Most houses have extensive loft space, but all too often we waste it and try to fit everything into the main rooms. There are many uses for a loft, but whatever you do with it (even leaving it unused) it must be properly insulated.
Why Insulate Your Loft?
A quarter of the heat lost from an uninsulated house escapes through the roof, so a house without loft insulation needs its heating system to work at 125% of what’s needed in an insulated house. This means the modest costs of installation is made back within about two years, and after that you’re saving money — for a long time, since well-fitted insulation can last up to 40 years.
In an average semi-detached house, for instance, the Energy Saving Trust has estimated you can save around £150 a year, rising to £250 in a detached house. And, while you’re saving money, you’re also reducing your carbon footprint.
Warm Loft or Cold Loft?
You’ve a choice between a cold loft, where the only insulation is between the loft joists and the upper-floor ceiling, or a warm loft, where the roof is also insulated. Cold loft insulation is cheaper and much easier to install, but your loft will experience large seasonal temperature swings.
A warm loft (which is actually cooler in summer) is recommended if you’re going to be storing anything sensitive to temperature or damp. And it’s essential, of course, if you’re converting your loft to use as a room.
Points to Consider
- Do you already have sufficient insulation? The government recommends a depth of between 240 and 270mm. If your current depth is between 100 and 240mm, you can simply top it up, but if it’s under 100mm you’re better replacing it.
- Don’t forget to insulate your loft hatch, as this can be a significant heat-loss spot.
- Remember to leave electric wiring and water pipes above the insulation to prevent overheating.
- If you’re going to board your loft, you’ll need to raise the floor up, as the insulation will come over the joists. Although insulation boards are available, these won’t leave any ventilation space for the wiring. A raised system such as LoftZoneTM StoreFloor is a much safer option.
Professional or DIY
Cold loft insulation isn’t beyond an expert DIYer, as long as you make sure you’re familiar with all the pitfalls and hazards of the job. If you want warm loft insulation, or if you’re combining insulation with a raised floor, you’d be far better getting professionals in. You’re very welcome to contact us for more information.