Archive for February, 2010


Where to start with insulation? There are so many options these days, from Insulated Concrete Forms, Open-Cell Spray Foam, to Fiberglass batts. For starters here are a few links to helpful resources…

Energy Star

Building Insulation on Wikipedia

Owens Corning for homeowners


Our installer of choice, Northwind Insulation

I am not interested in endorsing any specific product I just want people to know what some of the options. However, I do think that you should get/install the best insulation you can possibly afford.

Here’s what I think you need to know:

Insulation is rated based on it’s resistance to heat flow, the R-Value. The greater the R the less amount of air and moisture penetration is possible. You’ll see it listed as R-3. We live in Minnesota, land of extreme temperature change. Getting the highest R-value is important to keep the cold air out in the winter and the hot air out in the summer. According to Energy Star our climate should have R-38 to R-49, here’s their chart.

There is more to come, as time allows.


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So you have an ice dam,

Unfortunately if you already have an ice dam there isn’t much you can do while there is still snow on the roof. How do you prevent this from happening? Start by removing the snow from their roof as soon as they can. Once spring rolls around there is one big thing you can do insulate! I can’t stress that enough. The ice dam is cause by the heat loss from your home. Insulate your attic as much as you can. If possible update the ventilation. Some of the pre WWII homes you can’t ventilate well if at all.  The insulation is the most important part. For you DIYers go to your local lumber yard and purchase some bats of fiberglass insulation we really like Owens Corning and line your attic. Here is a link to their instructions to insulate your attic.

Otherwise hire a local insulator and they can spray insulation into your attic. Our insulator of choice is Dave Stanton owner of Northwind Insulation in Northfield.

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