The simple answer to this question is: yes, you do. But we’ll also give you a more detailed explanation and some advice on how to do it.
The pipes in your crawl space are in an unheated portion of your home and, therefore, they could freeze without proper insulation (provided, of course, that you live in a climate with cold winters and that your pipes are not buried far below the frost line). Fortunately, crawl space pipes can be insulated relatively cheaply and easily, just like the pipes in your basement or attic.
Begin by using an insulating material, such as an electrical wire heating wrap
, to wrap the exposed pipes. Alternatively, there are also spray foams that can be used to surround and insulate your pipes. However, these are usually used in basements or in walls where there is already some form of insulation from the cold. Because a
crawl space is essentially outdoors, the foam may not work as well for this applicatio
n if you live in a brutally cold climate.
Regardless of what type of insulating material you use, be sure to insulate all
of the cold and hot water pipes in your crawlspace. It is a myth that cold water pipes don’t freeze as much as hot water pipes do – insulate everything.
Depending on your climate, you may also want to insulate your entire crawlspace as well as the individual pipes.
In addition to insulation, you can also prevent pipes from freezing during the coldest months by keeping the water running at a constant trickle. For best results, run both cold and hot water taps. This might result in slightly higher water and electricity bills, but overall, it will be cheaper than the cost to fix a burst pipe.
(Flickr Photo by numberstumper)