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Loft Insulation

Heat loss from the roof averages 5% in a 4-storey traditional flat and 32% in a 1/2-storey detached house.

  • One of the most cost effective ways to reduce your heating bills is to install insulation between the joists yourself.
  • It is important to leave no gaps for the heat to escape, but at the same time ensure adequate ventilation around the eaves to avoid moisture building up. In Georgian houses with parapets, ventilation has to be achieved with special ventilating roof slates or similar.
  • By laying down loft insulation to the recommended thickness of 270mm you could reduce your annual heating bill by £150.

Loft Insulation materials (left to right): insulated plasterboard, sheep’s wool, recycled plastic, extruded polystyrene foam and reflective multi-layer insulation

DIY Loft Insulation

Before going up in your loft, put on protective clothing and check if you have the following: a hand-held or head-torch, a protective mask, gloves, protective goggles, knee pads, bin bags to clear the loft of waste materials, scissors, tape to fix the insulation and working tools to secure cables with clips. Take care, for your safety, always only step on the joists! Crawl boards can be helpful to spread your weight over several joists.

Avoiding Gaps

It is very important to draught-proof and insulate your loft hatch as well in order to have a continuous insulation without gaps. Insulation must also go over the water tank. Cables should run above the insulation (on the cold side) to avoid overheating. Also remember to add lagging around pipework to avoid frozen/burst pipes.

Wildlife at Home

Bats and swifts, which often nest in cracks and cavities under the eaves or under roof tiles, are entirely dependent on buildings and are protected species. The loss of nest sites due to repairs to cracks and sealing of gaps in roofs has caused the decline of these species. Contact a Council biodiversity officer to install swift bricks or bat boxes on your roof: 0131 469 3920

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