We live in DC, in a home built in the '50s with no insulation and a flat roof. The upstairs gets very hot in summer; any solutions?

Question

We live in DC, in a home built in the '50s with no insulation and a flat roof. The upstairs gets very hot in summer; any solutions?

Asked by Shizua Oliver

Flat room with access door to roof in main bedroom, which is the hottest room in the evenings. No trees as yard is very small (or none to speak of); awnings could be an option, but right now cost is more than we could handle. Any access door solutions that would help lessen heat build-up?

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Answers

Hamid Kashani - AIA, LEED Green Associate's picture

To be honest, it's hard to imagine a roof with no insulation, even a flat roof. The solution seems obvious; insulate the roof! It may be costly, but it saves money on heating and cooling bills, and provides the comfort you are looking for.

Having windows at the upper floor also is helpful, with the chimney effect allowing for the heat to escape.

For more information:

Read Rick Goyette's Q&A "Should we use open cell or closed cell SPF insulation on the underside of our attic roof in southeast Louisiana?"