How to seal around a pipe through a brick wall

How to seal around a pipe through a brick wall

Sealing around a pipe through a brick wall is a requirement for any building, old or new. One of the most common reasons for drilling through brick or masonry walls is to feed waste pipes out from a bathroom or kitchen or to feed the flue and condensate pipes outside from your boiler.

It is essential to properly seal around a pipe through a brick wall or masonry wall where it enters or exits a building. There are several reasons why you must seal a hold around a pipe, including;

  • Stop water ingress
    Water ingress can lead to a whole host of damp related issues such as spoiled plasterwork, mould, rot and damage
  • To stop drafts
    Usually found where a pipe servicing the building exits the brickwork. If the finishing around the pipe is poor or eroded, a draft will be likely
  • Stop insects and other pests from getting into the property
    Insects and other pests such as mice, moths, wasps and cockroaches can get in the gap between the pipe and brickwork and can cause a real nuisance to homeowners
  • To maintain the energy efficiency of the building
    And to comply with Part L of the Building Regulations when it comes to energy performance and carbon emissions of new and existing buildings
  • To provide an excellent looking finish
    A clean and professional finish compared to traditional mortar or silicone techniques

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Sealing around outside pipes

Pipework has to enter the fabric of the building (generally brickwork) to supply services and take waste away from the home. Look on the side of most homes and you will see pipes entering the brick wall. Look more closely and you will see on older homes that the pipe and flues should be sealed with mortar, silicone adhesives, or even, in some cases, not at all! Mortar and sealant have disadvantages when it comes to sealing holes around pipes:

  • They are prone to weathering over time
  • Mortar takes time and effort to mix
  • Sealant can be messy
  • You can’t carry out the work in the rain

Before PipeSnug was invented, sealing around a pipe through a brick wall was generally carried out using mortar and silicone adhesives. These processes take time and a lot of effort. Mortar has to be mixed up and can really only be used in dry weather. The ‘finish’ mortar provides isn’t the best either, especially if the job is rushed. Although mortar is tough, it is not immune to weathering and can crack and come away, leaving the cracks open to insects, drafts and water damage. Similarly, silicone sealant can also weather, fall away, and the finish is not ideal.

how to seal around pipes blog post mortar
Mortar looks poor and weathers
how to seal around pipes blog post silicone
Silicone weathers, shrinks and can fall out, leaving the hole exposed

How to seal around outside pipes

The most effective and most straightforward process for sealing around outside pipes is to use PipeSnug. Invented by a builder who was fed up with mess and hassle, PipeSnug can be fitted externally and internally, giving a smart finish quickly. You don’t need to mix mortar or use silicone, and it can be fitted in less than five seconds.

How to seal around a pipe through a brick wall blog post PipeSnug

Once the correctly sized hole is drilled (commonly for waste and soil pipes 52mm and 152mm), using a core drill, the pipe can be pushed through.

PipeSnug simply fits into the hole you have drilled for the pipework and comes in 32mm, 40mm or 110mm sizes. PipeSnug pipe seals are available to buy online and in-store from Screwfix, Toolstation and many other retailers across the UK. They can be installed in any weather, do not perish and give a brilliant finish. It’s a very professional, cost-effective way to make the exterior of a building look smart and aesthetically pleasing.

Installation is quick, easy with no mess:

Sealing around inside pipes

Carefully look inside any home, and you will see where the pipes enter the building. These can be:

  • Behind toilets
  • In the kitchen, behind sinks
  • Where boiler flues exit the home

Often these holes are not sealed very well, and little thought is given to how it affects the look of a home, let alone the other factors we have touched on before, such as energy efficiency, draughts, insects, water ingress and so on. Therefore, it is also desirable to seal the hole internally – but many installers or DIYers just don’t do this.

Implications of not sealing around a pipe through a brick wall effectively

If you don’t seal gaps around pipes entering the home through a brick or masonry wall effectively, you are not maintaining the thermal integrity of the building. With harsh winter weather in the UK now becoming the norm, it is really important that the outside of the property is treated like a ‘skin’, making sure it is sealed to make it as thermally efficient as possible. If gaps around pipes are not sealed, then heating bills may rise as wasted energy escapes or is used trying to heat the building. Part L of the Building Regulations covers energy efficiency and sets the benchmark for the installation standards expected in the UK. Find out more about complying with Building Regulations for pipes in walls.

Seal gaps around pipes properly

The very best way to seal gaps around pipes both outside and inside the home is by using PipeSnug, and for where boiler flues exit a building, FlueSnug.

Just like PipeSnug, FlueSnug can be used both inside and outside the property for the best finish and prevents heat escaping and acts as a barrier to drafts, damp, insects and pests.

FlueSnug is designed primarily to help ensure properties meet airtightness requirements, simplify the installation of flues in older properties and, when fitted, eliminate the need for any further pointing with mortar or sealing around the flue to the building fabric.

FlueSnug also allows installers to quickly access the pipe and flue for any service or maintenance requirements without the need to remove existing brickwork, mortar or sealant, saving even more time and cost for installers and their customers. You can then refit the existing FlueSnug – you don’t have to buy another one.

Approved by major boiler manufacturers, FlueSnug is the quickest and most cost-effective way to comply with forthcoming changes to Part L of the Building Regulations and to help maintain the energy efficiency of the building.

Benefits of using PipeSnug and FlueSnug to seal gaps around pipes

It fits in seconds in any weather
Both PipeSnug and FlueSnug can be fitted in seconds and saves time for the installer. So there is no more messy mixing of mortar or waiting for the weather to be dry to get the sealing jobs done.

Fit at height without ladders or scaffolding
Another advantage of using PipeSnug and FlueSnug is that you can fit them from the inside out as they are flexible enough to be pushed out of the brickwork and then pulled flush against the wall. That means there are fewer health and safety issues and the need for costly scaffolding or ladders. Read more about fitting flues at height safely.

Compliant with new changes to Part L of Building Regulations
PipeSnug and FlueSnug are ideal for helping new builds and existing dwellings meet the requirements of Building Regulations for pipes in walls.

Manufactured in the UK to the highest standards
PipeSnug and FlueSnug are award-winning products made from polypropylene and TPE. Both product and packaging are recyclable.

A great finish!
Let’s not forget the importance of great looking interiors and exteriors. PipeSnug and FlueSnug are the icings on the cake for sealing pipework inside and outside the home.

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