Florida’s climate makes it a unique place. It’s hot and humid for most of the year, and the number of swamps means it’s an issue homebuilders and homeowners have to deal with.
Because there is so much water everywhere, homes are typically closer to groundwater than in many other parts of the country. It makes building basements impossible for most Florida homes.
That comes as a surprise to a lot of people moving into the state who are used to basements where they come from. But what about attics? Does the climate in Florida have similar impacts on whether a home gets an attic?
In Florida, most houses have attics. However, because a lot of houses don’t have basements, attics get finished at a higher rate than in other states. As a result, making sure there is proper insulation is a must to keep temperatures cool and protect property from mold or mildew.
Here are some interesting tidbits on Florida homes and cool attic solutions.
Dealing with the Florida Heat
For centuries, attics have been a great solution for keeping homes cool. Hot air rises, and without an attic, the warm air would simply recirculate through your home.
On a hot summer day in Florida, that can be miserable. High humidity levels exacerbate the effect of heat. It can feel like you’re in a sauna, and cooling your home without an attic would take longer and cost more money.
With an attic, you’re building in a buffer where hot air can go instead of lingering in your living room or bedrooms. If you’ve ever been in an unfinished attic, you know how hot they can be during the day.
When the sun’s out, it can be like you’re in a microwave. It feels much hotter in an attic than even outdoors because the warm air has nowhere to go.
Modern Housing & Insulation
Generally speaking, older houses in Florida have larger attics.
People have traditionally used these spaces for home storage or they even finish their attics to replace what would have gone in the basement, like a playroom or an extra bedroom.
Modern homes, however, typically have smaller attics where it’s difficult for an adult to stand up in or move around. There is less room because there are new insulation and ventilation solutions that require less space.
There are two main reasons you need a good layer of insulation in your Florida attic. They are:
Keeping things warm in the winter – Even though you’re not going to see a foot of snow, it can get a bit chilly in the winter.
If you’ve lived in Florida for years, you’re likely more sensitive to cooler weather than if you lived in Colorado in the winters.
When temperatures drop and the wind chill makes things feel even colder, a lot of Floridians turn on the heat in their homes.
Insulation in the attic keeps the warm air in longer, making it easier to regulate temperatures. You’ll spend less money warming your home and will feel more comfortable.
Keeping hot air out in the summer – When it’s hot outside, insulation keeps steamy air out of your home. It lowers the burden on your air conditioners to make things cooler indoors.
Even the best roof has gaps in it where air can leak in. Insulation fills in those holes. Thankfully, there are modern insulation solutions that don’t take up much space and last for years.
These are the two main benefits of insulation in your attic, but there are also other advantages. For example, good insulation keeps fresh air inside your home.
Homeowners who run filters or spend a good deal on ventilation systems want to know that clean air is doing its job. It can also help stop water damage to your home in the event your roof springs a leak!
The Best Ways to Use Your Attic
If you’re moving to a new Florida home from out of state, here are some great ways to use your attic.
Storage is by far the most common way people in Florida use their attics. However, you shouldn’t just shove anything up there.
The temperatures upstairs and exposure to water and humidity levels mean you need to carefully consider what’s stored in the attic.
Anything that is easily damaged or needs to be kept dry probably shouldn’t go up there. They are good, though, for keeping things like decorations, paint, and other dry goods.
Clear Out Your Garage
Going into the attic isn’t something you want to do every day. You’re probably going to spend way more time in your garage if you’re got one.
Think about transporting all of the stuff you don’t use a lot that’s sitting in your garage to your attic. With a clean, organized garage, you can start new hobbies and will have more space for bikes and other toys.
Finishing an Older Attic
If you’re in an older home in Florida, think about finishing it to add more living space. With a modern insulation solution, you may not need as much space and can take advantage of the possibilities your attic offers.
To make sure it’s a good idea, you can talk to a contractor who will do a walkthrough and let you know what your options are.
Many homeowners in Florida transform their bare attics into play areas for kids, a home office, or even an extra bedroom.
These are just some of the ways you can use your Florida attic more effectively. Moving to Florida and dealing with some of the architectural differences from other states can be an adjustment for a lot of people.
With time, you’ll find the best ways to use your attic and living in the Sunshine State easily makes up for any housing quirks!