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What is the reason of retightening in flanged joints?

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Traditional gaskets are non-elastic in nature. As such, this property of gasket results in a reduction in the bolt’s preload as time goes by. In fact, this phenomenon usually takes place shortly after installation leading to bolt relaxation. To reduce the effect of bolt relaxation which may cause subsequent water leakage during operation, retightening the bolts is carried out some time latter after initial tightening.

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This question is taken from book named – A Self Learning Manual – Mastering Different Fields of Civil Engineering Works (VC-Q-A-Method) by Vincent T. H. CHU.

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