How Loft Insulation Works

Updated March 23, 2017

Loft insulation serves a dual purpose, helping to keep the house that it is installed in warm in the cold winter months while also keeping it cool in the hot summer months. It does this by providing a material with lots of air pockets through which it is difficult for heat to pass. During the winter, when your home is heated, rising heat will be unable to easily escape through the materials of your roof. During the summer when you are keeping your house cool, the heat from outside will be unable to easily pass through the insulation in order to warm up your home.

Types of Loft Insulation

There are several types of insulation which may be used in your loft to help prevent the unwanted flow of heat into and out of your home. The most common types of loft insulation are fibreglass insulation and glasswool, which is made from finely-shredded glass bottles. Rigid foam insulation is sometimes used when insulating lofts, though it is more likely to be placed beneath the floor of the loft than it is to be used as a means of insulating the roof. Sheep's wool insulation may also be used in much the same way that glasswool and fibreglass insulation are used, though it is often more expensive due to the processing that the wool must go through before it can be used as home insulation.

Proper Installation

In order for loft insulation to be effective it must be installed correctly. Insulation should completely fill the gaps between floor and wall joists and rafters, leaving no gaps through which heat can easily enter or leave the house. Insulation is often overlapped slightly to ensure that no accidental gaps will develop between the ends of insulation pieces, and is usually stapled into place. If the loft that is being insulated is being turned into a finished room for storage or occupancy, insulation should be installed before any walls or flooring are put into place in order to provide a barrier to heat that completely separates the walls and ceiling of the loft room from the exterior walls and roof of the house.

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About the Author

Born in West Virginia, Jack Gerard now lives in Kentucky. A writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience, he has written both articles and poetry for publication in magazines and online. A former nationally ranked sport fencer, Gerard also spent several years as a fencing coach and trainer.