Did you know that, if insulation is not applied to a home, a quarter of its heat will be lost through the roof? This highlights the importance of insulating a roof and attic, a thankfully straightforward process which can pay for itself out of savings on heating bills.
You might even find that you can insulate the space yourself, but the crucial word here is “might”. Here’s a rundown of what you might need to do to ensure effective insulation in your roof and attic.
Does the attic have any damp or condensation issues?
If not, it could be so easy to insulate that you could simply do it yourself rather than need to call out a professional. If you can easily access your attic and its joists are regular, mineral wool insulation could do the trick when applied in layers.
Secure the first layer between the joists – those horizontal beams forming your attic’s floor – before placing a second layer at right angles to conceal the joists while making the insulation deep enough.
Want to use the attic for storage?
If so, you should lay boards across the joists. However, insulating just between the joists beforehand won’t leave the insulation sufficiently thick, the Energy Saving Trust cautions.
You can prevent this issue by raising the attic’s floor level, allowing you to fit sufficient mineral wool underneath it. You could raise that floor level through using loft boarding, such as the award-winning solution from Instaloft, a firm serving homes in the Midlands and South of England.
What would count as “warm” insulation?
The insulating method we have just described is so straightforward that it is often simply dubbed “loft insulation”. However, this gives the misleading impression that it is the only method available; indeed, sometimes, it is referred to as “cold” insulation instead.
In case you were wondering, yes, there is a “warm” alternative, as Which? explains – and this insulating approach is where the insulation is fitted between and over the rafters. What are the rafters? They are the sloping timbers comprising the roof itself.
If you go down this route, it would ultimately be your choice whether you use suitably-cut rigid insulation board or get foam insulation sprayed between those rafters. Either way, though, a specialist professional would need to carry out the job, which isn’t a DIY one, on your behalf.
Should you choose “cold” or “warm” insulation?
With the “warm” option, your roof space will, perhaps unsurprisingly, be warmer than it would have been with standard insulation. However, insulating between the rafters is much pricier than is typically the case with more traditional insulating.
Furthermore, the “warm” approach would require you to insulate not only the roof itself but also any gable walls, party walls and chimneys in your attic space. Leaving those parts untouched would allow heat to bypass the roof insulation and so render it largely pointless.
You have various options at your disposal, then – but remember that researching the different options carefully can really pay off.