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Roof and loft insulation - a beginner’s guide

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Insulating a loft or roof is very beneficial when it comes to retaining heat in a home. As an example, around 25% of the heat generated in a property can be lost through a loft or roof because of a lack of insulation. Other advantages of roof and loft insulation are its longevity (it can be effective for several decades), and the fact that it doesn't necessarily require an expert to install it.  You will want to make sure your roof is in tip top shape before putting down any insulation.  If you have any cracks or leaks in your roof you will want to get them repaired by Art Construction before you start putting down any insulation.

There are varieties of different ways that a loft or roof can be insulated, and the best option will often be determined by basic practicalities such as ease of access.

Mineral Wool Insulation

When there are no issues with the joists in your loft, or any problems with damp, laying down mineral wool is a simple, straightforward method of insulation. The mineral wool is laid in rolls, and firstly installed between the joists. The joists are then covered at right angles by another layer to ensure that the insulation is at the correct depth.

Loose-Fill Insulation

You may be unable to lay down matting or mineral wool consistently, because of the dimensions of your loft, or because of various obstructions. In this scenario, loose-fill insulation is a good solution. This type of insulation is made up of a mix of cellulose fibre, mineral wool, cork granules and vermiculite. This combination is then placed in between the joists in your loft. A professional should be employed if you are in any doubt regarding the depth of the insulation - and especially if the joists have to be adjusted so that the insulation is as deep as it should be.

Blown Insulation
When insulation is difficult because of access issues, then mineral wool and loose-fill insulation will not be a suitable option. Blown insulation, on the other hand, will be. Blown insulation will, however, require the services of a professional, and will involve fire-retardant material being blown into the areas that require insulation. The insulation material itself will typically consist of mineral wool or cellulose fiber. The whole process should take no longer than several hours.

Insulation For A Loft That's Lived In

If your loft is designed to be lived in then insulation can be quite involved. You can choose to have the roof insulated instead of the floor, which can be done via rigid insulation boards. These should be cut to the right dimensions so that they can easily fit between the rafters in your loft. Covering the insulation boards with insulated plasterboard is advisable, as this will enhance the insulation properties in your loft.

For floor insulation, either the floor can be raised and mineral wool placed under the new floor level, or you can insulate, using mineral wool, between the joists. In the case of the latter, insulation boards can then be put over the mineral wool insulation. Wooden boards should then be placed on top of the insulation boards. The mineral wool also shouldn't be too compacted, as its effectiveness will be reduced.

Flat Roofs

Flat roofs should ideally be insulated somewhat differently, compared to a non-flat roof. There are two main ways of achieving this. A stiff insulation board can either be added to a roof's existing waterproof layer. Or, concerning a timber roof, the insulation board can be added on the roof's surface when a fresh weatherproof layer has been added above the insulation. It is advisable to have any insulation work carried out at the time the roof is replaced. Also, Building Regulations have to be complied with when a flat roof is replaced, and that means it will have to be insulated.

Damp, Pipes And Water Tank Issues

If you have damp in your loft, insulation could exacerbate the problem. Solving any issues with damp should be done before you have your loft insulated, as insulation will make your loft cooler and existing damp conditions will only deteriorate. Any pipes and water tanks in the loft should also be insulated. It will also be a good idea to insulate the loft hatch, too, so as to prevent draughts.

About the author: 

Colin McDonald has a passion for all things can save a family money. One of the main bills for a family is heating a home, cutting this cost can make a big difference - these are my findings.


  1. Anonymous10:19 PM

    Insulators could really save you from the very cold climate.

  2. insulators can cut cost on electricity consumption yet it is best advised to seek help from a professional so that it will be properly installed

  3. we have very limited idea about insulation that we usually just seek the advise and work of professionals, however, for those who love diy projects, am sure, these tips are very valuable for them.

  4. These are important things to know about roof and loft insulation. Professional installation is always best.

  5. I didn't know there's different types of insulation materials. Who would have known? Thanks for sharing.

  6. Great information for those who would like to save money in heating their homes during winter.

  7. We did that exact project few years ago, it was hard to do but we did it by ourselves as it was way cheaper than hiring someone.

  8. very nice things i've read above I don't really know anything about it since we dont have roof and living in condo for years. but then this helps when we're back in australia. x0~

  9. Since there is winter here i dont have idea of insulation. Now i know. Thanks for the info.

  10. Insulation really helps during cold and also hot weather. In the Philippines, we only worry about the hot weather here so that's what we need insulation for.

  11. Insulating a home in a country where winter season can be very frigid is a must. However, here in the UAE, it gets very, very hot so there's no need for insulation.

  12. These are helpful tips Mommy N :-) The husband did installation with we had our additional garage. He did all the installation to keep the garage warm in the winter :-)

  13. Insulators can be used in houses located in foreign countries. But I'm taking note of these tips in case I move to a cold country. :)

  14. I recently got the insulation in my home from Polar Home Innovations at affordable rates. I stumbled upon your article and got to know that the things I got for my home is the best one out there. Thanks for sharing this piece of information.


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