Loft insulation

  Picklefactory 13:21 13 Oct 2008

Yeah, OK a bit off the normal track, but you just never know who's lurking on this forum.

Right, I want to add some insulation to my loft, prior to boarding it, but old house and rafters are extremely unevenly spaced, so I'm shying away from rolls as they won't fit easily. I quite fancy using polystyrene chips, the things that look like cheesy wotsits, but white. But are they safe? I think most insulation would be flammable, so anyone have any idea if that is a problem?
I'm also looking to keep it very, very budget, as I have whole house to do (And then sell) and I don't intend on spending loads on the loft, hence the cheesy wotsit route. Cheap, quick and easy to spread.
Any thoughts?

  peter99co 13:35 13 Oct 2008

Adding boards will add weight to the loft and you should consider this at first. You need to add about 6 plus inches (old money)of material to get a good insulation. Do you want to use the loft after insulating it?

  Pesala 13:53 13 Oct 2008

No. Do not use cheesy wotsits to insulate your roof. If there's a fire you'll be turned into Welsh Rarebit. Don't use polystyrene either, it burns with highly toxic black fumes.

You can buy loose fill insulating material that is fireproof and absolutely safe in a fire.

"Vermiculite and mineral fibre, are sold in bags and can be poured between the joists to the recommended depth. They are easier to install than the matting if there are awkward corners or obstructions in the loft space." click here

  Curio 13:58 13 Oct 2008

My loft was insulated many years ago using rockwool. Council grant was obtained and we had to pay a nominal £20 for the job. Large diameter hosepipe from van to loft and it was blown into all known crevices to a depth of approx 5ins.
Recently had a rep round to upgrade this and he demanded that the boards I have added to make easy access to TV aerial and Central Heating tank be removed before anything could be done. Still thinking about that one!

  Picklefactory 13:58 13 Oct 2008

Yeah, I didn't give any detail on that. I'm only using it for storage, but I have already added stringers on one side to each of the ceiling rafters from the main supports, and will do the other side too. The house is already very warm, so I'm not looking for loads, just a top up really.

  Picklefactory 13:59 13 Oct 2008

That looks interesting. I might just eat the wotsits then. :-)
I'll check that out.

  Picklefactory 14:00 13 Oct 2008

Don't think I'd qualify for council grant. As far as I know, I'd have to be claiming benefits to qualify or be a pensioner. I'm neither.

  peter99co 14:15 13 Oct 2008

The point about the water tank is one to watch. If it is not very well lagged it can freeze in the loft due to it being deprived of heat from the house below.

If you make a good job the snow will stay on your roof longer as well. We can tell who has loft insulation in the road by the snow melt.

I must have done a good job because I have not had a fire in the house since April and the temperature went down to 2 degrees recently.

  Picklefactory 14:15 13 Oct 2008

Just had a quick look at vermiculite, but it looks quite pricey and also a small risk of asbestos, depending on where it was mined. I'm now looking to see how much and where I can source some shredded paper. Apparently it's treated to be fireproof.

  Belatucadrus 14:47 13 Oct 2008

Another issue with vermiculite is that it's very fine, if there are any gaps or cracks in the ceiling it runs through, not much, but enough to require vacuuming up irritatingly often. I also tried some loose pack stuff like cotton wool, but it's a bugger to work with. I ended up using rolls and then cutting strips off a spare one to fill in the gaps. Yes it was a pain, but it did the job.
I subsequently overlayed the lot with metalized insulating bubblewrap, helps keep the temperature down in summer as well as topping up the existing insulation.

  johndrew 14:57 13 Oct 2008

`We can tell who has loft insulation in the road by the snow melt.`

Or perhaps can`t afford the heating bill.

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