Home Improvements – Loft Insulation

With energy costs seemingly spiralling upwards by the day it makes sense to sit down and determine where some money can be saved. Well, take a look upwards, that’s it, the roof. The roof may be there to protect the house and shield you from our typically inclement weather but have you ever given thought to the heat and consequently the money that is being wasted throughout the year. Informed sources have estimated that we lose up to and possibly more than 25% of the heat (and our money) through the roof. Action then must be taken.

It is possible to get financial assistance from the local authorities and it is worth investigating this avenue. It could be that you have to call in a professional firm to ensure a grant is allowed you as your local authority may not provide funds for you to DIY. Otherwise you must realise that the cost is needed upfront so any saving from the installation may take a short while to recoup but after that your savings will rocket.

The most basic way to insulate your loft is by filling between the joists with a blanket of mineral wool or glass wool. This can be purchased in large rolls that once in the loft can be undone and unwound between the joists. You will probably find that the width of the rolls will cover the area between the joists plus a little extra to tuck up the sides of the joists. Depending on your age and your DIY ability this is a job that can be done by yourself. Ensure you have the necessary balance to stand on the joists if required but you should really utilise planks of wood across the joists to give firmer footing. Be careful. Just follow the instructions on the packets and make sure you wear gloves as the material can rub the bare skin in a very aggravating manner. A mask over the nose and mouth is also highly recommended. Remember also that you must NOT insulate beneath any cold water tank or pipe work and under no circumstances should you insulate around wires on anywhere near them. Put simply overheated wiring can be a very big fire hazard with possibly devastating results.

A slightly easier option is to use granules of cork or other material that you can loosely lay between the joists. One drawback with this method however is that any draughts could cause movement in the granules and negate the purpose of them being their. A clear advantage with this method though is that it is easy to carry out and has the advantage over the rolls of insulation where irregular joists are in place or where a number of pipes are prevalent.

As with all jobs the satisfaction comes from being able to do it yourself but please give a great deal of thought before you take on this or any DIY job. The professionals will cost you money but safety first has to be your first consideration. If in doubt call in the experts.