Fitting Attic Insulation – A Quick Guide

September 7, 2008
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With BER – Building Energy Ratings coming iinto force for all house sales in January 2009 – Insulation is an easy way of increasing your property’s BER.

Each type of insulation is fitted differently but most insulation can be installed as a DIY project. Whatever type of insulation you choose, you’ll need to make a few preparations before you start.
Before installing insulation

When you insulate your loft you’ll need to insulate pipes and tanks too

Wiring needs to be dealt with safely. Wires should be kept above the insulation but not stretched if they don’t comfortably reach. An electrician will be able to re-route any problematic wiring – see our guide to hiring an electrician.

All pipe work and tanks in the loft space should also be insulated correctly since there will no longer be the same amount of heat escaping into the loft space to protect pipes from freezing.

Insulation must be installed following the manufacturer’s instructions to achieve the full benefit.
Fitting blanket insulation

Blanket insulation is sold in rolls of different widths so start by measuring the distance between joists and buying the nearest size.

Ideally it should fit neatly between the joists. To calculate the right amount, measure the length of the floor space to be covered. Don’t stretch or tear blanket insulation – use scissors if it needs to be cut.

Unroll the insulation blanket and lay it flat between loft joists. If possible add a further layer of blanket insulation across both the joists and the lower layer of insulation. Boards can then be placed over the insulated space for easy access in the roof space.
Fitting loose fill insulation

Work out the floor space in square metres – you’ll need approximately 200 litres of material to cover each square metre to a depth of 200mm.

Before laying the material, ensure the space between the joists is relatively dust-free and that the depth of the joists is sufficient to hold an acceptable level of loose fill insulation.

The material should be poured between the joists in the roof space, ensuring there are no cracks or holes in the ceiling. Brush or rake between the joists to ensure the fill is consistently level.

If you’re not fitting boarding over the loose fill, check the level of the material during winter months as high winds can unsettle loose fill insulation and blow it around the roof space.

To insulate a loft hatch, it’s best to use blanket material held in place by plastic or an old sheet.
Fitting sheet insulation

This type of insulation is fixed between the rafters rather than between joists, and like blanket insulation it can be cut to fit or bought in pre-cut packs.

To avoid condensation build up, always allow sufficient space between the insulation and roof slates or tiles to allow for ventilation.
Fitting blown fibre insulation

In most cases you’ll need to hire a professional to install this type of insulation as it needs to be blown into place with specialist equipment.

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