Hot air rises while cold air sinks. This is something we all learn at school from a young age. While it might not be the most earth shattering news, it does have implications on your home. If your loft is not properly insulated you could be losing as much as 25% of your heat. In the United Kingdom this can increase energy bills enormously. It is not just about saving money; by insulating a loft, you decrease your household’s energy use and thereby their carbon footprint. All this goes towards saving the planet and becoming a greener society. There are a number of ways you can have your loft insulated and this site gives all the facts about loft insulation.
Choosing Loft Insulation:
The type of loft insulation you need to use will depend on the type of loft you have. Some of the most important factors are listed below and spoken about in more detail further on.
· Ease of access to the loft
· Whether joists are regular/irregular
· Type of roof
· Whether you want to use the loft as storage/living space
Ease of Access:
If your loft is easy to access, has regular joists and there is no damp, you can probably do the loft insulation yourself. Use rolls of mineral wool for insulation and layer between the joists. A second layer should cross-laid at right angles to make the necessary depth up and cover the joists.
If your loft is difficult to access you will need to call in a professional who will use specialized machinery to put loose, fire retardant insulation material in for you. The good news is that this will not take more than a few hours so you can relax afterwards.
Type of Joists:
If you have an oddly shaped loft or have joists which are the incorrect distance for rolls of mineral wool, use loose fill insulation. You can buy loose fill insulation in bags in the form of cork granules, cellulose fibre, mineral wool or vernacular. It can be done by a professional installer or as a DIY job. Just be warned that you may have to increase the height of the joists to get the insulation to the required depth.
Type of Roof:
The main thing here is that a flat roof receives a different type of insulation and should be insulated from above. Add a layer of rigid insulation either on top of the weatherproof layer on the roof or on top of the wooden roof surface with a new weatherproof surface. This needs to be done by a professional as the job is a tricky one.
Storage or Living Space:
If you are going to the loft for storage or as an additional living space, you will probably want to lay boards on top of the joists. To make sure that the insulation is still thick enough you can do one of two things. Either raise the level of the floor so you can put enough mineral wool under the new floor level or insulate between the joists and then put rigid insulation boards on top finishing it off with wooden boarding on top of the boards.
You can also insulate the rood of the loft instead of the floor if you want to use your loft for living space by attaching insulation boards between the rafters. Since rafters do not normally go very deep, you will have better results if you insulate over them with insulated plasterboard as well.
Insulation prevents heats from escaping so your loft space will become cooler. If you have existing condensation or damp problems they will become worse. For this reason it is important to get professional advice and see whether you can fix the damp before installing the insulation.