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6 tips for insulating your loft from Which? Trusted Trader experts – Which? News

Putting in loft insulation is likely one of the least expensive and simplest methods to forestall warmth escaping your own home, since warmth rises and would in any other case be misplaced by way of your loft.

Loft insulation can scale back your vitality use and your payments, serving to each the planet and your pockets.

Some forms of insulation you’ll be able to set up your self; for others, you’ll want skilled assist.

We spoke to 2 Which? Trusted Merchants – Dean Taylor from The Loft Boys and Liam Mellor of LCM Flat Roofing – who’ve 12 and 10 years expertise respectively of putting in insulation. Learn on for his or her recommendation. 

Not fairly prepared to put in loft insulation? Head to our information on draught-proofing your own home for different tips about holding your own home heat and slicing your vitality payments.

blanket insulation 

1. Choose the correct kind of insulation to your loft

Several types of loft insulation have totally different functions. The principle sorts are

  • Blanket or batt loft insulation
  • Sheet loft insulation
  • Unfastened-fill loft insulation
  • Blown-fibre loft insulation

Blanket loft insulation

Blanket insulation, which insulates successfully, however will be too cumbersome to slot in small areas or round obstructions, is the most typical kind.

Dean instructed us that it’s all it’s best to want if the temperature of your loft doesn’t must be regulated: if, for instance, you’re simply going to make use of it as space for storing. 

Blanket insulation is available in rolls and is normally made from rock, glass or mineral fibre. In line with Dean, it’s straightforward to suit, particularly between joists.

Sheet loft insulation

Blanket insulation isn’t appropriate for insulating the underside of your roof, although. 

If that’s what you wish to do – let’s say, you’re meaning to spend time in your loft or to retailer temperature-sensitive objects there – you can purchase insulating sheets made from man-made or natural supplies from residence enchancment retailers.

They will then be adorned by portray or masking with plasterboard. 

Whereas insulating the underside of your roof is normally very efficient when it comes to warmth retention, Dean cautioned that it’s the most costly kind of loft insulation. It additionally must be put in by a certified skilled – extra on this later. 

Unfastened-fill loft insulation

That is comprised of a wide range of granular or light-weight supplies equivalent to cork granules, mineral wool or cellulose fibre. Extra sustainable forms of loose-fill insulation can be utilized, equivalent to recycled newspaper.

Unfastened-fill insulation suits simply between irregularly spaced joists or round obstructions, and is beneficial for topping up current insulation in attics.

Nevertheless, it may possibly come free in draughty lofts and security gear and protecting clothes are vital to put in it safely.

Blown-fibre loft insulation

This kind of insulation is blown into the gaps between joists. You’ll want an expert tradesperson to put in blown-fibre insulation, who ought to have the ability to full the job simply.

This may be dearer than different occasions of insulation.

Our information to the forms of loft insulation explains the professionals and cons of every form.

2. Know when to get your loft insulation professionally put in

You’ll be able to set up some forms of insulation your self. We’ve acquired tips about on placing blanket insulation in your loft later on this article, for instance. 

However it’s essential to know when to name on the specialist expertise of a dealer.

For instance, Dean instructed us that ‘Putting in a heat loft (the place insulation is above the roof deck, the panel beneath the roofing materials that’s normally made from wooden) is unquestionably not a DIY job. It entails specialised work on the roof and messing it up may have dire penalties for the steadiness of your entire residence. An expert will spot issues equivalent to damp or asbestos’.

As we talked about earlier than, insulating sheets are the most costly kind of loft insulation and must be put in by a certified skilled. Unfastened-fill and blown-fibre can even require a talented tradesperson with the required gear to put in it accurately. 

Need assistance putting in insulation? Use Which? Trusted Merchants to discover a dependable dealer close to you.

3. DIY set up blanket insulation

When you take pleasure in DIY initiatives, you’ll be able to set up blanket insulation your self. Dean supplied us with an inventory of instruments that you simply’ll want, a guidelines of preparations to make sure you keep secure, and a short information on the best way to really do it.

Instruments for putting in blanket loft insulation

  • Rubble bag – for any bits of particles you come throughout
  • Face masks
  • Tape measure
  • An previous hand noticed
  • Utility knife or scissors
  • Cellular workbench

What to examine for earlier than putting in blanket loft insulation

  • If working inside an un-floored loft house, then it’s best to regulation crawl/kneel boards so as to transfer round safely
  • Attempt to make it possible for the loft is well-ventilated and free from condensation
  • Be sure that the loft is well-lit so you’ll be able to see precisely what you’re doing. Ideally, use a number of LED lights in numerous areas. LEDs gained’t warmth up they usually give off a strong vivid white gentle
  • Put on a protecting face masks to keep away from inhaling mud particles
  • Crawling round in your knees for any period of time can get fairly gruelling so you may additionally profit from utilizing knee pads
  • If your own home was constructed earlier than 2000, it’s doable that your loft might comprise supplies involving asbestos. When you suspect that asbestos could also be current, then don’t take any possibilities. Discuss to an expert about the best way to safely take away it. 

