How and Why to Insulate Pipes
Water pipe insulation is a good DIY project that can protect your home from water damage, if done correctly and maintained after installation.
Where to Insulate Water Pipes:
Which water pipes you insulate will depend on why you are doing it. If the goal is to prevent frozen pipes, then the critical pipes to insulate are those that run through unheated spaces, such as exterior walls, unheated garages, the floor cavities above unheated crawlspaces, unheated attics, etc. Generally speaking, it's not necessary to insulate pipes that run through interior walls or in basements that are heated. Both hot- and cold-water pipes should be insulated when the goal is preventing freezing.
A common way to protect pipes is with the traditional pipe wrap insulation. This type of insulation is available in many different materials, including flexible foam with rubber backing tape, foam-and-foil pipe insulation, bubble-film pipe wrap, foil-backed natural cotton, and rubber pipe insulation tape.
Tubular Sleeve Insulation
Consider tubular sleeve insulation when longer runs of straight pipe need to be covered. Most tubular sleeves are available in 6-foot lengths, so you can cover a lot of ground quickly. The tubular sleeves can be made of either foam or rubber insulation, and both are available in self-sealing styles. Different diameters are available for different pipe sizes—1/2-, 3/4-, and 1-inch.
Outdoor Faucet Covers
A great many burst pipes occur where hose bibbs extend through the walls of the home to the outdoors. When these exterior metal faucets are exposed to frigid winter temperatures, water trapped inside the faucet can expand and burst—causing a split in either the faucet itself or the pipe just inside the walls of the home. If you are lucky, it will be the faucet that bursts and leaks water outside the home, but if you are less fortunate the burst may occur in the pipe inside the home, causing water to pour into your walls or basement.
Call SERVPRO of Madison, Lawrenceburg and Versailles if you discover water damage due to a burst pipe!