Getting to Grips with Attic Insulation

You don’t have to be a physics genius to appreciate that heat rises, but what does this mean for your home? That’s right; heat’s going to escape from it!

Now, with energy prices on the rise, the last thing you want to do is waste all your hard earned dollars on heat you’re not getting the most out of; the simplest way to preserve this heat is to insulate your attic.

In fact, it’s a bit of a no brainer as attic insulation can stay effective for up to 40 years. And, in that time, the insulation will pay for itself several times over.

Let’s run through the simplest and most hassle free way to get your attic insulated.

1. Clean and Prepare

Attics are never the most well-kept areas and are prone to all types of debris getting in amongst the joists. To make sure you can lay your insulation with ease, you’re going to have to get down on your hands and knees to clear all this rubbish up.

And, to maximize, the potential of your insulation, you’re going to need to identify any gaps which cables/pipes use to enter the attic. These are going to be major sources of heat loss, so they need to be sealed otherwise your insulation is always going to struggle.

2. First Layer

Once the attic has been prepared, it’s time to unroll your insulation and get started.

It’s always best to start at the eaves and work inwards to give yourself plenty of room. Roll the insulation out slowly to avoid an uneven finish and make sure the insulation runs underneath any pipes and cables.

Air needs to flow through the soffit to keep you attic ventilated, so don’t insulate right up to the very edge of the eaves. Make sure you leave a gap of around 30mm at the eaves to ensure air can leave the attic.

3. Second Layer

That first layer of insulation should do a decent job at preventing a bit of heat loss, but it’s crucial that you lay another layer to really reduce the heat loss.

However, you don’t just want to lay another layer directly on top of the first lot. Instead, lay it at right angles across the first layer. Where the ends of the layer meet, you’ll want to make a butt joint by firmly pressing them together. The last thing you need here are gaps where heat can escape.

4. Install a Foil Quilt

Many homeowners think that once they’ve installed their attic insulation then that’s it. And, yes, you’re going to notice significant savings, but there’s still room to squeeze a little more out of that attic.

And the simplest way to increase the insulation is by installing a foil quilt. This is literally a sheet of insulated foil which you attach to the rafters and helps to reflect infrared heat back into your house. It’s also got the added bonus of reducing exterior heat in the summer to keep your house cool.

Bonus Tips

  • Always work towards the attic door to ensure you don’t get stranded
  • Access is limited in an attic and ceilings are precarious places to be working, so lay boards to create a safe mode of transport
  • Always stand on the joists to ensure you don’t crush your insulation down
  • Don’t forget to insulate water storage tanks and pipes whilst you’re there
  • Insulation can be an irritating material, so make sure you wear protective equipment