Commercial Multifamily Buildings and Trenchless Pipe Lining: Building for the Long-term Future of Your Properties

Whether they like it or not, people who live in multifamily buildings have to learn to share certain things with their neighbors. Whether it’s the shared amenities of an upscale building such as a pool or something that every building has, like a staircase or the building’s hallways, all of the tenants of a multifamily building use at least some parts of the building that are common-use.

Water drainage infrastructure is one of those parts. Usually, all the apartments in one vertical are connected to a common vertical drainage pipe, also called a stack. Branch lines, which go from the drains in all the apartments on a single vertical, feed into the stack, which runs from the roof all the way to the horizontal drain under the building.

Wear and Tear — The Main Problem with Stacks

The piping in a multifamily building has to withstand much more usage than piping in a single-family house. In a four-story building, for example, the part of the stack that runs through the bottom floor apartment will have to deal with the drainage from all the apartments above. Compared to a single story family house, that’s four times more wastewater running through that part of the stack.

There are some ways to offset the damage that comes from the increased use. Pipes made from different materials have different traits, and focusing on durability when choosing the piping material is something you should consider. Then again, even the most durable types of pipe will start to fail eventually. Not to mention that durability is not the only thing you can factor in. Pricing, flammability, longevity, and availability can also influence your choice.

How Are Stack Issues Usually Dealt With

The usual way to go about ensuring the stacks in your building are working properly is to inspect and clean them regularly and fix them when they break. While regular cleaning is always a good idea, waiting for them to start breaking down is something you might want to avoid.
In order to repair or replace a part of the stack, you’ll have to wreck the walls to be able to reach the pipe and it’s possible that you’ll have to ruin the walls in more than one apartment on the vertical before the problem is fixed. The whole procedure is disruptive, expensive, and can even cause damage to apartments that don’t have any problems with their drainage.

Is There a Better Way to Maintain Stacks?

If you don’t want to unnecessarily disrupt your tenants’ everyday lives and still make sure their drainage works well, you should consider trenchless pipe lining.
Trenchless pipe lining, as employed by Rooter Drain Experts, is a minimally invasive procedure that can be used to repair some issues with the stacks or to prevent them from happening. The lining can be installed using an existing access point, so there might not be a need to dig into walls at all. This makes the procedure much cheaper, and it minimizes the inconvenience to your tenants.

You don’t even have to wait for the pipes in your building to start breaking down to give them a new lining. Every type of pipe has a certain life expectancy and using trenchless pipe lining you can extend the life expectancy of your pipes for a while longer. But whether you wait until the piping starts showing problems, or if you strike preemptively, keep in mind that trenchless lining is the more convenient, usually less costly, and significantly less disruptive option to keep the pipes working.