When you don’t insulate your outdoor pipes, you’re at risk for frozen pipes. When your pipes freeze during the winter, they could burst because of the expanding ice. As a result, you may face flooding problems.
Essentially, insulating outdoor pipes boosts their durability, since you’re protecting them from the elements. Less elemental damage means more money saved. At the same time, the insulation prevents unnecessary heat loss from hot water pipes, meaning you save more energy.
Pipe insulation can even be your next DIY project to prepare for winter, but if it sounds intimidating, make sure to call a professional to have the job done correctly. Here are some easy solutions to insulate your outdoor pipes.
Insulating Long, Straight Pipes
Outdoor pipes that are longer and straighter than others can be easy to insulate with foam pipe sleeves. These materials usually come in six-foot-long increments and vary in diameter. You can measure your home’s pipes easily and then find the foam pipe sleeves that will fit them.
Installing the sleeves is also easy. Simply position the sleeve against the pipe you want to insulate and then slide the sleeve to cover the pipe. Cut off any excess foam sleeves. Most foam pipe sleeves come with adhesive but you can use duct tape to seal the foam.
Insulating Short Pipes
You can install pipe-wrap to insulate your shorter pipes. This method involves different wrapping materials with various tapes that serve as insulation to prevent frozen pipes. These materials usually include:
- Foam with rubber backing tape
- Foam with foil insulation tape
- Rubber pipe insulation tape
- Bubble-film pipe wrap
- Natural cotton wrap with foil backing
Installing pipe wrap for your short pipes requires that you attach the loose end of the wrapping material to one pipe end. Then, wrap it around the pipe in a spiraling motion. Be sure to cover the entire pipe, leaving nothing exposed to the elements. Cut off the end once you have wrapped your pipe completely.
Faucet Protector Covers
Faucets require just as much protection as the rest of your plumbing system to prevent frozen pipes. Any exposed outdoor faucets could get damaged from falling debris, including hail and ice chunks from your roof.
You can usually find faucet covers from your local hardware store. Otherwise, you can order them online. They look like little buckets that fit over your faucets.
Installing them is easy. First, you must detach any hose from your faucet. Drain the hose and then put it in storage for the winter. Place the faucet cover’s rubber loop around the faucet lever and compress the cover against your wall to cover the faucet. Then, pull the drawstring that comes out to tighten the cover against your wall. Be sure to tighten it as much as possible to avoid any air gaps, making sure to prevent frozen pipes.
Prevent Frozen Pipes
Insulating outdoor pipes can help you save a lot of money. Uninsulated pipes are exposed to the elements, making them prone to damage, possibly turning them into frozen pipes. During the winter months, the water running through your uninsulated pipes can freeze, which can cause the frozen pipes to burst.
Pipe insulation is an easy and relatively affordable investment that you can do yourself. Simple methods involve materials that you can buy from your hardware store or order online.
However, different insulation materials have unique qualities that may suit certain pipes better than others. For instance, heavy-duty insulation materials may be more suitable for homes that experience harsh winters.
For frozen pipes, should consider getting professional plumbing services, like Stack, to install the right pipe insulation materials for your home. Despite being a fun and easy DIY project before the winter months, you can save time and effort learning what is best for your pipes by getting seasoned plumbers to protect your home. Avoid the risks of burst pipes and the expensive aftermath by calling our services today at (440) 937-9134!