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How Does the Thickness of Loft Insulation Affect Heat Loss?

 How Does the Thickness of Loft Insulation Affect Heat Loss

It’s a question we hear quite often here at Home Logic – how does the thickness of loft insulation affect heat loss? Secondly, how does heat loss affect your energy costs?

Household energy costs certainly seem to be going through the roof again, with recent energy price rises from at least one of the big suppliers announced. Most likely, the others will soon do the same.

Unfortunately, it’s not only energy prices that go through the roof – energy itself also heads off skywards, every single minute of the day.  Our homes lose heat from just about every nook and cranny but, as heat rises, it makes its greatest escape through our lofts and rooftops.

This is why loft insulation is so important, to prevent this heat loss from occurring.

So how does the thickness of loft insulation affect heat loss? Let’s take a look at the whole situation from top to bottom…

How Does the Thickness of Loft Insulation Affect Heat Loss?

Many homes in the UK already have some form of loft insulation in place. The most traditional type of loft insulation is the fibreglass variety.

Today, however, an increasingly popular alternative – Home Logic Spray Foam – is available, and this outperforms traditional methods of loft insulation on several fronts.

But what are the recommended thicknesses involved, and how does the thickness of loft insulation affect heat loss overall?

The general recommended thickness of loft insulation in the UK is 270mm. This mainly stands for fibreglass and mineral wool alternatives to spray foam.However, the recommended thickness will change depending on the U-Value you wish to achieve. For example, to achieve a U-Value of 0.25W/m² you will typically need around 150mm of mineral wool, around 200m of fibreglass or 90mm or rigid insulation foam.

The Importance of Quantity

This quite clearly highlights the importance of quantity and provides a definite answer to the question – how does the thickness of loft insulation affect heat loss?

The thicker the insulation, the more effective it is at keeping heat from escaping through your roof. However, if your insulation is too thick, your house may have ventilation problems and be susceptible to damp, condensation and mould related issues.

The Importance of Quality

So the amount of insulation you have in place is important – but so is the quality of it! In fact, quality is always more important than quantity! When it comes to the ‘what it says on the tin’ stakes, spray foam is up there with the best of them.

It’s an expanding foam that is sprayed into your home, providing a super-solution to heat loss. No rocket science there. As it sets, the foam expands up to 100 times its initial size, creating a deep, thick layer of heavy duty insulation for your home. Again, pretty simple stuff!

Seamless Solutions – Literally

Most of us can probably picture a few immediate advantages to the installation process, compared to that of traditional fibreglass. 

Spray foam is water blown into your loft (or other area to be insulated), and doesn’t involve a trail of workmen/women tramping dirt and unpleasant fibrous material through your home.

There’s very little disruption indeed when it comes to installation, and the process takes less time in most homes than laying several layers of fibrous insulation. The process is quick and seamless – literally seamless in this case – filling even the smallest of gaps, to cut heat loss and draughts.

Excellent Energy Efficiency

This is the most obvious advantage for most people: traditional loft insulation is a great way to reduce the cost of your domestic energy bill.

Home Logic Spray foam has a much greater energy efficiency rating when compared to more traditional methods, and can reduce energy costs by a substantial amount over time.

Spray foam won’t stop heat rising in your home, but it will be far more effective at creating a barrier between the inside and the outside of your property. The maths here is simple: less heat loss equals lower heating bills.  Simple as that!

Now it’s starting to become clear how important the question is – how does the thickness of loft insulation affect heat loss?

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Dank & Dark Spaces Eliminated

One of the less obvious advantages that Home Logic Spray Foam offers over traditional fibre insulation is the reduction in moisture in the insulated space.

Because the insulation fills in gaps, and effectively seeps into every crack and crevice, it acts to radically reduce the amount of moisture that can invade your internal space.

Moisture caused by condensation in lofts has an impact on the effectiveness of traditional loft insulation, by increasing the thermal conductivity of both the material and the loft itself. 

In lay-person’s terms, that just means traditional insulation creates a more humid atmosphere which actually helps heat to escape from your home!  The lack of humidity and moisture also means that mould is unlikely to grow.

Mould releases harmful spores into the air within your home which can cause illness and infection, and are particularly bad for young children, those with breathing problems, or anybody with an existing health problem.

Internal Air Quality Control

In addition to reducing those nasty toxins generated by mouldy spaces in your home, Home Logic Spray Foam also improves the air quality in your home, by blocking external air pollutants. 

The foam is so effective at filling those tiny gaps in the structure of your home it can vastly reduce the level of unpleasant, airborne pollutants that can seep into your space.

Again, this has significant benefits for children, older people or those with a wide range of health conditions.

Air quality is a big issue these days, and whilst we can’t always control what’s going into the air outside our homes, improving the quality of our micro-environment can make a big difference to our overall health and well-being.

All of Your Leaks Plugged

This advantage has already been mentioned, but it deserves a second look. Spray foam makes its way into the smallest cracks, and prevents moisture in the atmosphere from seeping into your home. It also seals up larger gaps, and is therefore a great way to plug more serious leaks.

