How to Tell If a House Has Good Insulation … From the Outside

The quality of a home’s insulation is one of the top concerns of homeowners. Why am I spending a fortune to heat this house in the winter? Why does it turn into an oven in summer? If this window is closed, then where is that breeze coming from? Fortunately, this week’s Snowpocalypse in Seattle has presented a simple way to tell if a house has good insulation, from the outside.

This 5-star Yelp review of Eastside Insulation illustrates the basic concept. Take a look:

Three days after the big storm, in a house with plenty of direct sunlight, the snow on the roof hadn’t melted at all. What does that tell us about the insulation, you ask?

Good House Insulation, From the Outside

Insulation acts as a barrier, preventing air from traveling through. So in the winter, insulation keeps the heat inside and the cold air out. (For more information, read about R-value.) On the house pictured above, all that heat inside the house is staying inside the house, and not leaking out through the roof. You can tell a house has good insulation if the snow on the roof doesn’t melt.

Here is a good side-by-side comparison of one house with good insulation, and one with … not good insulation:

good house insulation outside

Two houses on the same block, with the same sun exposure. The house on the left is clearly leaking heat through the roof, as most of the snow has melted off. The house on the right is well-insulated, so the snow remains.

Keep Your Home Warm in Winter

A big storm and cold snap like this can be a harsh reminder of the importance of good insulation. As people have been homebound by the snowy streets, air leaks and insulation gaps have likely become more noticeable.

If you are wondering how effective your insulation is, then take a look at your roof. An exposed roof, shortly after a snowstorm, could be a sign you need an insulation upgrade. Call us now at 425-482-2121 for a free estimate!

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