What is loft insulation?
In basic terms, loft insulation is a barrier created in your loft which is made from materials. It can either be laid horizontally in the joists or it can be laid diagonally in the rafters which make up the roof of your property.
Loft insulation is designed to slow down the transfer of heat from your property. This means that it is made to trap heat into your property in the Winter and cool it down in the Summer.
Why is it needed?
With an uninsulated home, a quarter of all the heat just escapes through the roof. This means without insulation you are looking at astronomically high heating bills. By installing insulation you are not only saving money in the long run but you are also increasing the price of your home overall and also improving your home’s efficiency rating – these things matter nowadays so why not reduce your carbon footprint a little?
Can I insulate my loft?
Provided your loft space avoided 4 main issues, then you should easily be able to insulate your own loft for a great DIY job. For an ideal time insulating your loft yourself you are going to want to avoid:
-a small loft space that you cannot enter
-any damp or condensation
-loft joists which are irregular
-make sure you are not on a flat roof
If your roof ticks any of these boxes you may want to look into getting professional help or an experienced DIY-er in. It may also be worthwhile doing this if you live in a period house as these can be trickier than new builds.
How to insulate a loft?
Provided you have the right conditions which we mentioned above, you can insulate your own loft in six easy steps:
- Remove any boxes and clear your loft space entirely. Like all more complex building materials, you want to make sure you are equipped and informed ahead of the game.
- Lag any pipes or water tanks in the loft as these will be likely to freeze once the insulation is laid.
- Make sure all electrical wires are above any insulation, you cannot have them below for a fire risk and you do not want to stretch them. This is something worth noting with a professional electrician if you are not sure.
- Measure out the square footage of the attic area and make sure you buy enough insulation to go 270mm deep – this is important for maximisation of heat transfer.
- Unroll the insulation along the gaps in the joists. You’ll want to make sure you have cut it to the right width (loft insulation rolls come in a standard size but joist spacing differs) and you’ll want to make sure that you have measured the thickness of the insulation to know how many layers to add to get it to 270mm.
- Add on the additional layers adjacent to the original layer to get maximum heat transfer.
What about storage?
Many people use the attic space and lofts as storage spots in their house. You cannot lay stuff just on insulation and if you are intending to do this then you should look into fitting the floor with insulation boards and then floorboards on top. Alternatively, you can create a higher floor level using carpentry skills. Both of these options require a little bit extra work but can be worth the storage space offered.
It really is that simple!