Even a relatively small leak in your roof space can cause significant problems over time. As many of us don’t spend much time in our lofts, small but persistent leaks often go unnoticed.

With traditional fibreglass insulation, these leaks will quickly degrade the material’s insulating qualities, and create a soggy, damp mass of fibre which can eventually cause damage to the ceilings in the room below.

The maths here? Damp equals damage, which results in costly repairs. Spray foam stops leaks in their tracks, and the foam itself will not be damaged by stray leaks, should they ever occur. The chances of water damage, or damage to the house’s structure, are therefore greatly reduced.

Effective Noise Reduction

Spray foam is great at reducing noise. This may not be a priority when it comes to loft insulation, unless you live below a major flight path. However, spray foam insulation can be used in other areas of the home, to create an effective insulation and noise barrier.

Put simply, the foam reduces the ability of sound to travel through the air from one room to the next – or from one home to the next.

Of course, if you intend to create an extra room in the loft for teenagers armed with drum-kits, electric guitars and wristbands, spray foam insulation is really the only option.

If you do have such teenagers in the house – do you really need to ask how does the thickness of loft insulation affect heat loss? Forget heat loss! Just keeping your teens quiet is beneficial enough!

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How Does the Thickness of Loft Insulation Affect Heat Loss

Structurally Sound All Round

Like our little word play there? Traditional loft insulation does nothing to improve the structural integrity of your home.  It’s designed to insulate, rather than strengthen – not that there is anything wrong with that.

Home Logic Spray Foam is also designed to insulate, but offers the additional advantage of creating greater structural integrity where it is installed.

This depends on the thickness of the spray once installed but as the foam sets it bonds to the surfaces and structure of your loft creating a solid glue that binds them together. This is really only a small side benefit to using spray foam insulation, but every little helps!

Persistent Pest Protection

Most rodents like a bit of insulation come nesting time and any householder who has provided some rent-free accommodation for these less than lovable squatters will be keen to hear of a simple solution.

While spray foam is not inviolable to these creatures, the foam makes it far harder for them to enter the property in the first place.

With cracks and gaps filled, rats, mice and even termites might decide to keep the party next door.  Even if they do manage to gain access, the solid foam is less attractive than those layers of cosy fibre bedding, handily laid out for their comfort.

Additionally, if rodents have nested they’ll usually do enough damage to fibre glass material to mean a new roll or two is required. With spray foam, any damage can usually be re-sprayed quickly and cheaply, to repair the affected area.

Loft Conversions

How does the thickness of loft insulation affect heat loss – is an important question if you’re thinking about converting your loft space into an additional room.

If the next rung on the housing ladder is proving too steep to climb, but you desperately need more space at home, getting upwardly mobile is often easily solved.

A loft conversion will be a good way to increase the space in your home – offering extra accommodation options. Not just for those pesky teenagers either – why not get away from it all with a secluded, en-suite loft conversion for two? Study offices, or other work spaces, are also an option in many spacious loft areas.

Apart from creating much needed extra space for your family, a loft conversion will also add value to your home – ultimately make that housing ladder a little easier to ascend.

Traditional insulation will be an issue if you do convert your loft. Most is installed at floor level, and the required depth means more structural work to add a floor. Home Logic Spray Foam is ideal for spraying onto the internal roof surfaces, meaning you can ditch the floor insulation, and cut the cost of installing your new floor.

Suitable Properties

Spray foam insulation is one of the most versatile forms of insulation materials on the market.  Traditional fibre insulation can be installed in many properties, but Home Logic Spray Foam beats it hands down every time.

Unlike outdated methods of insulation, spray foam is suitable for a wide range of homes, regardless of age, size, shape or accessibility.

In contrast to fibreglass insulation, spray foam can be easily injected into cavities, making it suitable for insulating far more of a property than traditional insulation materials.

In addition to loft spaces, the foam can be applied in ceilings, wall cavities and floors. If the foam can be injected, the space can be foam sprayed, and the area insulated. Simple, really!

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Cost and Guarantees

Thanks to the simple application technique for cost comparison purposes, Home Logic Spray Foam will almost certainly out-compete traditional techniques. The process is also normally quicker, which not only reduces costs, but also decreases the disruption to your existing routines.

You needn’t worry yourself about the question – how does the thickness of loft insulation affect heat loss – if you choose Home Logic to help with your installation. We will take care of all of this for you, adhering to regulations at all times.

The Spray Foam that we use is BBA approved, and is covered by a 25-year warranty when carried out by our licensed installers.

If you’d like to know more about spray foam insulation, contact us on 0800 1700 636 with any queries, or for advice on the suitability of this type of insulation for your home.

Our friendly team of advisers will be happy to help with your questions, or you can email us at survey@homelogic.co.uk and we’ll get back to you at a time to suit you.

Looking for loft insulation that performs effectively long-term? By calling 0800 1700 636, or simply click the button below to get started today!

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