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Many people ignore their pipes unless water is spouting out of them, but did you know that you should check your pipes for insulation? Pipes that have insulation on them might technically be optional, but it provides so many advantages that almost everyone should get it.
There are all types of pipe insulation, ranging from glass wool to rigid foam, and each material type will provide you with one or more of these benefits.
Prevent Leaks and Breakages
If you live in a cold climate, you definitely need to get insulation for your pipes. The problem with uninsulated pipes is that water can freeze in them during chilly weather. As the water turns into ice, it expands and breaks the pipe. This can cause the water to end up leaking as it thaws, potentially damaging your home. At the very least, you will have to remove and replace all the burst pipes.
If you do not notice the leak until it escapes from the wall, you may find yourself replacing a lot of drywall, wall insulation, and flooring too. Investing in a little insulation now can keep you from having to deal with a lot of very costly repairs in the near future.
Reduce Moisture Inside Walls
When the temperature inside a pipe is very different from the temperature outside the pipe, condensation can form on the surface of the pipe. This can cause metal pipes to corrode or rust. It can also increase your risk of mold or mildew inside your walls which can cause all sorts of breathing problems.
Pipe insulation will protect the pipe from the outside air, so condensation cannot form. Instead, it traps more heat inside the pipe and gently diffuses excess heat, preventing moisture buildup. This keeps the interior of your walls as dry as possible, preserving the integrity of your home.
Save on Energy
As water travels through pipes, it may lose warmth or coolness due to the ambient air temperature. This can lead to multiple problems. Hot water pipes can heat up the air in your home, meaning that your air conditioner has to work a little harder. You also end up with chilly air draining heat from your pipes, so you have to use more hot water to get your desirable temperature.
The ability to save energy with insulation on pipes has multiple benefits. First of all, it means lower utility bills for you, so you can save a lot of money. It also has the nice benefit of being more energy efficient, so you can be environmentally friendly. If you use a green insulation material, you can make your building even more eco friendly.
Control Unpleasant Noises
Water pipes can work as a conduit for sound waves, allowing noise to travel all over a building. Depending on your home, you may also hear unpleasant gurgling or banging noises as materials travel through pipes. If you do not want to be woken up by someone else using the bathroom or distracted from work by a noisy conversation in another room, insulation can be a great idea.
For this function, you will need to select a material that has acoustic and sound dampening qualities. Wrapping it around the pipes, especially in areas where the pipe goes through a fixed wall, will help to greatly lower the noise levels in a building.
Keep Everyone Safe
If you have exposed pipes outside of walls, insulating pipes is a safety matter. Hot water travelling through pipes can cause the outside of the pipe to become superheated. If someone brushes against the pipe, they can end up with a painful burn. Therefore, you need to apply an insulation that will keep the heat inside the pipes where it cannot damage anyone.
This use for pipes that are insulated is most common in commercial environments, but even residential homes may have hot enough water to cause danger for the residents.
With all these great benefits to choose from, there is no reason to delay insulating your pipes. You can get started by researching your pipe insulation options and figuring out how many feet of pipe you will need insulated.