Shopping Center Inlet Repair – The Pros and Cons of Postponing Repairs

C&L Services offers emergency catch basin repair

Shopping Center Inlet repair –  When Is The Right Time? 

Timing is everything. There really is a best time to do most anything.  

When you see a crack in your windshield, it’s best that you have an auto glass specialist look at it immediately and repair it before it turns into a broken window. Timing is everything.

Or if you hear about bad weather, getting the rain gear or snow shovels out so you are prepared for whatever is needed for access to your stores. Timing is everything.

When it comes to Shopping Center inlet repairs, if you notice cracks or depressions that weren’t there before,  it might be a good time to have somebody look at it. Timing is everything.

Shopping Center Inlet Repair – What is a Shopping Center Inlet

Shopping Center Inlet Repair - sweeping.com
Typical shopping center inlet repair

A standard shopping center inlet has a perforated or slotted metal grate embedded into the pavement.

The grate covers a below-ground concrete structure. This inlet allows rain and storm water  to drain into the structure to keep a parking lot from flooding.

Shopping center inlets have a variety of names and are also known as storm drain, storm sewer, surface water drain/sewer, or stormwater drain.

What Can Go Wrong With A Shopping Center Inlet?

The most obvious issue for shopping center inlets is if they get clogged, it causes a flood.  The simple resolution is to remove the debris clogging the drain (usually leaves or paper) and the water drains.

Regular maintenance usually prevents this from happening, however if the shopping center is close to a heavily wooded area or if a recent event has generated a lot of paper (flyers, tickets or banners for a political rally) the inlets in the parking lot can create and unexpected blockage.

shopping center inlet collapse - sweeping.com
An inlet that has dropped approximately six inches from previous position with very poor repair efforts. Unsafe and unsightly.

The more costly and potentially unsafe issues can occur when a shopping center inlet begins to deteriorate.

If water seeps in between the pavement and the inlet apron, this can cause erosion of the sub-strata and the collapse of the pavement surrounding the inlet.

Several potential issues can result.  The first is the pavement becomes unsightly.   Visible cracks and deterioration are evident around the inlet and it appears neglected.

The second issue is the pavement becomes unstable and unsafe.  An individual driving (or even walking) on the pavement surrounding the inlet can cause it to collapse and damage the vehicle or cause injury to a pedestrian.

The final issue is complete inlet collapse.  The pavement around the inlet collapses and the infrastructure of the inlet disintegrates.  This creates a major inlet rehabilitation project at a substantial cost.

What kind of shopping center inlet repairs can be done?

In many cases the asphalt perimeter of a storm basin can be repaired so the inlet is returned to its intended purpose, to drain stormwater.

If the catch basin if the inlet has been damaged, it will need to be replaced.

Both projects require specialized expertise for asphalt and concrete repair as well as the administrative expertise needed to coordinate engineers and local officials for construction permits.

What Are The Pros of Waiting?

There are actually no pros to waiting.  Although it may appear that costs savings are achieved by waiting, the actual costs may be much higher if preventative maintenance is deferred.

It is much less expensive to continuously inspect and prevent shopping center inlets so problems can be “nipped in the bud” compare to replacing asphalt.

And replacing asphalt is much less expensive than replacing a shopping center inlet (requiring engineering, permit and possibly traffic fees).

What Are the Cons of Waiting?

As we mentioned above, timing is everything.  The longer you wait for shopping center inlet repair, the higher the cost will be.  The costs range from simple asphalt repair costs to major construction costs (and the most dreaded possible lawsuits).

Timing is everything, don’t postpone your decision to conduct shopping center inlet repairs.

Do you have a shopping center inlet that needs repair?

C & L Services is a third generation family owned property maintenance company. We have been providing inlet repair services to shopping centers, commercial property owners and communities in New Jersey for over forty years.

Our services include inlet repairconcrete repair, asphalt repair, and pavement maintenance.

We can give your property the attention needs and keep your residents happy.

If you’re in North Jersey, Contact us at 908-730-7884.  If you’re in Central New Jersey call us at 732-886-1940 to arrange for shopping center inlet repair.

 

Inlet Repair – Why You Should Fix Your Storm Drain Inlet

Inlet Repair – Functions of storm water inlets

inlet repair - sweeping.comStorm water drains have different names. Whether they are called curb inlets, drop inlets or drain inlets, they are all the same thing.

Storm water inlets drain storm water runoff and diverts it to underground piping. This prevents flooding and diverts water to basins or waterways designed to manage storm water.

Inlet repair – Sinkholes and their links to drainage structures

You may have noticed that sinkholes sometimes appear around storm water drains. One of the major causes of sinkholes around storm water drains is structure leakage.

This happens when the seams around the structure begins to leak through water intrusion. The degree of the leakage increases over time if not fixed. The materials used in the joints between the pipes will gradually deteriorate and the leaks will become wider. This process of sealing pipe joints is known as parging.

It is important to note that postponing an inlet repair will result in significantly higher repair costs. Since leakage points will deteriorate and widen, the sinkholes will gradually get deeper and also more expensive to repair.

In other words, the longer you ignore leaking structures and an inlet repair project the more you increase your costs in two ways – repairing the leaks and filling the sinkholes. Once you notice a sinkhole, no matter how small, immediately contact inlet repair experts to find the cause and fix it before it becomes a full inlet collapse.

