We’re all aware that all four seasons affect our homes in different ways. For example, we’ll either use more energy to heat or cool our living space due to temperature changes. However, the time of the year doesn’t just impact whether we’ll turn the furnace or the AC system on. It can contribute to major damage to pipes in our basements, crawl spaces, attics, and garages among other things.
During the colder part of the year, the freezing low temperatures can cause pipe leakage due to cracks and fractures. If you don’t act in time, these pipes can break, leading to excess water which eventually turns into a flood. Unfortunately, low temperatures aren’t just common for winter. In Virginia, they can drop low enough even in spring with frequent snap freezes.
The best way to deal with this type of problem is to insulate your pipes. Reasons are many, and it’s not just about pipe leakage. While it will help them stay intact, this technique will reduce your bills as well. In the following, we’ll discuss why insulation is a must during springtime and what are the best ways to do it.
What Is Insulation?
Let’s be clear here: Insulation and cold climate go hand in hand. We use it for walls and attics to preserve heat during wintertime and lower the utility costs. Nonetheless, versed homeowners will use insulation for both their cold and hot water pipes. Besides heat-loss prevention, insulation is so great because it takes just a couple of hours to install.
The most common materials in use are certainly polyethylene and neoprene. Still, both are types of foam, which makes them combustible. This is why it’s best to use these two for pipes that aren’t close to the furnace. In such cases, we suggest you use fiberglass insulation as it won’t burn or cause toxic smoke like the previous two types.
Pros of Insulating Your Pipes
Insulation offers numerous benefits to your home. From preventing pipe freezing and breakage to keeping walls from allowing heat to escape, it’s simply a must for every homeowner. Here, we’ll list four major pros of pipe insulation.
Hot Water Pipes and Lower Bills
In case you decide to insulate your hot water pipes, you can count on several benefits. Namely, when it’s cold enough, water in the pipes will lose its heat until it gets to its destination. But if you install insulation, it allows the water to be two to four degrees warmer than the one in an uninsulated pipe. As such, you can keep your water heater set low and save money when it’s time to pay the bills.
Insulation Prevents Pipe Breakage
It’s not uncommon to come across a broken pipe that’s leaking in the winter or spring. Due to cold temperatures, the pipes freeze, deform, and eventually break. However, with the use of insulation over your plumbing, you can prevent this. The coat will keep the pipes warm enough even on the coldest of days, restricting them from freezing.
Cold Water Pipes and Heat Absorption
Although it’s logical to want your cold pipes to stay cold, they mustn’t freeze. With insulation, cold water pipes will absorb just enough heat to stay intact. For example, if the temperature in your basement, crawl space, or garage is around 50 degrees, the cold pipes would be 10 to 12 degrees colder, which is just enough. If you leave them without insulation, they would draw much more heat from the room, lowering the overall temperature in your lower-grade level.
Cold Water Pipe Insulation Helps with Moisture
Since crawl spaces and basements are in contact with damp soil, the moisture levels inside will be much higher than anywhere else in your home. This makes cold water pipes a perfect surface for condensation. Moreover, this will lead to pools forming under them, with water dripping to your floor. To prevent this, it’s best to insulate the pipes and their joints.
Installing Insulation on Your Pipes
As we’ve said, pipe insulation isn’t a complicated process. It can all be over in a couple of hours. Still, that’s if you contact professional help. Hence, here’s how professionals do it and what you should keep an eye out for.
First, it’s key to measure the size of the pipe you’re looking to insulate. In most cases, the pipe size comes down to the interior diameter instead of the outside surface. Professionals will keep that in mind before determining the width and the length of the pipe. Once they do that, it’s time to purchase the insulation that best suits the type of pipe.
It’s worth it to mention that they should clean the pipe before they apply anything onto them. Removing any dirt or grease allows the insulation to properly stick to the surface. Also, the pipes should dry after cleaning. Since some materials come in long sleeves, the professionals might need to cut them up to fit the pipe. This won’t be any fuss, and they can use scissors or a box cutter.
Once they fit the insulation, they’ll need to secure it. They can use either duct tape or wires to do so. In some cases, self-adhesive insulation won’t need such work. It will snap back together once you wrap it around the pipe. Still, you can add duct tape or a wire every few feet to make sure it stays nice and firm over your pipes.
Looking to Insulate Your Pipes?
Leaving your pipes bare during the whole year isn’t a good idea. Even if springtime seems much more comfortable in Virginia Beach, VA, snap freezes can occur now and then. Hence, it’s best to contact professional help to keep your home safe and sound. You can schedule your appointment today at A1 Sewer and Drain service. With our help, your pipes will no longer freeze and break. You’ll be able to enjoy your home carefree once more.