October 20, 2019 • In Plumbing, Tips • 1 Min Read

Winterizing Your Home: How to Install Pipe Insulation & Heating Cables



Brr, it’s cold in here! If pipes are in places where they will be exposed to cold temperatures, they should be insulated, and heating cables are often a smart addition. And we’re here to help you get that done!

The last thing you’ll want to deal with this winter is a frozen pipe. The best thing to do is prepare for the worst, so you’re off to a great start.

First off, we’ll tell you all about electric heating cables. Then, we’ll touch on sealing cracks and holes in your home where cold air might sneak in.

Electric heating cables are available in a variety of styles. They are sold in hardware stores and home centers in lengths from 3-ft. to more than 30-ft.

You can attach some heating cable to pipes with electrical tape or cable ties.

Hint: The heat cables wrap around the pipe. You’ll want to evenly distribute the cables like your’e stringing holiday lights. Heating cables can be insulated to keep the heat in the pipe and not the air.

Some even come with their own insulation! It’s like a 2 for 1 shampoo, gotta love that!

You can buy foam pipe insulation at hardware stores and home centers that look like tubes.

Keep in mind that the heating cable adds extra bulk, so:

  • If you’re insulating a pipe with a cable on top, buy the next size up.
  • If you’re insulating a ½-inch line with a heating cable attached, buy ¾-inch insulation.

Hint: Most pipe insulation has a self-adhesive seal, but it’s good practice to tape it too.

Sealing holes and cracks in your home – Don’t let the cold air in

Pipes often freeze in places where wind is whistling through holes and cracks. Make sure to take the following steps in order to keep the cold outside, where it belongs!

  • If you have pipes in an unheated crawl space, make sure any vents are closed off.
  • If pipes are in outside walls, seal holes and cracks with weather stripping, spray foam insulation and caulk.
  • Insulate pipes with the foam insulation we just talked about, it’s available at most popular hardware stores and home centers.

Now all of your pipes should be ready to brave the winter! If you have any issues or need further assistance, contact your local contractor. The sooner you are warm and cozy, the better!

Ready To Talk To A GEM Home Services Specialist?

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