The Benefits of an Insulated Roof

Reducing heat loss saves energy, which not only saves you money on your bills but is also far kinder on the environment.

From double glazing to cavity wall insulation; there are a number of ways to stop heat from escaping from your home.

There are two approaches you can take here, depending on whether your loft is used as an inhabited space. ‘Cold loft’ insulation only insulates above the ceiling of the room below, meaning the attic space itself remains a heat drain.

Insulation materials

The most effective way to insulate your loft, however, is the ‘warm loft’ or ‘warm roof’ technique. This places insulating materials (usually glass wool or mineral-based) underneath the slope of the roof, keeping heat in in the winter and stopping the room from becoming excessively hot in the summer. If opting for this insulation type, be sure to leave space between the roof tiles and the insulation material for air to pass, allowing sufficient ventilation to stop mould and condensation build up.

For flat roofs, the concept is largely the same, with just a few extra difficulties due to the structural shape. The insulating materials can be installed either side of the roof ‘deck’, so long as space is left for ventilation, but the complex nature of this work means it generally has to be carried out by a professional. Unlike pitched roof insulation, there is no government grant available to help with the initial costs of flat roof insulation, although the energy savings and heat retention still make it worthwhile.

Reducing your energy bills

Warm loft insulation can cut your energy bills by around a quarter, and any initial outlay is generally paid back within just two years (based on gas central heating in a 3 bedroom home). In many cases, it’s possible that some form of insulation already exists in your roof, and simply augmenting this is often sufficient – and far cheaper – than starting from scratch.

However, if the depth of your existing insulation is less than 100mm, this makes it difficult to lay extra materials on top of it, and you may need to remove the existing layer and replace it with new insulation. The recommended minimum depth is now 270mm (much larger than in the 1970s, when much of the existing insulation still found in homes was laid), broken down into 100mm in between the joists and an added 170mm laid at right angles over the top.

Effective insulation in your roof is not only the best way to save money and reduce the carbon output from your home, but it also provides acoustic insulation if you are using the room for work or sleeping. Ensuring that your walls don’t get too cold is also the best way to avoid condensation build up, which leads to mould.

Making the investment in roof insulation now brings a wide variety of benefits, both short term and long term.

Posted on 03 February 2014 in Roof Insulation.

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