Spray Foam Pipe Insulation: Total Pipework Protection
When we think of insulation, most of us think of the pink batts that are used to insulate our lofts, or maybe spray foam insulation on the underside of our roof.
But have you considered insulating your water pipes to protect them from freezing during the Winter and the resultant water leaks that can occur? It is easier than you might think, and the benefits more than make it worthwhile.
The Association of British Insurers (ABI) have recently said that during the first nine months of 2017, escape of water claims cost the industry £483 million; an increase of 1% on the previous year, and up by 24% on the same period in 2014.
The industry know that pipework that is not insulated is a major cause of these escape of water claims, alongside modern hidden plumbing, and complex pipe systems that can prove particularly problematic.
Additionally, modern homes are built using less damage resistant materials, making them more likely to be affected by freezing. Older homes also suffer with broken and out of date pipes that are prone to easy breakage.
With the UK suffering from more extremes of temperature in recent years, and snowfall a regular occurrence, it is essential that we are all as prepared as possible with insulation that improves the energy efficiency and warmth inside our homes – as well as protecting our pipework, as the following article reveals…
If your heating is turned off during the Winter (for example while you are away), even the interior pipes can become prone to freezing. The main problem area is where the pipes enter your home. Outside taps are the most likely to become frozen, and should certainly be protected as much as possible.
How Frozen Pipes Can Cause Detrimental Damage
Your home is a maze of water pipes that run around its entire area. They feed your central heating system, your bathrooms and toilets, and many water related appliances, such as washing machines.
These pipes can run through the walls, under the floorboards, through the loft and even along the outside of your home. In most cases they are hidden behind plasterboard or under floorboards, but sometimes they are on display.
Your home will also have a mains water pipe that feeds your home with all of the water it needs before it is distributed throughout the home to various tanks. This pipe comes from the outside and may also feed your outside water tap.
Those pipes that are most likely to become frozen are those that are on the outer walls of your home or located in the loft. These pipes are more likely to to be affected by the cold and are further away from your central heating system.
However if your heating is turned off during the Winter (for example while you are away), even the interior pipes can become prone to freezing. The main problem area is where the pipes enter your home. Outside taps are the most likely to become frozen, and should certainly be protected as much as possible.
As with all freeze and thaw cycles the water in the pipes will expand as it freezes, putting pressure on the pipes, especially at joints and where there is already minor damage.
This could result in small holes where water can drip over a period of time, or with pipes that hold mains water, it could be a catastrophic flow of hundreds of litres of water that can destroy your belongings.
The result could be anything from minor repairs, through to your home being uninhabitable for months while it dries out. In any case, it is likely to be an insurance claim, and a hassle you could do without. The average claim for this kind of damage is £7,500 – not a small sum by any means.
If you must turn off your heating, you should also turn off the water to your home by using the stopcock. This includes draining any water tanks, by running all household taps until they run dry
How To Prevent Frozen Pipes: 6 Top Tips
The ABI recommend that all homeowners do the following to prevent their pipes from freezing and to reduce claims on home insurance:
● Insulate pipework wherever possible.
● If going on holiday, leave your heating on a low temperature, so that warm water is constantly flowing through the pipes.
● Have someone check your home regularly if you are going away, so they can catch any water damage quickly.
● If you must turn off your heating, you should also turn off the water to your home by using the stopcock. This includes draining any water tanks, by running all household taps until they run dry.
● Make repairs to any damaged pipes as soon as you notice it.
● If the worst happens, and your pipes burst, turn off the water at the stopcock, and run all taps to drain the system.
Insulating your pipes may not prevent all cases of leaking pipes, but it will certainly help you to feel confident that you have done all you can to prevent it. Your insurance company will be happy with you, and you will even have a warmer home as a result!
Insulating Your Pipes With Spray Foam
There are a number of ways to insulate your pipes including foam pipe tubes, lagging and soft wool or mineral insulation, but none have the benefits that spray foam has.
Spray foam insulation consists of two chemicals that are forced together under pressure. When sprayed, they expand up to 60 times their original size, and offer a dense and very strong material that does not let air pass through. But the benefits do not stop there:
● Spray foam can also be used in all kinds of applications when it comes to pipes. In particular. it can be used in areas that are hard to reach. or where the pipe work is hidden. such as within wall cavities.
● Spray foam will cling to almost any material, and will coat the outside of the pipe better than other materials.
● Spray foam can be used both inside and outside.
● Spray foam can offer insulation to your walls in general, while also providing extra protection for pipes.
● Spray foam is rigid and strong, and will protect your pipes from damage caused by other factors.
● If your pipes are noisy, spray foam also offers a great acoustic barrier.
● Your can use spray foam retrospectively, meaning that the work can be done after your home has been built, rather than during the building process.
● Spray foam is entirely waterproof; therefore, even if your pipes have a slow leak, the foam will prevent it getting worse. However, all leaking pipes should be fixed before you start any work.
Spray Foam Pipe Insulation: A Wonderfully Warm Welcome
One often overlooked benefit of insulating pipes is the fact that the water entering your home from outside will be warmed more quickly.
You won’t need to have your boiler up as high to achieve the same temperature, water will stay to temperature for longer in the pipes and your shower (if it is mains fed) will be hotter.
The more water moves around your home and is exposed to cold pipes, the more temperature it will lose – having insulated pipes will slow down this reduction, and give you a more energy efficient system overall.
Insulating your pipes may not prevent all cases of leaking pipes, but it will certainly help you to feel confident that you have done all you can to prevent it. Your insurance company will be happy with you, and you will even have a warmer home as a result.
Protect your pipework for the long-term, with the help of spray foam insulation. Learn more about how this multi-purpose product can help you keep your home in tip-top condition today, by calling 0800 1700 636, or by simply clicking the button below!, full_html