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9 Existing Home Insulation Problems that Show Up in the Winter

existing home insulation

9 Existing Home Insulation Problems that Show Up in the Winter Blog Feature
Amanda Ringler

By: Amanda Ringler on October 20th, 2021

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As winter begins to show its face you notice your home is colder and less comfortable.

Once Old Man Winter is in full swing you notice more problems that are turning your home into a cold, dreary place you’d rather not be. But what’s causing all of this turmoil?

Little to no insulation in your home.

This can happen over time where the traditional insulation, whether it’s fiberglass or cellulose, in your home can sag, settle, or shift. It can even still allow for air movement through it. Then there are older homes that were never insulated to begin with.

RetroFoam of Michigan has worked with thousands of homeowners to fix these problems by adding an air seal with foam insulation. But enough about us, let’s take a look at these problems and what causes them.

Home Insulation Problems that Show Up in the Winter

These are all of the problems you are likely experiencing each winter when there is little to no insulation in your home.

Rooms Never Warm-Up and Floors are Cold

If your home is lacking in the insulation department, then all of the cold air from outside is getting in.

This air movement makes it impossible for the rooms of your home to maintain a constant comfortable temperature. The air movement can also cause your floors to be unbearably cold.

The best way to tackle this problem is to create an air seal with insulation to prevent air leakage into and out of your home. Sealing the building envelope of the house will keep that cold winter air outside where it belongs.

High Heating Bills Because the Furnace Runs Constantly

If your home is constantly too cold, your furnace is going to work overtime just to maintain a constant temperature.

That constant running is going to end up costing you a lot more money in the long run in monthly energy bills, not to mention the strain it puts on your furnace. This happens because cold air is getting inside and cools the air you're heating. 

The air you're heating is also leaking right out of your home.

Creating an air seal with insulation can help reduce monthly energy bills and give your furnace a much-needed break.

Cold Walls and Drafts

If you have little to no insulation in your walls, that cold air is going to come through any way it can.

The outlets, light switches, and windows of your home are a perfect space to feel those cold drafts. Not to mention if you are experiencing air leakage, your walls are likely to be cold to the touch.

Adding insulation to those exterior walls can reduce those drafts and cold air from getting inside your home.

Extra Clothes and Blankets are a Necessity

The cold has gotten so extreme in your home, you’re likely finding yourself wearing two pairs of socks and curled up with a blanket or two just to keep warm.

This isn't normal inside your home and is a huge indicator that you have little to no insulation. Adding insulation that doesn't allow air to move through it will help you take back control of your home's comfort.

There are Ice Dams on Your Roof

Ice dams are bad news bears.

They form when heat escapes from your home through your attic where there is little to no insulation.

The heat loss through the attic causes the snow to melt in the middle of the roof. The melted snow pools at the edge and forms an ice dam. This can not only damage your roof but also lead to leaks in your attic.

Blocking the heated air from escaping through your attic and roof with insulation can prevent the formation of ice dams.

Frozen Pipes are a Problem

Frozen pipes can be a headache and costly if they burst.

Frozen pipes happen when there isn’t sufficient insulation where they are located, so the frigid temperatures are getting into the space.

If those pipes burst, you could end up with some costly repair costs.

Adding an air barrier insulation where your pipes are can limit the amount of cold air they come into contact with. 

Frost Forms on Your Windows

If you have older windows, then it is safe to say you probably don’t have insulation around them.

Sometimes, even newer windows will form frost if the contractor didn’t insulate around them.

In either case, it's important to make sure the space around your windows is insulated to reduce drafts and stop the frost from forming.

Condensation Forms on Your Walls Inside Your Home

Condensation on the interior walls of your home comes down to simple science – the cold outside temperature is meeting your interior warm temperature at the wall and forming condensation.

Just like a pop can in the summer. If cold air can get through your insulation, then this can happen and cause more problems than you might think, including the growth of mold and mildew.

Foam insulation in your walls doesn't promote the growth of mold and mildew. The material actually prevents those two drastic temperatures from meeting in the wall cavity.

Your Cabinets Keep Your Dishes Cold

Your hot coffee isn’t going to stay hot for long if you’re putting it into a cold mug.

If your kitchen cabinets are on those exterior walls, and the air is moving through your old insulation, so you'll feel it in the dishes.

Adding an air barrier in your exterior walls will help keep your dishes at room temperature.

Solve Your Poor Insulation Problems

All of these problems have a simple solution: update or replace the insulation in your home.

The choice is yours whether you decide to add more fiberglass or cellulose to your home or go in a different route with foam insulation.

If you want to learn more about the benefits of foam insulation for your home, check out the Learning Center on our website.

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About Amanda Ringler

Amanda previously has worked as a breaking news and crime reporter, TV news producer, and editor in Flint and Detroit. Throughout her career as a journalist, she has won several awards from The Society of Professional Journalists - Detroit Chapter and the Michigan Press Association. As part of the RetroFoam of Michigan family, Amanda uses her experience as a journalist to write content that will help educate homeowners on the benefits of foam insulation. When Amanda isn’t writing, she’s spending time with her husband and rescued huskies. She also loves knitting, making art, cooking, and hosting dinner and a movie night for friends and family.