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Loft Insulation: What do you need to know?
Insulating your attic is a common project among many DIY enthusiasts. If you are planning to improve your home efficiency and reduce your annual energy costs, then loft insulation is one of the best and easiest solution to implement.
You will need to answer a few preliminary questions first before choosing between loft insulation boards or loft insulation rolls. Such as, how much does it cost to insulate a loft? Are there any loft insulation grant available? What loft insulation thickness should you go for? What tools do you need, and finally, how much money can you save?
As every self-respecting insulation expert will tell you, loft insulation is one of the most effective ways to reduce your heating bills. Most people do not realise that a quarter of your home’s heat is lost through the roof! Indeed, a lot of heat escapes through convection and conduction. Therefore, loft insulation can make a sizable difference as it cuts the carbon footprint along with the utility bills.
So much so that, for the same range of houses, the difference between a home with no loft insulation and one with 270mm loft insulation can reduce the annual carbon output from 550kg to 1000kg.
Loft Insulation Installation Guide by Rockwool
Types of Loft Insulation
Before telling you about the main types of loft insulation, let us give you a short overview of cold and warm loft insulation.
You will need insulation between the floor joists for a cold loft – thus preventing heat from entering into the loft. This is easy to install and relatively cheaper. However, it can leave the loft subject to condensation and fluctuations in temperature. Similarly, a cold loft is not suitable if you have plans regarding storing chemical materials that are sensitive to one another or if you are planning to turn the attic into a living area.
In contrast, if you want to create a warm loft, then you would use insulation that is divided between the underside of the roof and the loft floor. What does this mean? Well, simply put, some heat will enter the loft and regulate the temperature – however, it is important to know that the heat is prevented to make an escape through the roof.
A wide variety of uses are possible for cold loft, but you need to know that roof insulation is much harder and more expensive than the installation of insulation between the joists.
Let’s take a look at the main types of loft insulation.
Sheet insulation involves firm rigid boards, which are made either from natural or synthetic materials – it is one of the best solutions for insulating your roof’s underside. In addition, if you are looking for highly effective insulation, then you need sheet insulation because it provides greater efficiency. This type of insulation is slightly more costly.
Blown-Fiber is a non-DIY type insulation, in which loose materials of various types are blown in between the joists. This type of insulation is ideal for places that are hard to get by. However, Blown-fiber insulation does not offer a complete solution, particularly in a draughty loft. On top of that you will need to hire a qualified technician to get the job done.
Loose-fill insulation is about lightweight material – for instance, it involves mineral wool, cellulose fiber, cork granules or recycled newspapers. Loose-fill insulation is usually used for topping up the existing insulation.
Blanket Insulation ( Loft roll Insulation)
Last but not least, it is the most commonly used loft insulation, which comes in glass, mineral fiber, rolls of rock, and foil-backed felt. It is an ideal all-purpose insulation, which is likewise the cheapest option available. It works great between the joists and is easy to fit.
Insulating with ECOSE® Technology by Knauf
Advantages of Loft Insulation
If you live in the United Kingdom, then you must know that our country has the greatest stock of oldest housing in the developed world. This is fantastic in terms of aesthetics – but this is also inefficient housing when it comes to energy consumption and heat retention.
Among the many advantages you will be able to prevent one half of the heat from escaping through the roof and will save up to £150 a year by installing a few rolls of loft insulation. Similarly, you can significantly reduce the costs of electricity and gas. Your house will produce less carbon – thus helping the environment. Your home will be cooler in the summer and warmer during winter. You won’t have any issues with condensation and will notice a reduction in noise coming from the upper levels of the home. Furthermore, you will boost your ratings on “Energy Performance Certificate,” which will help you increase the value of your home – thus increasing the saleability.
How thick should loft insulation be?
The UK current regulations recommends a total depth of 250-270mm of blanket style loft insulation. If you already have loft insulation, then it is worth checking its depth, as a couple of years ago, the recommended depth was 200mm and older houses tend to have 100mm of fiberglass insulation between the rafters.
Does loft insulation contain asbestos?
Asbestos was banned in 1999 and is still present in about half of all residential property. If your house was built in the 20th century, we recommend you talk to an independent surveyor before carrying out any improvement work. You can have loose-fill asbestos in cavity walls, under floorboards, and lofts. It is actually a fluffy and loose insulation material that looks like candy floss. Additionally, it can be whitish or blue-grey in color, which is considered a dangerous asbestos material. If disturbed, it may release asbestos into the air.
How long does loft insulation last?
Insulation experts claim that loft insulation with spray foam and wrap tape can last for more than 70 years. In addition, foam-board, loose fill, rock wool, and cellulose insulation can last up to 90 years.
Loft Insulation Cost and Savings
Having loft insulation properly installed can cut your heating and energy bills by around £250 per year. You can also save around £120-£150 worth of energy with loft insulation. The average cost of boarding and insulating a loft is around 1500£ and depending on the complexity of the job it will usually take 3-4 days to complete. It will pay for itself in roughly 2 years! Additionally you can visit gov.grants to see if are eligible for a grant.
Here at Insulation4Less we are dedicated to providing our customers with the best products at the best prices possible. Our support team is eager to help and can be contacted by calling 020 3582 6399 or via our Live Chat.