The pipework in your property, whether it’s a commercial building or residential property is important. For it to fulfil its job properly in the transportation of cold or hot water, having good insulation is important. Why, though? You may have wondered though, why insulation is so important. Insulation that works well helps to keep piping warm that needs to stay warm and keeps pipes cool that need to stay cool.
When it comes to your pipework, the main reasons insulation is used are:
- For safety – Pipes that are heated or carry heated materials obviously have high temperatures, which is why they need to be lined using a special material that helps insulate them and protect them not just on the exterior but the interior too. Proper insulation around your pipes can reduce the chance of scalding.
- Preventing the transfer of heat or the loss of heat – If you have central heating in your work premises or home, insulation is used to stop heat being lost that can cause higher harmful emissions of CO2 and higher utility bills. It has the knock-on effect that your central heating won’t have to work as hard to keep the temperature of the water running through the pipes at the ideal temperature.
- Stops the water carried in the pipework freezing – In winter, the water that runs through any pipework that’s on the exterior of your property can freeze. This leads to the piping clogging up which in turn can lead to bursts and leaks. Having insulation around the piping means that the water will continue to run through them and will save you money in the long run as you won’t have to repair or replace your pipes as regularly.
Different Types of Insulation
Depending on the type of insulation required, different materials are used for this purpose. For example, foam or fibreglass lining is used to provide piping with thermal insulation. The level of resistance to heat the insulation provides depends on the thickness of the material. Most commonly it’s rigid polyurethane, polyethylene, polyisocyanurate and phenolic that are the types of foam used. Along with fibreglass, these kinds of substances are used because they don’t leak or emit toxic chemicals and other by-products when they are in contact with fire or high levels of heat.
Installing and Maintaining Pipework Insulation
When it comes to insulating the pipework in your property, it’s important not to see this as a DIY job. You will find that most materials used in insulation of pipes are standardised to so that they are safe. You also need to consider elements like density, thermal conductivity and surface area when looking for materials with insulative properties.
Do you live in an area notorious for colder temperatures but don’t have insulated piping? You need to remedy this as soon as you possibly can by hiring a professional. Plumbers and heating engineers are the best tradesmen for the job and the amount you need to pay will depend greatly on how many pipes you need insulated and where they are.
If you already have insulation around your pipework, you should aim to have it inspected every year before autumn becomes winter, to identify any signs of wear and tear that could become serious issues.