condensationSometime it feels like it never stops raining in Portland. But when the pipes start dripping, that’s taking precipitation a little too far. It’s pretty much always damp in Oregon, but your pipes should never drip.

If you notice moisture on or around your plumbing, a pipe or fixture may be leaking. However, what does it mean when the pipes are appear to be sweating? Does this cause problems? And how can you troubleshoot and correct the issue?

Don’t Sweat It

Sweating pipes occur when the water inside the pipe is colder than the humid air surrounding it. While this may seem like a problem exclusive to summer, it also happens when we’re heating our Portland homes in winter.

When warm, humid air meets cold pipes, moisture beads on the outside of the pipe. Your pipes are not sweating. Moisture is condensing on the outside. The moisture may drip onto the floor and surrounding areas.

If moisture is minimal, you may wonder  if it is really a problem worth fixing. The answer is yes. Moisture coming from or surrounding your pipes is worth your attention. Even small amounts can create conditions that promote the growth of mold and mildew. And, water can drip onto nearby surfaces, causing damage to the structure of your home.

Fixing the Issue

There are several ways to troubleshoot sweating pipes and prevent moisture damage in future. These include:

  • Insulating your pipes: Those of you who read this blog regularly understand the importance of insulating your pipes before winter. There are self-adhesive or “drip tape” types of insulation that adhere to pipes to prevent moisture. Be sure to wipe down the pipe and dry it before applying the tape. Wind the tape so that it covers both fittings and pipe.

  • Reducing the humidity: An excellent method for reducing the humidity in a space is to use a portable dehumidifier. This device reduces humidity and treats moisture in the surrounding area. Your home’s central air conditioning system can also be adapted to treat this issue.

  • Treating leaking pipes: Condensation on pipes can be mistaken for leaking pipes. If you are unsure whether the moisture is caused by condensation or a leak, or need help repairing either, contact Meticulous Plumbing. We have extensive experience with plumbing issues of all kinds. We are happy to help!

Don’t let minor plumbing problems get out of control. Contact Meticulous Plumbing today to keep Portland’s puddles outdoors where they belong.

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