No matter what kind of insulation you currently have in your attic, one quick way to determine if you need more is to look across the span of your attic. If your insulation is just level with or below your floor joists, you should add more. If you cannot see any of the floor joists because the insulation is well above them, you probably have enough and adding more may not be cost-effective. It is important that the insulation be evenly distributed with no low spots; sometimes there is enough insulation in the middle of the attic and very little along the eaves. If your attic insulation covers your joists and is distributed evenly, your levels are possibly sufficient. Consult with Weatherization Services LLC, a Milwaukee Insulation Contractor, to ensure your levels and air sealing is sufficient.
Insulation levels are specified by R-Value. R-Value is a measure of insulation's ability to resist heat flow. The higher the R-Value, the better the thermal performance of the insulation. The recommended level for most attics is to insulate to R-50 or about 14 inches, depending on insulation type.
When adding insulation, you do not have to use the same type of insulation that currently exists in your attic. You can add loose fill on top of fiberglass batts or blankets. If you choose to add loose fill, it may be wise to hire Weatherization Services LLC, a Milwaukee Insulation Contractor, as the application requires the use of a blowing machine and proper air sealing techniques.
An ice dam occurs when snow accumulates on the roof of a house with inadequate insulation. Heat conducts through the low levels of insulation and warm air from the attic bypasses warms the roof. These areas of the roof, usually located above living spaces, melt the snow on roof overhangs. The water then flows down the roof, under the snow, and onto the eave working its way into the gutter. Once it meets the colder conditions, it freezes on the overhangs and in the gutters. With time, the snow that melts cannot drain properly through the large amounts of ice. All this results in leaks into the roof space resulting in damaged ceilings, walls, roof structures, and insulation.