30 Nov

Buyers Guide to Insulation for Your Home

It’s getting chilly out there, and with energy prices continuing to rise, it’s getting chilly indoors too! That’s why you should be thinking about how to insulate your home to achieve the best energy efficiency for your property. 

What’s more, new homes are now required to meet certain levels of thermal and energy efficiency, so it could be argued that these changes will help you move with the times – as well as reap the monetary benefits of a more thermally efficient home. 

So let’s dive in and find out how to go about choosing and installing insulation for your home. 

What are the different areas which can be insulated

Let’s tackle the first conundrum – which area of your home should you insulate? 

Walls are an obvious choice as they have a large surface area. In fact, almost a third of the heat within a home is lost through the walls. First, you’ll need to check out if your walls are cavity or solid. If they’re the former, insulation can be added into these cavities. If it’s the latter, the insulation will need to be added from the inside or outside of the walls. 

Roofs and attic spaces are another area up for consideration, as heat can also be lost through the top of your home. Also, if the roof is easily accessible and has no major structural or damp issues, you might even be able to easily carry out the installation yourself, though it’s always wise to get a professional on board if in doubt. 

Floors are the final big area that could benefit from insulation, though this is usually only useful on the ground floor of houses. If carpets and rugs just aren’t cutting it, then it could be time to install some insulation instead. 

What are the different materials? 

If you are wondering what insulation materials are available to you, the answer is a lot! Let’s have a gander at the main types. 

  • Glass and mineral wool: These are the traditional options and are available in a variety of thicknesses to suit your purpose, though PPE will be required during installation due to the presence of irritants in these materials. Glass and mineral wool provide both excellent thermal properties and soundproofing ability. 
  • Sheep’s wool: A natural alternative to glass and mineral wool, it is generally seen as a more environmentally friendly choice that does not require the use of PPE during installation thanks to being non-irritant. 
  • Polystyrene: A type of synthetic insulation, it is usually formed of rigid foam boards with a notable ability for thermal and sound insulation. 
  • Drylining: Also known as drywalling, this is an insulation method whereby plasterboard cladding is applied to internal walls or ceilings to form an extra layer. Drywalling can simply be painted over for an easy finish – it can also provide soundproofing ability. 
  • Multi-foil insulation: Usually composed of thin reflective films, multi-foil insulation is also layered between wadding. It can be applied to many different surfaces, including both inside and outside. Because it is lightweight, it’s easy to transport and handle. 

There are multiple other options available too, so make sure you do your research. 

What are the different types of insulation?

Now we have examined the different insulation materials available, let’s briefly look at what forms they can come in to purchase. 

  • Rolls: Glass, mineral and sheep wool will come in rolls which are straightforward to unfurl into the desired space. It is especially easy to cut and shape to size. 
  • Boards: Sturdy insulation boards provide excellent thermal value and can also be cut to size. These are a good choice for covering a large space. 
  • Slabs: Made from a variety of materials, including stone and concrete, slabs are extremely easy to install and have excellent fire resistance. 

So, you’ve chosen the area of the home you’re paying attention to, and you’ve selected the type of insulation you want. Now it’s time to install. 

How to install insulation? 

If you’re the kind of person who doesn’t like to take chances, your best bet might be to get a professional to install the insulation. However, if you fancy having a go at some DIY, you can absolutely install the insulation materials yourself. 

The material you choose and the location of the intended insulation will influence the installation method. For example, cavity walls must be inspected prior to insulation installation to ensure that the condition is good enough for the project to take place. Also, when installing glass or fibre wool, make sure to use PPE to avoid ingesting fibres. 

Because each material has its own requirements for installation, and because each location of installation will have its own demands, it’s advisable to perform careful research before launching your DIY projects. Remember, if in doubt you should always call in a professional. 

Looking for top-quality insulation material for your home? We’ve got just the stuff for you. As the leading supplier of building and DIY materials for London, we’ve got plenty of insulation material options as well as all the gear you’ll need to install it. Just get in touch with our team who can give you a bit more advice to get started.