DIY Tip – Why You Should Insulate Pipes in Your Home

As the weather gets cooler, you may be thinking about getting the winter coats out of storage. While you’re at it, you might also want to consider insulating an important part of your house – your plumbing. While not all your pipes call for additional protection, there are a few reasons why it’s a good idea to insulate some of your water pipes.  

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Benefits of insulating water supply pipes

The water supply pipes in your home are pressurized, meaning that they can cause a giant mess and significant damage if they break. In cold climates, one of the most common reasons that pipes break is from exposure to cold temperatures and eventually freezing. Adding insulation around the pipes can be a good way to prevent this from happening. 

Here are the main benefits of insulating your pipes:

  • Protect pipes from freezing – This is especially important in unheated spaces such as garages, attics, crawl spaces, basement, or uninsulated walls.
  • Limit heat loss and reduce energy costs – Insulation reduces the amount of heat that radiates away from hot water pipes. This can allow you to keep your water heater at a lower temperature and make your plumbing more energy efficient.
  • Reduce moisture – When cold water pipes are exposed to warm air, condensation can form. In the most extreme cases, this water can drip off and form a puddle somewhere in the home, or it can increase the humidity level in the space.

Types of pipe insulation

There are two common types of pipe insulation. Pipe wrap comes in strips that you wrap around the pipe and work your way down for as long as you need insulation. For installing pipe wrap, you typically don’t need more than scissors and duct tape. 

The other type of insulation is foam pipe sleeves. These are longer pieces of foam with a hole down the middle and slit that runs the length of the sleeve. For longer pipes, it’s very quick and easy to slip the foam sleeve over the pipe.

There are a few other ways you can keep your pipes from freezing or minimize heat loss, including:

  • Installing frost-proof hose bibb (outdoor spigots)
  • Winterizing your hose bibb with a faucet cover
  • Spraying foam insulation in gaps between pipes and walls

Adding insulation to your pipes can be a quick, easy way to protect your plumbing and potentially save money on energy costs. Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Local plumbing experts

Of course, not all plumbing issues are entirely preventable. Whether it’s a leaky faucet or sewer line clog, it helps to have a professional plumber you can trust to fix any problem that arises. In the Little Rock area, that’s Whitten Plumbing. To schedule an appointment, call us today at 501-607-6596.

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