Getting The House Insulated for Winter!

We are waving goodbye to the summer and unfortunately having to welcome in the colder seasons. We all know that the winter brings with it; bitter winds, snow and ice and much of the time people forget that these conditions can cause detrimental problems for their homes.

So this month, I am going to talk you through a few of the best forms of insulation for your roof, ceiling and walls that will help keep you and your family cosy this winter.

Firstly the most well known and most in-expensive type of insulation is Rockwool which can be rolled between the loft joists. This can be done easily without the need for a professional but be careful where you are standing in the loft space! If your space isn’t boarded out, the insulation should go between the rafters and ceiling joists.
While working in the loft, it would be a great opportunity to board out the loft which is not only another effective way of trapping the heat in the building but it will also give you a lot more storage space – perfect for when it comes to hiding Christmas presents from the kids!

Other more expensive but great performance insulation is a liquid spray call Lapolla which can go in between the rafters and the ceiling joists.
This option not only insulates the house by sealing underneath the tiles but also contributes towards sound proofing. Depending on the age of the house, it can also add to the structure of the building. If you live in an old cottage and the roof tiles have been on for hundreds of years, it is likely that there are lots of gaps so this is an ideal way to ensure that no heat escapes.

Wool insulation is one of the most effective forms of insulation and can be installed in three different ways:

Insulated Plasterboards: This causes quite a bit of disruption to the inside of the house but if you are renovating or re-plastering anyway, this process is certainly worth it in the end. Insert thermal insulated plasterboards to the inside walls before re-skimming and plastering on the outer skin of the building.
Insulated plasterboards are extremely effective and substantially decreases the U Values and also helps with sound proofing.
Expansion Foam: This form of insulation is dependent on the structure of your house. If you have cavity walls (an outer block and an internal block with a cavity gap in between them), an expansion foam can be injected both from the inside or the outside by drilling small 10mm masonry holes through the brick or blockwork.
A specialised company will be needed for this process and will spray either an expansion foam or a loose fit woollen foam inside the holes. I have used both methods in some of my properties and both varieties of foam work extremely well.
Polystyrene Boarding: A polystyrene board can be bolted to the external walls and re-rendered with a lightweight silicone render – I am using this on one of my properties at the moment! This process causes no internal disruption and can all be done from the outside, however it is weather dependent as January and February would be too cold so now is the perfect opportunity to do it.
Polystyrene Boarding is also a maintenance free render and the render comes with a vast array of coloured pigments so there is not much painting to do afterwards. In some areas the council have grant money that contribute to external insulation and silicone render so it is certainly worth looking into and finding out if you are in one of these areas.
Nothing is worse than cold feet in the winter and if you are in the process of, or planning to rip up the carpet or laminate flooring then what better opportunity to apply under floor insulation and heating? ~
This is a great way of keeping the energy bills down and keeping the house warm if your central heating isn’t up to scratch.

There is a rigid insulation available which can be found from a number of suppliers including British Gypsum, Kingspan or Celotex. Not only is it cost effective, it is also a great DIY job. Just place or interlock the insulation on the floor and then apply the plywood and carpet/laminate flooring back on top of it.

A great company called Flexel provide innovative and inexpensive electric underfloor heating which again you can install yourself but you will need to get an electrician to make the final connection.

Some other ways to ensure heat can’t escape from your home this winter:

Cap off your unused chimney breast
Check for gaps in all external pipes and use an expanding foam to fill them
Ensure all doors and windows are closing properly and all have draft excluding strips (you can buy these from your local DIY store very cheap)
We hope you find these tips useful, let us know if you give any of them a go!