Here is Part 1 of our multi-part home inspection blog series:
The first area to combat ice damming we will discuss is insulation in your home. Insulation is rated according to an R-value. R-value is the capacity of an insulating material to resist heat flow. So the higher the R-value, the greater the insulating power. The idea is to keep all of the warm interior air in your home inside the conditioned space, where it belongs. Each form of insulation will have a different R-value based on a per-inch measurement.
For this discussion we will specifically address the R-value in the ceiling space between the attic and conditioned area of the home. Connecticut is located in Zone 5 according to the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). The minimum R-value for insulation at the ceiling in the attic space according to the 2015 IECC is R-49. (http://codes.iccsafe.org/app/book/content/2015-I-Codes/2015%20IECC%20HTML/Chapter%204%20[RE].html). It is also important to note that many municipalities may vary in what they require, and the local Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) may indicate that R-38 is considered acceptable (cathedral ceilings can vary between R-30 and R-38 minimum). While it is always best to check with your local building official, it certainly will not hurt, and would be recommended, to bring your insulation above and beyond what they may determine as acceptable. Best practices should prevail over the minimum requirement.
Depending on your current insulation material and R-value based on the year your home was built, a contractor specializing in insulation can offer some solutions to raise your R-value, as well as discuss the variety of insulation materials that are available to you. Fiberglass, cellulose, mineral wool, and spray foam are just some of the options available to research and consider.
Next post I’ll discuss better sealing your home to help prevent heat loss from the interior into the attic space.
Long River Home Inspection serves Fairfield County, CT home owners in towns including:
Fairfield County: Bethel, Bridgeport, Brookfield, Danbury, Darien, Easton, Fairfield, Greenwich, Monroe, New Canaan, New Fairfield, Newtown, Norwalk, Shelton, Sherman, Stamford, Stratford, Redding, Ridgefield, Trumbull, Weston, Westport, Wilton, CT
Long River Home Inspection
Fairfield, CT 06824
Phone: (203) 418-7696