In the drive to keep heat in and fuel bills down, insulation is an obvious place to start.
A home with no insulation – that includes most properties built before the 1990s – will lose 25% of heat through the roof and 33% through the exterior walls. Not only will insulation slash heating costs, it’ll make the winter months a lot cosier.
Insulating your walls
If you’re looking into wall insulation, the first thing you need to know is whether your home has cavity or solid walls. A cavity wall is made up of two walls with a gap in between, while a solid wall is thicker and has no gap.
Cavity walls are most common in homes built after the 1920s, while older homes usually have solid walls. It’s easy to check by looking at the brickwork on an exterior wall. If it’s a cavity wall it will be a regular pattern with the long side of each brick facing out. If it’s a solid wall the bricks will have an alternating pattern with both the long and short sides of the bricks visible.
If the brickwork’s covered, the thickness of the exterior wall should give you a big clue. If it’s more than 260mm it’s probably a cavity wall, less and it’s likely to be solid.
With solid walls, insulating cladding can be fixed to the exterior or the interior of the wall. There are advantages and disadvantages to both, and we’ll be happy to help you find the best solution for your home.
Cavity-wall insulation is a lot simpler and less intrusive – it’s simply a case of drilling small holes at regular intervals between the bricks, and filling the cavity with mineral wool or insulating beads.
Insulating your loft
Loft insulation is a simple and inexpensive way of keep that precious warmth in. It’s tempting to buy a few rolls of insulation from the DIY store and do it yourself. But off-the-shelf products don’t always perform as well as you’d hope, so that approach could be false economy in the long run.