Loft insulation helps to create an even temperature in your home, keeping it warmer in winter and cooler in summer.
Many householders will know that they have some loft insulation, but may be unaware of the current recommended standards of 270mm (12 inches). In order to achieve the current standards, insulation is placed between the ceiling joists and over the joists.
The most commonly-used material is mineral fibre quilt which can be installed on a DIY basis or by a contractor. The material is sold in rolls of various lengths, widths and thickness.
Loose fill materials such as granules of cellulose fibre can also be used but a greater depth of material is needed in order to provide the same level of insulation as a roll of mineral fibre quilt.
All materials used should comply with British Standards BS 5803. If you’re installing loft insulation on a DIY basis, protective clothing should be worn including gloves and a face mask.
Tank and pipe insulation in the loft
One result of laying insulation in the loft is that the roof space itself will then be colder, so any tanks and pipes in the loft will be more liable to freeze over in cold weather. For this reason, they too must be insulated.
The material used for insulating cold water tanks in the loft usually consists of mineral fibre covered with polythene and is cut to size and strapped around the tank. No loft insulation should be laid under a cold water tank in order to allow the heat from the room to reach the tank. If the tank is raised 300mm or more above the ceiling, then the whole tank should be insulated.
Pipes in the roof space should be insulated - hot water pipes so the heat loss is reduced and cold water pipes so that they are protected from freezing. The material used is polyethylene foam or synthetic rubber moulded sheaths which clip around the pipes and should be carefully joined and taped to fully cover the pipes.
Grants are available for installation of mineral fibre quilt along with the tank and pipe insulation. If you are looking to install insulation yourself, most large DIY stores will stock it, often with special offers.