Do you know how to insulate the pipes in your home? Do you know whether you should even bother with it? Sadly, a lot of homeowners don’t give their plumbing a second thought — until disaster strikes. It’s often a lot easier to prevent a problem from happening than it is to fix that problem once it hits. This is definitely the case with pipe insulation. Insulating the exposed pipes in your home, garage or pump house is a must if you live in an area that gets winter freezes.
Why Your Pipes Should Be Insulated
Wrapping your pipes in insulation not only protects them from the danger of freezing in the winter, it can also help prevent other household problems from occurring. Problems such as sweating pipes, mold and heat loss can add up to a lot of damage and expense. By using easy-to-find insulating wraps at home improvement stores, you can save a lot of money and frustration. There are many different types of insulation to choose from. Some are meant to be used only on cold-water pipes. Others work best only for hot water pipes. Luckily, there are also products that work with both, so the choice is easy for those of us who are Plumbing Challenged.
Choosing the Best Type of Insulation
The foam and foil types are just one example. On hot water pipes they help stop heat loss from happening, which is always a problem. On cold water pipes they help stop pipes from sweating. Did you know that water “sweating” from pipes can be one of the causes of mold in your home? Before you apply this type of insulation make sure you thoroughly clean and then dry the pipes first. This will help the insulation “stick” better.
Another type of insulation that’s easy to work with is the Tubular Sleeve. This is a molded piece of foam shaped like a pipe that has a slit on one side of it. All you need to do is slip this around the pipe and it will fit like a glove. This type is good if you have a lot of pipe that needs to be insulated. This also comes in a self-sealing type or you can use duct tape to seal it in place for added protection. Whichever type of insulation you choose, just be sure to read the package carefully to make sure you’ve got the right type for the pipes you want to protect.
Once you’ve insulated all your exposed pipes be sure you check them regularly. Sometimes the duct tape or self-sealing part can work loose over time. Any opening in the insulation will allow cold air to enter which could cause problems. For more information on how to insulate your pipes, please contact our plumbing contractors at 1-888-941-0618.