can expect from a SageWater repipe.
Step 1: Education and Communications
Before we replace a single pipe, we implement an education and communications program that clearly outlines the renovation plan, how the plan will affect daily life, and what to expect from our team of repipe specialists.
Paper Notification: The first part of that effort is paper notification to each resident, highlighting the renovations to come, how to best prepare their units, and when the repipe process is scheduled to begin. This also includes color-coded, unit-specific renovation plans that clearly outline the work areas, traffic areas, and unaffected areas within each unit.
Password-Protected Website: With this optional feature, we can create a website to further educate staff, owners, and residents about the details of the project. It includes copies of all written notices, unit-specific color-coded renovation floor plans, the latest project schedule, and contact information for your dedicated project manager.
In addition, residents can read about SageWater’s employee verification process, which includes thorough background checks and drug testing. We want to ensure everyone is comfortable with the team entering their homes, and that starts with us being comfortable with whom we hire.
Town Hall Meetings: As part of the educational effort, your project manager will host a meeting with residents to describe in extensive detail what to expect during the renovation. After the opening presentation, we encourage everyone to ask questions.
On-Site Presence: Your project managers maintain an on-site presence during the entire repipe process to address any issues, questions, or concerns that may arise.
Step 2: Preparing Each Unit for Repipe
Our goal is to ensure residents are comfortable and to create minimal disruption to their lives.
Residence Preparation: Prior to the start date, we ask residents to secure all valuables and remove fragile items from the specified work and traffic areas, as identified by the color-coded floor plan. One to two days prior to the start of construction, our project managers will conduct a pre-construction walk-through of each unit, inspecting for any pre-existing damages, checking for unforeseen obstructions, and making sure each unit is ready for work to begin.
Protecting the Units: When construction begins, the first step is to set up our dust and debris mitigation system. We surround the work areas with extensive plastic sheeting and drop cloths to protect the unit. Additional plastic sheeting protects TVs, electronics, and other sensitive items. This mitigation system is set up and removed daily so as not to disrupt residents after hours.
Step 3: Repiping Each Unit
Once the unit is properly protected, the SageWater crew quickly moves to access the areas where the new plumbing is installed.
Accessing Pipes: Our team will make precise drywall cuts within the work area. When possible, the drywall is labeled and stored so it can be reinstalled. Occasionally, we may have to cut plaster, concrete, or tile and sometimes we need to remove and reset cabinets, vanities, and mirrors in order to access the piping. If this is required, specific plans for this work will be detailed at the outset of the project and clearly communicated to residents and property management well in advance.
Installing New Pipes: Once drywall cuts are made, the SageWater crew removes existing pipes and installs the new piping system. We have expertise working in all property types and all pipe materials.
With our Simply Smarter process, the repipe step usually only takes a few days to complete, and water is guaranteed to be turned back on every night and on weekends so residents don’t have to move out during our work.
Inspections: If inspections are required in your jurisdiction, our project managers will work with the local inspectors to ensure all inspections take place in a timely manner and all work is completed in accordance with local building codes.
Step 4: Completing Each Unit
Immediately following the inspection, our expert craftspeople begin repairing the affected areas.
Restoration: SageWater’s carpentry, restoration, and finish crews replace the removed drywall, apply several layers of drywall compound, and smooth the finish to match the existing surface exactly. This can take two to four days to complete. During this stage, all carpentry and finish repairs are made, as well, including re-installing cabinets and fixtures, repairing any tile that was removed to access the pipes, and returning each unit to its pre-construction condition.
After that, we initialize our specialized paint matching and blending process. The repairs to the affected areas will be blended so they look just as they did prior to the repair. In most cases, by the time we are finished, you can’t even tell where the work was performed. It’s like we were never there at all!
Final Cleanup: With the final cleanup of each unit, we remove all remaining plastic sheeting and coverings and remove any last dust or debris from work areas.
Final Walk-Throughs: SageWater project managers will complete a quality assurance inspection and create a list of any items that need further attention. Once any last issues are addressed, the project managers will conduct a final inspection, during which the residents are encouraged to be present.
A Single Point of Accountability
SageWater’s entire process is designed to make repiping easier on both you and your residents—one point of contact and a proven system ensure clear communication and minimal disruption. By providing dedicated project management and industry-leading communications protocols, we reduce the burden on the property management staff by fielding phone calls and inquiries directly from the residents so you don’t have to. We respect that you team is busy, and taking on a large capital improvement project can add undue stress to an already overworked management and maintenance team.
We try to make the process as easy as possible, both for your staff and the residents, by providing a direct line of communication on all project-related issues. And if a problem ever does arise, you know exactly whom to call to get it addressed. That’s what we mean by Simply Smarter pipe replacement! At SageWater, we will support you every step of the way.