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What you need to know about roof insulation

There can be few better ways to improve your home’s energy efficiency than roofing insulation.

As much as 25% of an uninsulated home’s heat is said to escape through its roof, and by installing insulation, you can introduce a barrier that not only prevents heat leaving your property during the winter, but also stops too much heat getting into the property at warmer times of year.

Whether you call it roof insulation, loft insulation or attic insulation, these basic principles are much the same, and it’s also a much easier and potentially more affordable DIY job to undertake than you might expect.

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Deciding between ‘warm’ and ‘cold’ loft insulation

The choice between ‘warm loft’ and ‘cold loft’ insulation needs to be made right at the start of the process. The former involves the implementation of insulation immediately beneath the roof, keeping the actual loft space warm as well as the wider house.

‘Cold loft’ insulation, meanwhile, is placed right above the ceiling of the building’s top storey, with an emphasis on preventing heat from your home reaching your loft.

If you are one of the majority of people who only use their loft space for storage, ‘cold loft’ insulation will more than suffice. However, some people do use their loft as a living space such as a home study or games room, thereby often necessitating the installation of ‘warm loft’ insulation.

What else should I be aware of?

The ‘cold loft’ insulation option is the simplest and most affordable option of the two. It involves the installation of insulation between and over the wooden joists right above your top floor ceiling, and is also generally the only option for which you can hope to receive an energy-efficiency grant.

You’ll probably be paying more for a warm roof solution. However, you shouldn’t necessarily dismiss it out of hand, as this option can give better heat retention while also being more suitable if you wish to store more temperature-sensitive items, given how hot ‘cold roofs’ can become at warmer times of year.

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Recommended depths for roofing insulation

It is recommended to install 250 to 270mm of blanket style insulation in your roof. This is somewhat higher than previous recommended depths of 200mm and (before then) 100mm, and back in the 1970s, as little as 25mm of insulation was often installed.

It is for these reasons that you are always advised to check the depth of your existing insulation prior to having any new insulation installed – indeed, you are likely to need to dispose of any current insulation that is less than 100mm anyway.

Are you considering the options for insulating your own home in Cambridge, Colchester, Ipswich or elsewhere in the local area? If so, feel free to get in touch with our roof insulation experts here at ELC Roofing Ltd., as we can give you advice on precisely what those options are, in addition to providing a competitive quote.

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