Energy Lost is Money Wasted – Get your Loft and Cavity Walls Insulated!

DATE: May, 5   COMMENTS: 0   AUTHOR: Allan Azarola

An obvious way to reduce your carbon footprint as well as saving you perhaps 300 per year is to insulate your loft and cavity walls properly.

You need to ensure that you do the job properly though: shoddy cavity wall insulation can lead to serious damp issues as the material can become a wick for moisture. This is always problematic. Damp insulation can cause mold to form inside the house, which can impact the foundation of the property. It’s so important that homeowners constantly keep an eye out for signs of mold or dampness. If they notice any, they should really contact this Aggieland Water Damage Restoration company, for example, to see if they could treat the mold and dampness. That should keep the house safe. To prevent this, make sure to properly insulate the loft. Additionally, a roof with tiles missing or with rotten beams isn’t going to hold heat well no matter how much insulation you stuff into it, so it’s a good idea to use Carolina Home Specialists, a roofer near me, or a roofer closer to you, to get your roof repaired or replaced ready to be insulated.

If you’re buying a new home, booking a survey is an excellent place to start. As part of their checks, the surveyor checks the roof and loft space and in doing so can form an opinion of how ‘fit for purpose’ any pre-existing insulation is. They can also tell you how sound the roof is, and how long you can expect it to last.

Although the caveat here is that most home buyers surveys are not intrusive, so insulation that has been covered or injected would be hard to inspect without knocking holes and taking samples. As part of the conveyancing process, its important for you to be scrutinous over the details of the home. If you cannot analyze the insulation, see if the homeowner has any paperwork like guarantees so that if the insulation is no longer up to par, it can be replaced for minimal cost.

Which materials are used for cavity wall insulation?

  1. Mineral wool/rockwool – these materials are the speediest to install and the cheapest, however the compromise is that the lifespan of effective insulation is likely to be less.
  1. Polystyrene Beads – you’ll pay a bit more to have polystyrene beads installed and you’re well advised to get a professional in to do the job because if there are any gaps between the beads, damp might invade further down the line.
  1. Foam – the most popular types used are polyurethane and urea formaldehyde. Once again, you should get a professional to install it. It’s very effective, although eventually it breaks down which decreases its effectiveness.

Which materials are used for loft insulation?

  1. Blown-fibre – a professional contractor blows fibre insulation into the gaps between joists. The process is quick and very handy if a loft is difficult to access but you’ll pay the most for it.
  1. Batt or blanket – you can easily install this material yourself, which consists of either mineral, glass or rock fibre or foil-backed felt, and works best when you can easily access loft spaces. You should be particularly careful to wear protective gear when handling material like glass fibre however, because it is a particularly nasty skin irritant.
  1. Loose-fill – you can also look to install this material yourself, which normally consists of cork, mineral wool, cellulose fibre or recycled newspaper. You should use protective equipment and clothing to install it and there is some risk that materials will loosen, lowering their effectiveness, if you’ve got a particularly draughty loft.
  1. Sheet – this consists of firm sheets which are fire and moisture resistant and they come into their own if you have to tackle insulating a roof’s sloping side. The material is relatively expensive.

What are the costs involved in insulation?

Your chosen insulation materials and the quantity needed to cover your home will take up the majority of the cost. Blown fiber is particularly costly for loft insulation, as is foam for cavity walls. Picking a less expensive material may save money but be aware of any possible downsides of making this decision.

The next cost to factor in is the labor cost for hiring professionals like to fit the insulation. This price can be variable depending on the company and what they feel is an appropriate cost for their labor. Ask for multiple quotes from different companies and choose the one you feel is most appropriate.

The structure of your home may also factor into the cost. Areas where it is hard to install insulation, or where access is limited may require specialist equipment, or increase the time that the professional laborers need to work.

TIP Some governments or local councils often run schemes where you can get a subsidy towards home insulation; it’s always worth an online search to check before you embark on your project.

Marcus Simpson, Editor, SAM Conveyancing

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