As the colder weather starts to bite, it’s a good time to think about the best way to keep your home warm and dry during the winter. The most straightforward, most cost-efficient, and energy-efficient way to do this is to invest in or upgrade your current roof insulation.
Your roof is one of the most vulnerable areas of your home. Think of it as the soldier in charge of leading the troops into battle, the first line of defense against the weather enemies. When it rains, snows hails, or storms, you snuggle inside, safe in the knowledge that your roof is out there, doing battle on your behalf against these elements.
But you wouldn’t want your soldier, or your roof, to fight the fight without adequate aid or support, would you? The best thing you can do for your soldier is to provide them with all the weapons necessary to fight. The same principle goes for your roof. And during the cold seasons especially, that means roof insulation.
The most common analogy for roof insulation is to think of it as a blanket. A warm, cozy blanket that covers your home and protects it from the cold, wet, stormy effects of bad weather. But a blanket is at its most effective when it’s in good condition, not threadbare or made of poor-quality materials.
So think of insulation as though it is the waterproof jacket you wear when going outside and battling the elements. It’s the extra layer of clothing you wear when it’s so cold outside that anything sticking out from under those clothes will freeze if not protected adequately.
You wouldn’t think twice about wrapping yourselves in protective, warm, dry, rain, and weather-repelling clothing when you go out and face the storm, so it makes sense to wrap your home in that same high level of protection.
If that’s not enough, think of some other practical benefits of good roof insulation, like:
- Keeping your home’s interior dry and free from the damp.
Mold spores love it when your home is full of moist air, and once these unwelcome guests are let in, it can be tough to get them out. Lung and respiratory problems, especially in the elderly, or young children, or the health-compromised, are rife in damp homes.
- Protection during the summer months.
When it’s hot, insulation protects your home from absorbing too much of the outside temperature. Think of your roof insulation as a thermal envelope that wraps your home in such a way that it stays fresh and cool in summer, and warm and dry in winter.
- Extra protection for your roof.
The harshest of the elements – heat, snow, heavy rain, hail – all can damage and warp the materials in your roof. Adequate insulation will provide some protection against these elements and can add years to your roof’s useful life.
- Saving on energy costs.
There is little point in spending a fortune on heating (or cooling) your home if all that lovely warm or cool air is going to escape out of a poorly insulated roof. The US Department of Energy offers a calculator tool that can show you how much you can save by making sure your home has roof insulation.
- Protects the rest of the home from damage caused by harsh weather.
Maintaining a constant temperature inside your home is not only more pleasant, but it is also better for your furnishings and fittings. If the temperature fluctuates, you can almost hear the walls groan, as nails expand or contract, or paint blisters or wallpaper starts to peel.
- Less of a carbon footprint.
If you can keep your heating and cooling energy levels to a minimum, you are helping protect natural resources. If you want to go the extra mile towards an environmentally friendly option, ask your roof insulation specialist about “green” insulation such as cellulose fiber, recycled denim, or even soy!
- Insurance companies might appreciate the effort.
If you have damage to your roof, but you have done all that you can do to protect it (including keeping up with repairs and maintenance), then your insurance company is likely to be more receptive to damage claims.
- Can turn the attic into a more useful room than just storage space.
If you have an attic, you will know that there is an element of the “quid pro quo” relationship between it and your roof. A too cold or too hot attic can lead to warping or damage to the roof, and a poorly insulated roof will lead to an attic that you may as well not have because unless it’s well ventilated or maintained, it’s generally not much use.
- Safety first.
Older roof insulation was often installed without sufficient regard as to what would happen should the home catch fire. But these days, the professional roofers will make sure to use flame-resistant materials, thereby minimizing damage in the event of a fire.
But it costs so much!
Like any form of home improvement, roof insulation does involve an initial outlay of cash. But between lower heating and air conditioning costs, the reduction in damage, and, if relevant, the future resale value of your home, it’s an investment that will pay handsome dividends over time.