Turbines Tree

6 Tips for choosing insulation for your home

Choosing insulation material for your home can be a difficult task. There are so many options and it can be difficult to select the right thing for you. You need insulation otherwise you will lose a quarter of your heat through your roof. Also, if you choose the correct insulation, it can be effective for 40 years.

This blog is designed to help you choose the right insulation for your home. Let’s start by addressing a few home truths (no pun intended):

  • No product is going to be a miracle product. Do not pay attention to pretence.
  • There will be no perfect product. Each will have plus and negative points. You just have to make the best choice for your circumstances.
  • You must have the insulation installed correctly otherwise it will be a waste of time.

What are the different types of insulation?

There are two different types of insulation: hydrophobic and hygroscopic.
• Hydrophobic: Water condenses into droplets on this type of material. Phenolic foam is an example of a hydrophobic material.
• Hygroscopic: Water will absorb into the material and released when the humidity level drops. This material is usually a natural material such as sheepswool.

Different types of lofts:

The first thing you need to do is decipher whether or not you have an easily accessible loft or not. You also need to assess whether or not there are regular joists. In some cases, if your loft is very easy to access, you can install the insulation yourself.

Regular joists and easy access

If you have this then you can breath a sigh of relief. You shouldn’t run into too many problems when it comes to installing you insulation. You can use rolls of mineral wool insulation and the first layer should be laid between the joists and then another layer goes crosslaid, at right angles to cover the joists. If you are a competent DIYer you can install this yourself or hire a professional installer.

Your loft is a storage or living space?

If you have decided to convert your loft into an extra bedroom, study or storage space then you will have laid boards over the joists. This will inhibit your insulation because it won’t be thick enough. You may want to lay mineral wool insulation first and then rigid insulation boards on top or you can raise the floor level so you can fit enough mineral wool beneath the new floor level.

Tip: Don’t squash the mineral wool when placing boards on top of it as it will decrease the performance of the insulation.

Can I insulate the roof of my loft instead of the floor?

Yes this is an option but much harder work. You need to cut rigid insulation boards to size so they fit snugly between the roof rafters. You will then need to cover them with insulated plasterboard if there is enough room.

What if my loft is impossible to access?

In some cases, your loft may be impossible to reach and in this case you need to consider using blown insulation that is installed by a professional. This process doesn’t take long and this insulation is fire-proof and made out of cellulose fibre or mineral wool.

Joists problems

If your joists are irregular making it difficult to lay insulation then you can use a loose-fill insulation. You can choose between the following materials: cork granules, vermiculite, mineral wool or cellulose fibre. Loose-fill insulation is simply poured in between the joists to the right depth and this can be done either by yourself or by a professional.

Flat roof?

The best way to insulate a flat roof is to insulate on top of the roof with a layer of rigid insulation board. Try to plan this when your roof covering needs replacing so you can combine both jobs.

Warning: If you choose to insulate your flat roof from underneath, you may run into condensation problems if it isn’t installed correctly.

Do you have a damp loft?

Your loft will be a cooler place once you install insulation as you are preventing heat from leaving your home, not your roof. If you already have existing damp problems in your roof, then this will only get worse the cooler it gets. Seek a professionals advice before choosing insulation if you suspect your roof is damp.

Have you recently installed insulation in your roof? Can you share any ideas or tips from your experience? Did you install it yourself or hire a professional?

1 Comment to 6 Tips for choosing insulation for your home

  1. February 24, 2014 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

    Now that there is seems to be no cap on how much the energy companies want to charge the consumer, it is imperative that most should energy proof their home as soon as possible.

Leave a Reply

Download Our Free E-book

Ebook - 50 Energy Efficiency Measures