One of the most effective and important ways to make your home energy efficient and help cut down on expensive heating bills is to make sure there’s proper insulation in the attic or crawl space above the house. While it’s not hard to check the insulation already there, it’s also not that hard to add to it if it needs more. With more and more people doing these sorts of jobs themselves to save money, adding insulation to your attic doesn’t need to be a daunting or an expensive proposition.
There are different kinds of insulation that can be installed; some come in rolls while others are slabs or loose lay. Either way it’s important to determine the overall size of the space insulation is needed for to make sure enough is purchased from the beginning to avoid additional trips to the hardware store for more materials. To calculate how much insulation is needed for any attic, two factors need to be taken into consideration and measured: the depth (or thickness) and the total area.
To determine the depth required, simply subtract your current depth of insulation from the required 270mm (270mm – Current depth of insulation). Check the depth of the insulation you are installing to make sure it will achieve the desired thickness. You may find that you need more than one layer to achieve this desired 270mm depth and again, you want to make sure to purchase what’s needed the first time.
Now that you know the depth, the next thing to figure out is the area to be covered. Calculate this by measuring the length and width of the loft space and multiplying the numbers to come up with the total area size (Length x Width = Total Area).
A hint for those installing insulation in which the existing insulation is not level with the joist: consider that most joist gaps are between 400mm or 600mm wide. Measure the distance between your joists to calculate which type of roll you need if you are installing roll-type insulation. Once again, predetermining this size will insure that you buy the proper size insulation the first time or eliminate needless extra work like cutting the insulation to size.
Once your calculations are set, it’s time to install the insulation. For this a dust mask, goggles and gloves should be worn.
- 1. Clear the loft of any items and debris to make installation easier.
- 2. Start at a corner and unroll the first length so that it fits between the joists and sits on top of the existing insulation. We recommend using loft chip boards for added support and to keep you from sticking your foot through one of the ceilings.
- 3. Place the new insulation on top of the old insulation to the minimum depth of 270mm.
- 4. Press the insulation down lightly as you roll it out and place it, but avoid compressing it as this will reduce its effectiveness.
- 5. Once a roll is done, start the next by joining the two ends together, making sure there are no gaps.
- 6. Once you reach the opposite end of the attic or crawl space, cut the material remembering to leave a sufficient ventilation gap from the end.
- 7. Lastly, it’s recommended to insulate the loft hatch too, as heat can escape from it. Cut a piece of insulation material to the size of the hatch door and stick it to the back using a net or some adhesive tape.