Upgrade Wall Insulation


Make Resilient Upgrades | Strengthen Your Home • Extreme Heat

Why do they matter?

The walls, roof, windows, and doors of your home are important components that keep the heat in and cold air out. During winter, insulation should prevent heat from escaping your home. Also, preventing ice dams is key to avoiding significant damage to your roof and attic.

What do I need to know?

  • Heat can be transferred through the roof and into the attic area.
  • The living areas of your home may lose heat if there is not enough insulation in the ceiling area where the living space meets the attic.
  • Insulation is measured by its R-Value, or its measurement to resist heat flow. The higher the R-value, the greater the insulating ability of the material.
  • Small gaps in door weatherstripping can allow significant warmed air out of your home and cool air into your home.
  • Failed or missing caulking around window frames can allow cold and moisture from snow and ice to enter your living space.
  • Ice dams are formed when air in the attic is warm enough to cause snow and ice on the roof to thaw and refreeze repeatedly. Pools of water then become trapped under layers of ice that seep under your roof covering (tiles or shingles) into the attic.

Where do I start?

  • Caulk any gaps around window frames.
  • Replace missing or damage weatherstripping around doors.
  • To prevent ice dams:
    • Keep the warm air downstairs where it belongs with sufficient insulation on the floor of the attic. Consider also using a dehumidifier to control water vapor.
    • Seal all openings that would allow vapor to rise into the attic, including any holes created from installing light fixtures and ceiling fans.
    • Provide good attic ventilation to replace warm air in the attic with cold outside air.
  • Where possible, install insulation in wall cavities to prevent heat from leaving the inside of your home. Remember, the higher the R-Value number, the better the insulation.
  • If replacing windows, consider the energy rating of the windows and how well they will insulate during the winter months.
  • Keep gutters free of debris.
  • Fix any leaks in your roof.
  • Don’t climb up on the roof to remove the snow. You could cause significant damage to your roof coverings, not to mention yourself if you were to slip and fall.
  • Don’t install large pieces of equipment in the attic. This will only raise the temperature in the winter months.
  • Don’t use salt or other minerals to melt the snow on your roof. These are very damaging to roof shingles and tiles, as well as gutters and downspouts.
  • Hire a contractor to inspect your attic before winter to determine whether proper insulation and weather guards are in place.
  • Have your roof inspected to ensure it is also prepared for any snow or ice that might accumulate during winter.



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