Feb 01, 2020

Our Guide to Winter Insulation, Ventilation, and Decking

Lindus Construction’s COO, Andy Lindus offers advice to help homeowners in the Twin cities area with their home’s winter insulation, ventilation and decking.

Listen To The Entire Home Improvement Show Here:

The Importance of a Properly Insulated & Vented Attic

While many Twin Cities residents appreciated the warmer temperatures the first weekend in February brought, the day thaw that occurred on rooftops throughout the metropolitan area was cause for concern.

Even homeowners with properly insulated and ventilated attics need to be diligent in roof raking to ensure that standing water can exit the roof during the warmer day temperatures so that the water does not freeze overnight.  If this happens, ice dams can form and cause costly interior water damage and mold growth.  If an ice dam has formed on your home, avoid using a blunt force with a roof rake which can damage your home’s shingles.

 Ice dam on a roof

If ice dams are caused by deficiencies within a home’s attic, it’s important to understand that simply adding more insulation is not a guaranteed fix.  In some cases, it can actually cause more damage.

If a home’s warm, moist air is traveling upwards to the attic and hitting a warm surface, it’s difficult for attic condensation to occur.  However, if additional insulation with a metal backing is added, there’s now a surface for the warm moist air to condensate, which reduces the insulation’s R-value, creating dry rot, and promotes mold growth. 

Beware of any insulation contractor that’s not evaluating your home’s ventilation and discussing attic air sealing.  These components are critical to a healthy attic.

Go Behind the Scenes on a Twin Cities Insulation and Ventilation Project:

Maintaining Your Deck In Winter

Another area of the home that takes a beating during the winter months is decking.  A common complaint with homeowners that have painted cedar decks is that the paint continuously peels off.  Fibers coming up out of the wood should be lightly hand sanded to avoid putting the mill glaze back on the wood.  A power sander can close off the pores within the wood, making the paint last a shorter amount of time than it should.

When given the option, homeowners should use oil-based stains to refinish their deck because they do a better job of penetrating the wood, making it longer lasting than paint.  It’s worth mentioning that cedar decks offer a unique character as they age, a trait composite decks cannot imitate.

 Twin Cities deck in winter

For homeowners wanting a wooden deck that’s more of a showstopper than cedar, Ipe can be an excellent selection.  This luxury Brazilian hardwood is very dense and heavier than conventional deck woods.  For this reason, the framing methods are like those used for composite decking.  Well worth the expense, the aesthetics and character make it a cherished component of a home for years to come.

For homeowners wishing to forego deck maintenance, composite decks are a popular option.  One popular option known for its reliability and longevity is Zuri®.  Zuri® imitates the aesthetics of exotic wood.  Its surface can be easily cleaned, should the need arise.  However, a drawback to Zuri® deck boards is that they easily become slippery in the winter months.  The winter months can also cause Zuri® deck boards to expand and contract more than other composite deck brands.

Contact us today to get started on your next insulation or decking project.

Our team answers homeowner questions every weekend on WCCO 8:30 AM from 9:00 am-10:00 am.  Have your most pressing home improvement questions answered by calling or texting 651.461.9226. 

Browse Our Decking and Insulation Projects:

Our Insulation and Decking Reviews:

"I was very happy with the free insulation estimate I received from the Lindus rep. He took the time to walk me and my father-in-law through a thermal scan of all the leaky spots in my attic - and basement, bonus! - and was honest and forthright about the work they do and the best and most economical options available to us to improve ambient temperature control in these areas."

Rima F.
Lake Elmo, MN
January 9, 2024

"We have an 80-year-old 2-story colonial. The shaker porch needed some serious help with the railing, floor, and drainage. The result is very nice, providing a good place for morning coffee."

Dale A.
Minneapolis, MN
December 18, 2023

"I did two big projects in 2023 with Lindus. First was removing and replacing attic insulation plus creating proper ventilation. Second was replacing roof and adding LeafGuard®. Did everything go perfectly? No but that is where a company shows its merits. All issues were resolved! I even received a check for unused supplies. I highly recommend Lindus. They are not the cheapest. You get what you pay for."

Jill D.
St. Paul, MN
December 14, 2023

"I used Lindus to right the wrong of no deck on the back of my house. From working with Dave Anderson on the sales side to Cory Maxon and his build team, every piece of the process was handled with professionalism and care. Cleanest jobsite I've ever seen! I had a great experience working with Lindus!"

Chris B.
Forest Lake, MN
December 12, 2023

"Randall Bowman and an attic insulation crew attended to my Somerset, WI condo in Oct. 2023.  They were ahead of schedule, very conscientious about not causing any damage or mess in the house. Very conscientious about not blocking traffic for my condo development neighbors. And, they were very efficient-- finishing earlier than they estimated. I would highly recommend Lindus Construction and the two insulation company they contract with."

Deb M.
Somerset, WI
October 12, 2023

"We highly recommend Lindus for home improvement projects -- our new deck is beautiful, built with high quality materials and attention to details. The construction crew was experienced and professional."

Cheryl G.
White Bear Lake, MN
July 5, 2023
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