Insulating the pipes in and around your home can prevent damage from freezing and condensation and may improve energy efficiency. The materials required, scope of the project, and accessibility of pipes are factors that commonly influence the cost of the job. A handyman or other technician can generally install pipe insulation, but any related plumbing or electrical repairs and upgrades should be handled by a qualified professional.
Insulating Pipes at Homes and Businesses
The accessibility of your pipes is a significant variable in pricing an insulation project. Though domestic water, waste, and heating lines are generally within easy reach in most homes, getting through a finished wall, floor, or basement to insulate them may require demolition and related repairs. Insulating pipes in single-family homes costs an average of $193, though any special measures needed to access pipes may increase the cost of the job. The design of most apartment and commercial buildings allows for simpler maintenance, though the overall scale of an insulating project is often larger than those in detached homes, and costs about $147 for apartments and $309 for businesses.
The location of the pipes in your project are usually a good indicator of the demands of the job, since accessing pipes on the exterior of a home may involve digging. Outdoor insulation projects cost an average of $227, though the length and type of pipes, as well as the insulation method and materials, will directly affect expenses. Most indoor pipes can be insulated with little difficulty once accessed, and though the characteristics of your pipes and materials will affect the cost of the job, it typically costs about $204.
Types of Pipe
Your contractor or supplier can help you select insulation products that are appropriate for your application, since choices vary with pipe materials and usage . Galvanized pipes are commonly used for water supply in homes over 30 years old and can be insulated to prevent freezing, condensation, and heat loss for about $214. The use of copper pipes has replaced galvanized steel for domestic water and heating, with average insulating costs of $207. Rigid plastic pipes are typically used for drain and ventilation lines, but are also installed for water supply and may be insulated for noise reduction as well as for temperature control. The size and use of your pipes may affect the cost of installation, which averages $184 for PVC and $177 for ABS pipes.
Number of Pipes to Insulate
Though the size, length, and usage of your pipes help determine the materials and installation techniques needed for the job, the number of pipes to insulate can indicate the scale of the project. Insulating one to five pipes costs an average of $154, compared to $229 for five to ten pipes, $301 for 10 to 15, and $362 for more than 15 pipes.
Since a number of insulating supplies are available at home centers and other retailers, you can easily purchase the materials for most pipe insulating projects and expect to pay about $138 for installation. If you prefer to have your contractor supply materials, the job may cost $242. Though your contractor may charge a markup on the cost of materials, leaving the responsibility to him reduces the chances of having inadequate materials or being left with a wasteful overage.
Planning for Your Insulation Project
Insulating pipes is usually an uncomplicated maintenance project that can limit the risk of costly repairs and help reduce energy costs. Your contractor, installer, or retailer can help you select the best materials for your application and plan for added costs that may result from the conditions of your project.