Many homeowners struggle to keep the basement dry throughout the year. One source of moisture in many basements is the sweating pressure tanks and pipes. Why do those pipes and the tank sweat? Is there a way to stop it from happening? Here, you'll learn a little about why your pipes and tank sweat and what you can do to put an end to it.
Why the Pipes and Tank Sweat
Understanding why the sweating is occurring is the first step in putting a stop to it. The sweating is caused by moisture seeping through the concrete walls and floor. As the water seeps in, water vapor forms in the air. The vapor settles on the surfaces that are at the lowest temperature – your cold water lines and the tank filled with cool water. As the vapor settles, it forms drops of water that eventually begin to run and drip.
How to Stop Pipe and Tank Sweat
There are a few things that you'll need to do to put a stop to the sweat.
- Wrap the cold waterlines with foam sleeves. The sleeves slip right on the waterlines and insulate them, so the vapor is no longer attracted to them.
- Wrap the pressure tank with an insulating wrap. Your hot water tank should already be wrapped with an insulating wrap – wrap your pressure tank in the same manner to keep the vapor from being attracted to the cold.
- Repair all leaks in the plumbing. Don't allow even the smallest leaks to remain. Not only will the leaking pipes contribute to the sweating problems, but it will also cause damage to the surrounding areas of your home's structure.
- Stop exterior moisture issues. If the water outside of your home is making its way in, something needs to be done. Right after a rain, go outside and look around the foundation of your home. If you see puddles setting, you have a drainage issue that needs to be addressed. This could mean gutter problems, issues with the ground slope or drains that are no longer functioning as they should.
- Vapor guard the basement floor and wall. There are vapor barrier materials that can be applied to the floor and walls of your basement. This will stop or slow the amount of moisture that enters the space.
If you are unable to figure out what's going on with your pipes and tank, talk with your local plumber for assistance. Don't ignore this problem as it will lead to further problems that can be costly to repair.