What Causes Condensation On Your Pipes In The Summer?

Posted on: 9 May 2016

Condensation can be disturbing to homeowners seeking to protect their pipes and property. In summer, condensation can be a relatively common problem in some homes. Knowing what causes condensation and how you can avoid it can help you take care of your plumbing, and ultimately, your home. 

What causes condensation on your pipes in summer?

When hot, humid air touches a cold surface (like a cold water pipe), the cold temperature of the pipe causes the warm air to cool. When this happens, the humidity in the air turns into water droplets, which forms a damp sheen on the pipe. This is the same phenomenon that causes a glass of ice water to "sweat" in the summer.

Condensation often occurs when the air in a home overly humid. Some newer structures are naturally somewhat humid because of the waterproof envelopes used in modern construction. Other homes are overly humid because of moisture problems, like leaks and poor drainage. Therefore, if your pipes develop condensation, this could be a sign that your home has a leak or moisture problem. 

Can condensation do damage to your pipes or your home?

Pipes that develop condensation can be problematic for homeowners if there is enough condensation that it drips off the pipe and onto the surfaces below. When this happens, the drip from condensation can be as damaging as a plumbing leak. Pipes that develop only a thin layer of condensation are far less likely to do damage to your home. 

What can you do to stop the pipes from developing condensation?

There are many things you can do control condensation. 

  • Run your climate control. Your home's air conditioning dehumidifies your home. Running your home's air conditioner will help if the sweaty pipes are in an area of your home that can be climate controlled. If the pipes are in a part of your home that is not climate controlled, such as the attic, running your air conditioner is much less likely to help.
  • Have your pipes checked for leaks. Plumbing leaks could cause some rooms of your home to be extra humid. Getting professional plumbing services in your home will ensure that this is not the problem.
  • Improve drainage around your house. If your home's drainage is inadequate, either in your basement or around your roof, then improving the drainage could help solve the problem. Have a contractor inspect your home's foundation and gutters for necessary repair.

Finally, you can also have a plumber install pipe insulation in your home. Pipe insulation will keep the pipes separate from the warm air, which can help address the immediate problem. For more information, talk to a reputable plumber in your area.

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