The pipes that move water around the house can cause havoc when they break. It’s important to insulate them to try to stop that from happening.
What Does Insulation Protect From?
- Internal Freezing – One of the worst things that can happen when the temperatures drop is having the water in your pipes freeze solid. Insulation can help keep the water flowing by preventing the temperature in the pipes from reaching freezing point.
- Water Damage – If water from the surrounding environment gets onto the exterior of a pipe, it could cause trouble. In colder climates, it could freeze on the exterior surface, which might cause cracks, like you see in the pavement. Even without the cold, water will corrode uninsulated pipes over time.
- Inefficiency – Uninsulated pipes cost more to run water through. Not only will proper insulation prevent loss of heat and reduce the energy needs of your water heater, it can also protect the overall thermal efficiency of your home.
Can I Insulate Pipes Myself?
Unlike the insulation you might be familiar with for attics, walls, or other parts of the house, insulation for pipes has to be more precise. Precision is a factor when it comes to fitting the material snugly against the pipes and joints. If there is space between the insulation and the pipes, then it will still open the pipes up to our listed threats.
So long as you have access to the pipes and have accurate precision measurements of their diameter, you should be able to purchase the size of insulation you need. You should also purchase vapor dams/seals for joints and ends. Actual installation procedures depend on the type of insulation you buy, but you should always make sure the exterior pipe surface is clean.
Types of Pipe Insulation
There are two main types of insulation for pipes: foam pipe insulation and fiberglass pipe insulation.
Foam Pipe Insulation
Foam is a closed-cell material that is generally available in eight-foot-long sleeves that can be cut to fit the pipe. Foam pipe insulation is flexible, lightweight, and doesn’t require that much expertise to install, so it’s the most common type used. It is ideal for long stretches of water supply pipes.
Fiberglass Pipe Insulation
This option is recommended in places where there’s more exposure to heat, such as near boilers or water heaters. Fiberglass is an open-cell material that is lightweight and highly effective at insulation. It’s0 also helpful in places where pipes take many different turns. This is because the material can easily go around bends.
Acme Plumbing is here to help
Regardless of if you decide to do the job yourself or get professional help, it is always best practice to insulate your pipes before the winter sets in. It will save you money and keep your water flowing without the risk of damage.
Plumbing is something you want to get right. If you live in the Triangle area and want help from plumbers with four generations of experience call Acme Plumbing at (919) 688-1348. Our team of licensed professionals can provide quality insulation that’s tailored to your pipes. Get in touch today!