What is Your Insulation's R-factor?

Water damage can easily lower its energy efficiency, but these tips can help.

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In Maryland, the homeowners learned that water could easily damage insulation, making it less effective by lessening its R-factor. The R-factor is the insulation's ability to keep heat in during the winter, and heat out during the summer. It is listed right on the insulation: the higher the number, the better it works as a barrier. Generally, the higher the R-factor, the thicker and more energy efficient the insulation.

Exterior walls will usually use insulation with an R-factor of 13, floors and crawl spaces R-19, attics will use R-30 or higher. Rolled insulation should maintain its R-factor for a lifetime, if it's installed properly. To keep your R up to par, here are a few tips:


  • When installing insulation, fill in all the gaps to maintain a consistent R-factor.
  • Avoid packing down insulation. It will crush the air pockets and lower the R-factor.
  • Contact your local utility company or a licensed professional if you're unsure which R-factor insulation to use in a particular location.

Insulation with the proper R-factor will keep your home warmer in winter, cooler in summer and your wallet fatter year round!

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