What Is a Trench Breaker?
Trench breakers are used by construction crews laying pipelines. A trench breaker can be made from a number of materials. This most common breakers, however, are made from either sandbags or spray foam. When a pipeline is laid, the crew must first dig a trench to house the line. This trench is often subject to erosion caused by rain, wind or other uncontrollable natural occurrences. This can cause problems with both the function of the pipe and also the continued construction of the pipeline. Dirt can clog the pipe and prevent the crew from gaining access or properly finishing the installation.
Trench breakers are set around the pipe at intervals to help prevent erosion from occurring. They give the trench structure and restrain the sides of the trench, should the land threaten to spill over or the structure threaten to collapse. They are imperative for both the safety of the pipeline and the safety of the people working hard to install it. They are most commonly used in trenches that are at risk of flooding, such as those that are near a water source, those that run downhill, or those being built in areas that are subject to heavy rains.
Spray Foam Makes The Best Kind of Trench Breaker
Although sandbags are traditionally used to prevent flooding and erosion of a trench, foam is widely acknowledged to be the best material for residential and commercial use. This is because foam is much more versatile and easy to use. For one thing, foam is much easier to apply to the trench. In most cases, a sandbag must be physically placed in the bottom of the trench. This requires a person to climb down into the trench and arrange the bags in the correct placements. Not only can spray foam be applied from the edge of the trench, but it is applied much more quickly and at a fraction of the cost.
Spray foam trench breakers are also widely believed to be more effective. Because the foam conforms to the exact dimensions of the trench, it acts as a much more secure barrier against water and erosion. Narrow trenches never need to be widened. Additionally, foam is safer for the pipeline. It bonds to the sides of the trench and does not shift once it has been buried. This means that, unlike sandbags, the foam will never rub against or damage the pipe. Of all the various trench breakers on the market, there is no doubt that foam is one of the best.