Sewer laterals problems never show up at convenient times, and replacing a badly damaged lateral pipe usually can't wait for warmer weather. Unfortunately, freezing temperatures can pose numerous issues for replacement work. Standard digging methods and trenchless replacement both offer advantages, but winter can potentially complicate your decision.
Why Does Cold Weather Matter?
Cold weather won't stop an experienced plumber from dealing with a sewer lateral problem. Contractors that work in areas with harsh winters are used to dealing with all manner of below-grade issues, even when the ground is frozen. However, just because the work is possible doesn't mean that there won't be additional challenges.
The further you are into the winter, the more likely it is that the ground around your home is frozen. Frozen ground can be difficult to dig through, and excavation may require specialized equipment or a large team. The work might also take longer, which can potentially drive up your costs. Since excavation is pricey, this has the potential to impact the overall cost of the job significantly.
You'll also need to consider your landscaping and repair costs. Trench digging tends to be expensive because of its potential to disrupt your property. Repairing your landscaping may be impossible until the weather warms up, which could mean living with an unsightly yard for months. Fixing torn-up driveways or sidewalks may also be more costly and time-consuming in cold weather.
Is Trenchless Replacement a Better Option?
Trenchless methods allow for sewer lateral repairs and replacement without large-scale excavation, although your contractors may still need to dig one or more access holes. When you need to replace your entire lateral or a significant section, plumbers can use trenchless methods to insert cured-in-place pipes. These pipes can be just as robust and reliable as traditional options.
While these options can potentially save you money, they are not always cheaper than traditional replacement methods. If you have ideal conditions for excavating and won't need much property repair, this may be a better option. On the other hand, trenchless options become drastically more cost-effective in cases where most of your expense comes from excavation work.
In the winter, you'll need to consider how the frozen ground may impact your excavation costs, as well as the difficulty of repairing your property. Working with a plumber experienced in various lateral replacement methods can help you determine the option that's best for your home, property, and budget.
For more information about sewer lateral replacement, contact a local plumbing company.