How to Choose the Best Type of Loft or Roof Insulation

FreeInsulation Blog - 28th August 2020

Up to 25% of the heat produced in your home can escape through the roof if it does not have adequate insulation. There are several different methods available, depending on how easy the loft space or roof is to access and what you intend using it for.

Loft insulation
If your home has sloping roof with a loft space accessible via a hatch, insulating the floor of the loft may be the best option. If you don’t plan to store any items, it is simply a case of rolling out insulation blankets between the joists and then across the joists at right angles to a depth of 270mm. This can be carried out as a DIY task. If you plan to store items, a raised floor will have to be installed above the insulation, leaving an air gap to prevent condensation. If the loft is difficult to access or there is limited headroom, it may be possible to have shredded material blown in by specialist contractors. Once the loft is insulated, you will also need to lag any pipes and water tanks as the loft space will be much colder in the winter. Additional ventilation may also be required to help prevent condensation.

Roof insulation
Another option with sloping roof spaces is to insulate between the rafters i.e. the timber beams that the roof itself is attached to. This can be done by fitting rigid insulation boards between the rafters. It is possible to do this yourself although it is not an easy task. Another option is to have a spray foam insulation applied but this is most definitely a job for a professional. Whichever technique is employed, you will also need to insulate any party walls and gable ends to prevent heat from escaping. Insulating a roof in this way means that the loft is warmer so you do not have to lag any pipes or water tanks. You can also board the floor and use it for storage without having to raise the level. The disadvantage is that it is a lot more expensive to insulate than the floor of the loft.

Room in roof insulation
If you already have rooms in the roof space or you plan to convert the loft into a living space, then you will need room in roof insulation. This is a specialist task that should not be attempted as a DIY job. If you are converting an existing loft, similar techniques to roof insulation described above are commonly used. If you already have roof rooms, batons are normally fixed to the walls and rigid insulation boards fitted between them. Plasterboard is then secured and skimmed ready for decoration. Any flat ceilings within the room can be insulated from above with rolled out loft insulation.

/Loft or Roof Insulation

Flat roof insulation
If your home has a flat roof, there are two options available. The most common solution is to insulate it from the outside by fixing rigid boards to the existing roof before applying a waterproof membrane. The roof can also be insulated from the inside by fixing boards to the ceiling but this can lead to condensation if it is not carried out correctly. Whichever technique is used, the insulation must be fitted by a specialist contractor.

How much money can it save?
Installing loft or roof insulation will stop up to a quarter of the heat inside your home from escaping. According to the Energy Saving Trust, depending on the size of the property and the area being insulated, you could expect to save between £230 and £395 per year on your heating bills.

Are there any grants available?
If anyone in the property receives benefits, tax credits or allowances, you could qualify for a grant that will cover the entire cost of having loft insulation or room in roof insulation installed. There is also a small amount of funding available for flat roof insulation. From September 2020, the Green Homes Grant Scheme will provide grants of up to £5,000 that will pay for two thirds of the cost of having loft or roof insulation installed, even if you do not receive benefits. Low income households will also qualify for a £10,000 grant that can cover the entire cost of the work.

How can EnergyLink help?
EnergyLink have a network of approved loft and roof insulation installers working across England, Scotland and Wales. Once you have completed our application form, we will allocate you to an approved local installer who can help with grant funding. They will telephone you to arrange a convenient date and time to undertake a free, no-obligation survey. Once the insulation has been fitted, the installer will then claim the grant or help you with the application.

See if you qualify:

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