What Are Sweating Pipes?
Sweating pipes aren’t “actually” sweating. The accumulation of water on sweating pipes is not attributed to water boring through the micropores of your piping system, but condensation. Condensation is caused by a differential in temperature. When moist (humid) air comes into contact with a cold surface, water droplets form and adhere themselves to it– their consequential dripping gives the appearance of “sweaty” pipes. And there you have it.
But there’s one caveat. You might confuse your pipes sweating for a leaking one. If you’re unsure whether or not your pipes are sweating, or leaking, you can purchase a humidity tester at any home improvement to analyze the humidity in problem areas. Chances are, if your humidity levels are on the higher spectrum of the range determined by your meter, you’re most likely dealing with sweaty pipes.
However, if there isn’t an influx of humidity where your sweating pipes are, you may have to battle another beast entirely. It’s critical to identify leaking pipes as soon as possible to prevent massive internal piping and cosmetic damage. Sometimes getting a professional opinion makes more sense.
We recommend investing in a humidity meter first, before pulling your wallet out. Although, you should know, solving pipe sweating is absolutely necessary to avoid surrounding damage. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself in over your head if you allow the problem to fester. (We can help with that too.)
Insider Tip: It’s possible to have both sweating and leaking pipes.
Sings of Sweating Pipes
Catch your pipes sweating in the act with our checklist!
● Visible moisture on pipe surface
● Heightened humidity levels
● Unidentifiable leakage source
● Water damage on surrounding fixtures
Short Term Pipe Sweating Damage
Help identify potential pipe sweating by knowing what short term damages look like! Still-water resting on varied fixtures throughout your home will eventually cause noticeable damage. Here’s a brief list on the warning signs:
● Peeling paint on walls
● Somewhat spongy or softer walls
● Peeling cabinet fixtures (surface damage)
● Warning signs of mold: discolored water stains on walls or ceilings
Long Term Pipe Sweating Damage
● Visible ceiling swelling
● Soggy cabinets or fixtures (think: massive water absorption)
● Mold: Visible growth, musty odor
● Flooring water damage
● Building rot
● Influx of insect activity (many bugs breed in still-water)
What You Can Do at Home for Sweating Pipes
There are a few quick-fixes you can try at home to avoid a potentially costly plumbing bill– but keep in mind the longer you wait to implement a lasting solution for sweating pipes, the resulting water damage will get worse. In plain English: the longer pipe sweating is left unchecked, the greater the damages become. Acting with haste is in your best interests to eliminate rapidly climbing repair costs.
Use a Dehumidifier for Sweating Pipes
Since humidity is the culprit of sweating pipes, why not try using a dehumidifier in your problem areas? With the help of your humidity meter, you’ll be able to measure your dehumidifier’s performance. If the sweating doesn’t get any better despite your efforts, it may be time to call a professional, or switch tactics.
Try Insulation to Stop Sweaty Pipes
Run down to your local home improvement store and purchase piping insulation. Opt for the self-adhering type to make your life easier. Remember to measure how much material you’ll need before heading to the store!
Drop the Temperature in Your Home
If you’ve got centralized AC, why not try turning them temperature down? If there’s an air vent in your bathroom, bringing down the internal temperature of your home will help combat the humid air from ruining your bathroom fixtures. You’ll still have to ask yourself if a higher electric bill (and needing to wrap yourself in a blanket) is better than just repairing your sweating pipes. We’re not here to judge.
When to Call the Professionals for Sweating Pipes
If you’ve tried everything to stop your sweating pipes to no avail, we hate to break it to you, but you might have a complex plumbing problem. If you can’t get your pipes to stop sweating, it’s time to make the call. 1 Call Plumbing services residential homes, restaurants, and commercial spaces.
Call now (704) 563-8182!
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