Culverts play an essential role in building and construction by providing the necessary drainage to prevent water damage and preserve the structural integrity of the structure. In the last century, most of the culverts which have been installed in building projects are made from multi-plate, galvanised corrugated metal. While the material has its many advantages, they also have their weaknesses which means that proper maintenance is needed to ensure the pipes last long.
During the installation of the culverts, the individual metal sheets are bolted together and then compacted with a backfill on the sides and the top. The backfill is important to ensure that the steel pipe takes shape, and also to add to the structural strength of the steel pipe. With time, the backfill may become less compacted, which affects the structural integrity of the pipeline and also makes it vulnerable to mechanical damage. Part of your pipe maintenance, therefore, should be periodic checking on the backfill to ensure that it is playing its supportive role to the conduit.
Dealing with erosion problems
The best way to avoid erosion problems which affect metallic pipes is to ensure that they are installed at the right flow line elevation. However, with time and external forces, the pipe might shift in position, making it easier for soil particles to get into the pipes and causes blockages. If on assessing the old culverts, you discover that there are sediments logged inside the pipe, rehabilitation should be the next sensible step. When restoration is done on time, the soil can be removed from inside the culverts and the elevation restored. However, if the material of the pipes has been affected by the moisture and is starting to rust, you may need to replace the system altogether.
Bolting the pipes
Another factor which determines how effective corrugated steel culverts are is how expertly the bolts were installed. Bolts should be installed and tightened to the recommended torque so that the culvert can withstand pressure from the water and the backfill. The inlet and outlet to the conduit should also have proper endings such as bevel ends or headwalls to protect the pipes from erosion and other damages.
Proper maintenance is what determines the service life of steel culverts. If you had a duct installed and it has been showing signs of deterioration, consider getting a sheet metal fabrication professional to asses the damage and recommend the right repair and rehabilitation procedures.