While many of our clients ask us for full loft conversions to create new, livable spaces in their homes, a service we get asked for at times is Loft Insulation. While of course these are never as complex as converting a loft, they do contain a number of steps and can take a couple of weeks depending on how large your roof is! In this post we want to quickly go over the steps that we take to insulate your loft, both the roof rafters above and the joists below, to lay the groundwork for a future renovation, keep your belongings in storage safe and protected and keep your house underneath warm.
Every loft insulation will begin with the joists as this is the part that keeps your home warm! Until the roof is also done, this will be known as a “cold roof” loft, which means that the loft itself is kept uninsulated, and it’s only the home below that is kept warm. a “warm roof” is when the loft space is also kept warm from above which is when you can store belongings in there safe from the outside temperatures!
First, as long as the loft space is protected against the elements, if not the temperature, we’ll begin by ridding the loft of any items that may be in there and moving them to a safe location in the house. We’ll then make sure to lag (insulate with foam) any pipes, water tanks and any sources of water in your loft. This is because once the loft is insulated from your home below, it becomes MUCH colder! We’ll then get any electrics out of the way and lift or remove any existing floor in the loft to get to the space between your joistss and manipulate it.
Depending on the strength of insulation you need for your home, we’ll then start to lay down insulation of varying types in 2 layers. The first layer will be between these joists so each piece of insulation lies completely flush against each joist and is the same height, if not slightly higher than the joist. Next, we’ll lay a second layer of 200mm at right angles to the original insulation layer to completely protect the top of the joists, make sure to fill any spaces in between the first layer and add further protection. That way your home is completely insulated from above and there’s no air free to be cooled and heated. Finally, we’ll replace the flooring and move all of your bits and pieces back into the loft!
To insulate the loft itself from the outside temperatures, we need to also insulate the roof rafters that make up the roof itself! If you aren’t planning on a future loft conversion, then we’ll take care of this one of two ways: Either we’ll spray insulation foam in the spaces between the rafters or fit rigid insulation boards to take care of the problem. Insulation spray foam is foam that expands as it’s sprayed out through a chemical process and covers the entire surface with insulation. Rigid boards are cut to size to fit neatly between the rafters and make sure the space is kept warm. We’ll also make sure to insulate any party or terrace walls or the like as well!
If you are planning a loft conversion in the future, we’ll be more likely to use rigid boards as these can be taken away again fairly easily so that we can start working on the roof itself.
We hope this has given you a quick overview of how we insulate lofts in and around Manchester, and if you’d like to use our services yourself, then get in touch with us now!