Inlet Repair – More Causes and Consequences

Another cause of sinkholes or leaks in the drain structures is the settlement of the adjacent soil. When the ground begins to sink, the drain structure could shift out of position. This could lead to leaks since the shifting frequently stretches the sealing materials. Apart from leaks or leakages, shifting can also cause cracking or breakage of the joints. This also leads to inlet collapse.

The speed at which leakages turn to sinkholes depends on a couple of factors. First of all, the volume of water flowing through the drain or flowing into the drain plays a prominent role in this. The higher the volume of water passing through the drains the faster the buildup of sinkholes.

The second factor is the size of the leaks. Larger leaks lead to larger volumes of water intrusion and accelerated deterioration.

Here is  detailed article on the causes of inlet failure – Concrete Repair: Why Inlets Collapse and What To Do About It

Inlet Repair – How to fix leaks in storm water structures

Although this is not the most effective effective solution, the first intervention to fill up sinkholes with an aggregate of gravel or soil. This just treats the symptom, not the root causes..

Generally the filler material does not stop the sinkholes from getting bigger. Once the filler materials have washed away, the sinkholes will reappear and the cycle of adding filler materials begins again. The permant solution to sinkholes and in order to prevent a costly inlet collapse, you must complete a thorough inlet repair.

Filling sinkholes without any inlet repair is just like refilling a leaking bucket with water. If you don’t plug the leakage, filling it up with more water will just be temporary. After a short period, depending on how big the leakage is, the water level would drop again.

Some people prefer to install additional parging on the leaks and this also works for a short period. During the cold days of winter some drains and pipes freeze and this increases the chances of parging failure. So, additional parging can only work for a short period.

The best and most effective solution to leakages of storm water drainage structures is to seal all the leaks in the joints one after another. After which you can then fill up the sinkholes. However, this method can only be effective if the stormdrain repair is done with the right sealing materials by experienced stormdrain repair experts.

Do you have an inlet in need of concrete repair?  Is your inlet sagging, cracked or not operating properly?  Call us at 609-886-1940.  We’ll be glad to assess your needs and guide you to the proper inlet repair.

Concrete Repair: Why Inlets Collapse and What To Do About It

concrete repair - inlets - sweeping.comConcrete Repair – Durable but Not Everlasting

Concrete is known to be a very strong,  exceptionally durable material used in construction. These are the characteristics that make concrete water inlets perfect for drainage or flowing rain water even in places of high traffic such as paved streets, car parks, parking lots, footpaths, sidewalks, and roofs.

A typical concrete inlet features a grate that filters out the debris trapped in rainwater from entering and blocking the storm drain. The grate also prevents vehicles, people, and larger objects from falling into the culvert.

See our images of concrete inlets and inlet repair.

Concrete Repair – Can concrete inlets get damaged?

Despite being dependable and durable, concrete inlets can fail, posing risks to people and animals who might fall into sink holes caused by the collapse of the inlet. When larger pieces of debris, leaves or construction materials find their way into the inlets, the drainage water backs up into the street or pathway.

When larger pieces of debris, leaves or construction materials find their way into the inlets, the drainage water backs up into the street or pathway. This “backed-up” water seeps into the cracks between the inlet and the pavement and can cause erosion of the sub-strata.

When this happens, concrete repair for the inlet grate, culvert and apron can be quite costly. In addition, the erosion on the surrounding the pavement, sidewalk, or groundcover can cause large sinkholes that would also need to be

If this erosion is extreme, the inlet and supporting structure can fail and the concrete repair can be quite costly. In addition, the erosion to the surrounding the pavement, sidewalk, or groundcover can cause large sinkholes that would also need to be filled, compacted, and reseeded.

Here are some of the main reasons why inlets collapse and what concrete repair measures are necessary to restore the inlets.

Reason 1: Structural failure

Although concrete is the most dependable material to use in making inlet aprons and boxes, improper concrete mixing and pouring may leave weak spots after the concrete has cured.

These weak points are often difficult to spot in concrete but you can minimize risks by choosing high-quality factory-made precasts that have been tested for strength and consistency.

When it comes to concrete repair, poured-in-place casts must be designed to meet site-specific requirements including reinforcement and environmental conditions necessary for the concrete to dry properly.

Reason 2: Functional failure

When a concrete inlet is poorly designed, it can collapse because it can’t handle the pressure of drainage water or when the load on the grates is too high.

When the inlet cover is installed without proper preparation or when the grates are too thin or too far apart, functional failure is possible. Such functional faults can be repaired before too much damage is done.

For effective and long lasting concrete repair, review and adjust for site-specific factors such as traffic, amount of water and debris, geographic features and environmental factors that affect the runoff water.

Reason 3: Poor maintenance

Like every other drainage system, a concrete inlet must be properly maintained to prolong its life and enhance its efficiency. This means that debris must be cleaned away from the grate after storms, smaller particles that build up must be cleaned out, and the entire drainage system must route the water to where it is designed.

A concrete repair process must include the use of a sufficiently large vault system, properly sized pipes, and maintenance access in the design for ongoing maintenance.

Concrete repair of collapsed inlets is a chance to fix all the problems that caused the collapse in the first place. These tips can be a starting point when assessing and repairing a collapsed or ineffective drainage inlet system.

Do you have an inlet in need of concrete repair?  Is your inlet sagging, cracked or not operating properly?  Call us at 609-886-1940.  We’ll be glad to assess your needs and guide you to the proper level of inlet concrete repair.

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