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Prevent Ice Dams by Insulating Attic Access | Energy Efficiency

Mr. Handyman service technicians have been in dozens of homes' attics this winter inspecting ice damming and roof damage. What we have noticed in 90% of these attics is that the access door is not insulated in any way. Most of these access panels are located in the living space, a closet, or hallway. Homeowners are paying good money heating the air that is escaping through these uninsulated access panels.

Attic blueprint tools

Most of these panels are made out of a piece of plywood or drywall and are pushed up out of the way to gain access into the attic.

For about $30 - $40 a 'somewhat handy' person could purchase enough 1 1/2 inch foam insulation, construction adhesive (liquid nails,) and a roll of sticky-back foam weather-stripping to do this small project on their own.

Here's how:

  1. Use the panel as a template to cut 2 layers of the rigid foam insulation, then glue them to the top side of the panel so it is two layers thick.
  2. Apply the weather-stripping to the framework of the panel to form a nice fit when it is put back in place.

The added insulation and weather-stripping could save you upwards of $80 in heating and cooling costs per year as well as help keep your home more comfortable when it is really cold out.