Friday, June 21, 2013

Do You Have Sweating Water Pipes?

With summer underway, you're undoubtedly trying to find ways to keep cool. The days get humid and we begin to change out our wardrobe for summer, often placing our winter clothing and out-of-season belongings in the basement. But what happens when you go to retrieve your belongings later and find wet laundry and wet cardboard boxes?

You probably know just how a leaky water line can create substantial damage if it goes unnoticed for some time, but what about water damage that's caused when there's no actual leak? If your basement isn't flooded and the damage is minimal, the source of water probably isn't coming from inside the pipes but the outside.

This is known as sweating water pipes and it's caused by water condensation forming along and underneath your plumbing pipes. Condensation on your water pipes occurs when it's hot and the water inside the pipe is colder than the outside. This condensation will build up and actually drip just as if there was a small leak.

The good news is this can be minimized and controlled by insulating your pipes. You can contact a Riverside plumber, or do it yourself if you think you're up to it. Self-adhesive tape of pipe insulation can be wrapped around your pipes to catch these drips and control the moisture, although it needs to be applied correctly.

Before you apply the tape, make sure you dry your pipes as much as possible, and wind the tape to completely cover the pipe as well as the fittings. There shouldn't be any signs of sweating water pipes after this and your belongings will be safe.

If you find your basement still has excessive water, it's a good idea to call a plumber in Riverside to get to the bottom of the issue, as the sweating water pipes may have only been one problem, with something else lurking and needing to be fixed.

Image: polkadotcreations/Flickr

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