With the Texas weather warming up, it’s no surprise The Woodlands residents are needing to find ways to deal with the heat. However, did you know your plumbing system also experiences changes when it comes to warmer, more humid, weather? In fact, just as you may find yourself sweating during the summer, your pipes and bathroom fixtures are likely to sweat as well.
Why Do Pipes Sweat?
Of course, your pipes aren’t actually sweating. The fine layer of droplets you see gathering on your pipes and bathroom fixtures on the hottest days of summer are actually condensation, similar to the moisture that forms on a cold glass of ice water. As the cool surface of your pipes and toilet interact with the warm, humid air nearby, water gathers on the outside.
After a while, this water forms droplets, which eventually drip off your pipes and onto the floor. If left undisturbed, these small pools of water can cause mold and other damage to the interiors of your bathroom and kitchen cabinets. Worse, gathering water beneath your toilet can damage floors or present a slip and fall hazard.
Address Pipe Sweat
If you’re concerned about frequent condensation on your bathroom fixtures and pipes, here are a few steps you can take to address it:
- Use your vent fan. If you have a vent fan, running it during and after bathing as well as occasionally throughout the day can help reduce humidity in your bathroom. If you don’t already have a vent fan, consider installing one.
- Increase your water temperature. One way to prevent condensation is by increasing the temperature of the water inside your pipes. Achieve this by installing an anti-sweat valve, which will add just enough warm water to the cold water in your pipes to prevent sweating.
- Add insulation. Most home improvement stores sell inexpensive, foam insulation you can easily slide onto the affected pipes to prevent condensation from occurring. In addition, you can purchase a toilet tank insulation kit that adds a layer of insulating foam to your tank, preventing the extreme cooling that leads to sweating.
- Whole-home solutions. Reducing the overall humidity inside your home will also help alleviate sweating and will keep your home’s interior more pleasant as well. Whole-home dehumidifiers and energy recovery ventilators treat the air circulating in your HVAC system to keep you dry and comfortable.