set up blanket loft insulation

  • When you’re working with an un-floored space, you’ll want these crawl/boards we talked about. These will make sure you don’t put a foot (or your entire physique) by way of the ceiling under and do your self an harm – or inadvertently develop into a TikTok sensation! 
  • Subsequent, examine in case you have recessed spotlights inside the ceiling. When you do, then you definately’ll want to put in loft caps to make sure your new insulation doesn’t come into contact with the new again of the lights
  • The primary 100mm layer of insulation will must be laid between the joists. Verify the typical distance between joists and reduce the insulation whereas it’s nonetheless packaged utilizing an previous hand noticed to the width required. (Sometimes the hole between the joists can be both 380mm or 570mm)
  • Roll out the reduce insulation between the joists over all the space required after which evenly press the insulation materials to suit between the joists. Nest the insulation across the loft caps if current
  • The second layer of 170mm – 200mm insulation must be laid working at a proper angle over the joists. Until there are any braces (supporting beams) or different obstructions you’ll be able to lay this layer over the whole lot of your loft ground. 
  • Begin on the furthest level from the loft hatch and unroll the insulation excessive of the joists guaranteeing a good, gap-free blanket over all the house.

Yow will discover extra recommendation on blanket, loose-fill, sheet and blown-fibre insulation in our information to putting in loft insulation.

4. Loft insulation for flat and pitched roofs

There are three forms of insulation for flat roofs (in comparison with solely two for pitched roofs) and an expert can be ready that can assist you decide which one is greatest to your property. 

Heat deck or heat roof has insulation above the roof deck (the panel beneath the roofing materials that’s normally made from wooden). It’s beneficial in damp and chilly areas – which, sadly, contains the UK. 

Chilly deck or chilly roof has insulation under the roof deck and the related joists. Sometimes, you allow a spot for air flow, as condensation may type, and result in rot.

In each heat deck and chilly deck choices, the climate membrane (usually fashioned of roofing felt and bitumen) would be the topmost layer, defending in opposition to rain.

Dean instructed us that: ‘A flat roof must be insulated from above – which is unquestionably a job for an expert.’

Liam additionally defined that ‘The easiest way to insulate a flat roof is with foil backed foam insulation board however extra importantly put in as a heat roof deck (on high of the roof floor) not a chilly roof deck (between the rafters) which isn’t as thermally environment friendly.’

Alternatively, your flat roof is likely to be an inverted roof. This places insulation above the climate membrane, defending it from warmth and chilly. It will probably even shield in opposition to put on and tear if there may be entry to the roof. The highest-most layer is mostly gravel or an identical materials.

Check out our information to roof insulation for extra particulars on the totally different choices accessible for each pitched and flat roofs.

To assist companies present good high quality work and customers discover the correct dealer, Which? Trusted Merchants are working with the Insulation Assurance Authority (IAA). The IAA require excessive requirements from member merchants, equivalent to coaching, expertise and utilizing the proper supplies.

insulation around a window

5. Keep away from frequent errors when putting in loft insulation

Most lofts have already got some type of insulation. Nevertheless, it’s usually poorly put in, is being squashed by loft boarding and saved objects, or is under the beneficial thickness of 270mm. 

Dean suggests lifting up a loft board and inspecting what’s there. 

He stated ‘Be cautious of cables and pipes, and guarantee there’s a spot for airflow above the insulation. With out this, condensation can construct up. The air pockets inside the insulation must be absolutely open with good fluffy insulation.’

Liam added that: ‘A standard mistake is slicing the insulation to suit between rafters or joists. It’s a lot better put in as an unbiased layer with out breaks within the insulation. A heat deck roof design with out air circulate requires a vapour barrier to forestall condensation, however is way more vitality environment friendly than the older chilly deck roof design.’

The loft and roof aren’t the one components of your own home you’ll be able to insulate. Relying on the partitions in your property, discover out extra about cavity wall insulation or stable wall insulation

6. Use Which? Trusted Merchants to discover a dependable skilled

Which? Trusted Merchants recognises respected merchants who move an strict evaluation course of. We examine the dealer’s credit score studies, buyer satisfaction and enterprise procedures in addition to conducting an interview and evaluation. 

Dean’s firm The Loft Boys was awarded a Which? Trusted Merchants Certificates of Distinction in June 2020. Liam’s enterprise LCM Flat Roofing Ltd was voted Which? Trusted Dealer of the Month for August 2020 and April 2022.

Discover out extra about putting in loft insulation.

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