HEATING, VENTILATION & AIR CONDITIONING
MAY 8 | BUILDING PRODUCTS
With hot water pipes, this not only prevents
Legionella, but also protects the pipes against
unnecessary energy losses.
On cold water pipes, the insulation helps
to prevent freezing in cold weather, as well as
unwanted temperature rises.
When it comes to choosing insulation to
combat Legionella, it’s also worth specifying one
that is able to prevent condensation. The best
material for this is closed-cell insulation because
it has a high resistance to water vapour diffusion,
making it ideal for use on cold drinking water
pipes. In practice, accidental damage to insulation
has shown that open-cell insulation materials,
whether specifi ed with or without a vapour
barrier, do not suffi ciently prevent moisture
ingress as a result of diffusion.
This means that there is a danger of water
vapour in the air penetrating open-cell insulation,
condensing and saturating the insulation material.
As the material becomes damp, the thermal
conductivity increases and insulation properties
deteriorate, causing greater energy losses and
increased risk of hot water pipes creating
conditions for Legionella bacteria.
Furthermore, corrosion and other expensive
consequential damage can occur. Plus, by
preventing moisture ingress and providing
no ready food source, closed-cell insulation
discourages the growth of microbes.
Closed-cell insulation, due to its excellent technical properties, prevents
unacceptable increases or decreases in water temperature
Open and closed case
Closed-cell insulation, due to its excellent
technical properties, prevents unacceptable
increases or decreases in water temperature. The
closed-cell material structure of the insulation
prevents energy losses, moisture ingress and the
subsequent corrosion of heating and plumbing
pipework, plus acts in an anti-microbial manner.
Legionella is a constant threat in well insulated
buildings and a common source of this bacteria
comes from air conditioners, showers, drinking
water, swimming pools and whirlpools. As we
can take to keep
at a level that
head towards summer the risks can increase.
The root cause of the infection is commonly
errors made in the choice of insulation. One of the
most important preventative measures to avoid
this potentially fatal disease is to insulate hot and
cold water pipes with closed-cell insulation.