Prevent Frozen Pipes by Insulating Them

Insulating your water pipes is one of the main ways to winterize plumbing in the home. Insulating the pipes in exposed areas of the home, pump house shed, or garage is a must if you live in an area where winter temperatures reach freezing. Water pipe insulation can save money by preventing wasteful heat loss, and, most importantly, it can prevent frozen or broken pipes. Water pipe insulation also prevents pipes from sweating, which can cause damage where the moisture accumulates.

There are various types of water pipe insulation. Take a look at the two most common forms of insulating material and how to install them.

Pipe-Wrap Insulation

A common way to protect pipes is with the traditional pipe wrap insulation. This type of insulation is available many different materials, including regular fiberglass and plastic, foil-backed fiberglass, foil-backed natural cotton, and rubber pipe insulation tape. There are others as well, but these are the most common materials that are readily available in home improvement stores.

Pipe wrap insulation is easy to install. You simply duct-tape one end (if it’s not already self-adhesive) and wrap the insulation around the pipe, overlapping it by at least 1/2″. Completely cover the pipe, taking care to not leave any areas, especially corners, exposed.

Tubular Sleeve Insulation

Pipe wrap insulation is fine when insulating small lengths of pipe, but consider tubular sleeve when more pipe needs to be covered.

Most tubular sleeves are available in 6-foot tubes, so you can cover a lot of ground quickly. The tubular sleeves can be made of either foam or rubber insulation, and both are usually available in a self-sealing option.

Installing tubular sleeve water pipe insulation is very easy. The sides of the tubular sleeves can be split open and duct-taped back together once they are on the pipe.

To make it faster and easier, you can purchase sleeves that are self-sealing. It is easy to trim the sleeves to the correct length for each pipe. The corners should be cut to fit tight, using miter angles and then duct taped into place for extra protection. It is also a good idea to use duct tape periodically on the seams, in case the self-sealing adhesive decides to give way.

(This article comes from the spruce editor released)

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