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Best Pipe Insulation to Prevent Freezing | American Carpet Cleaning

When your home has pipes on or inside a wall, you may want to use pipe insulation to prevent freezing. There are several types of pipe insulation, and they are not all created equally. You may want to use different insulation types for different areas and different types of pipes.

Why Pipes Need Insulating

Pipes need to be insulated because, as the weather gets colder, water begins to freeze wherever it happens to be. Your home may be well-heated, but cold air has a tendency to find every nook and cranny it can squeeze into. When there is a pipe in said nook or cranny, pipe insulation is pretty much your only defense against expensive broken pipes. The best case scenario is that the pipe freezes and can be thawed before any real damage occurs, such as with a space heater pointing straight at it. If the pipe is difficult to get to, it would be unwise for you to count on such a solution actually working. Pipe insulation is a very good way to avoid a lot of hardship in the near future.

Where Insulating Pipes Is Most Necessary

In a perfect world, every pipe in your home would be well-insulated. Any pipe can theoretically freeze, and even your hot water pipes are more efficient, giving you hot water more quickly when the pipes themselves are protected from losing heat. Some of the places where pipes need insulation the most are in basements, in attics and in walls that are on the outside of your home. When one side of the pipe gets some warmth but there is coldness nearby, the pipe becomes a prime candidate for freezing and breaking. Basements in older homes, where there is often no insulation, are in the most danger from the winter cold.

Not Just the Pipes

It is important to note that insulating your pipes is not the only task a wise homeowner does. Making sure that your heating system is putting enough warmth into as much of your home as possible does a lot to keep pipe freezing from happening in the first place. Insulating certain areas, such as the attic, basement, or foundation, is another important step. Insulating the pipes is a powerful move toward helping your pipe insulation do its job to the best of its ability.

The Materials

The most basic kind of insulation for pipes is the tubular rubber variety. All you have to do is slip it over the pipe, and secure it with tape or glue. It is durable, inexpensive, energy-efficient and simple to install if you can get to the pipe. The downside is that this kind of insulation needs to be carefully installed on any bends or corners. A better but more costly type of insulation is fiberglass. This provides a plastic vapor barrier, as well as fiberglass for insulation.

Polyethylene foam insulation is almost as good as rubber, but it is often cheaper and even easier to install. Also, it does not expand and contract. You should take care never to put this insulation over a heat cable or heat tape. The simplest form of pipe insulation on the market is foil and foam, which is similar to the polyethylene in that you need only slip it on. The foil helps to reflect back radiant heat. What you use really depends on where you intend to insulate a pipe.

Doing it yourself can be a hassle, so consider contacting the professionals at American Cleaning & Restoration. Experience and training make for quick, top-quality work every time.