As we approach the season of morning frosts, it is time to think about protecting the outside tap to stop it freezing. Lagging is a simple, yet effective way to prevent outside taps from freezing up and becoming damaged. Should outside pipes and taps become damaged by freezing, they will need to be replaced or repaired before they thaw out, otherwise they will leak and lose water.
Prevention of freezing is easy to do with lagging.
Lagging is simply the process of covering pipes or an outside tap with an insulating material that protects them from extreme cold. Traditionally, this was done with old rags. Winding rags around the pipes and the tap can provide effective lagging, but today, there are also modern alternatives to traditional methods of lagging.
Foam insulation is a reasonably-priced way to lag. It comes in lengths that can easily be cut to size. Often, there is a pre-cut slit along the length of the foam pipe that can be pushed onto the outside pipes. The foam encapsulates the pipe and provides good insulation.
There are types of insulation that can be sprayed around pipes and outside taps to insulate them from the cold temperatures. This is a fast and easy way to lag but can prove difficult to remove after the cold snap.
Some homeowners build a box filled with cloth or other insulation that can fit over the entire mechanism. Many outside taps are at waist height with the pipework running down a garden wall or shed into the ground. By building a box, which can be used every year, costs are cut, and effective lagging is created.
Lagging an outside tap does not have to be complicated, but it is an important job to carry out before the winter sets in. The best time to lag your pipes and outside taps is when the first morning frosts begin to appear.