Ah, insulation. Some central Ohio homes built in the 1960s and 70s had absolutely no attic insulation at all. Of course, a residential electrical rate of 2.6 cents per kilowatt hour (according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration) might explain that. Today’s energy rates mean no home should be without ample attic insulation.
In most applications, your roof itself has no direct insulation. Some homeowners have rigid board insulation attached to the underside of the sheathing (the large, flat sheets supporting the roofing material). Most homeowners do not have this type of roof insulation.
Attic insulation, on the other hand, rests between the joists of your attic’s floor. It separates your interior living space from the attic and serves to keep the two air masses separate:
- Attic air should be at roughly the same temperature and humidity level as the outside
- Interior air, expensively treated (heated or cooled) and humidified to the right level, should be comfortable to your entire family
A quick and easy wintertime test of the effectiveness of your attic insulation is to look at your roof after a snowfall. The faster the snow disappears from your roof, the weaker your insulation. Melting snow and ice indicates heat is escaping from within your living space.
You can safely see your attic insulation when you are inside the attic and looking down. Between and often fluffed on top of the joists is your insulation.
Insulation Extends the Life of Your Roof
Nature seldom produces enormous, rapid changes in humidity and temperature. Instead, those changes occur over hours or even days. Thermal expansion and contraction are slow, almost stately. Your roof’s various materials can easily keep up with those changes:
- Metal elements, like flashing and drip edge
- Shingles, underlayment, and water and ice shield
- Wood elements, like rafters and sheathing
All the various roofing materials undergo constant expansion and contraction, but if insulation keeps heated air from escaping into your attic, your roof can handle the changes. When warm air rises into the attic, however, changes occur too rapidly for your roof’s health. Its life can be shortened, and that is an expensive problem for you.
Your local roofer and insulation expert can advise you on the proper amount of attic insulation for your needs.
Allstate Exteriors & Restoration, conveniently located in Central Ohio, can help you with all your insulation challenges. Contact us today to see how we can make your home more comfortable and energy efficient.