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Purpose of Underfloor Insulation
Under floor insulation stops heat (and cooling) being lost through the flooring material. Even a completely sealed floor will allow the heat and cold to escape, and the greater the temperature difference is between outside and inside, the more you’ll notice that there’s something missing – namely underfloor insulation!
Underfloor Options – Segments or Rolls
Autex Greenstuf Underfloor Insulation Rolls are perfect for homes where the floor has not been laid – but they can also be installed underneath a pre-existing floor. Knauf and Bradford manufacture underfloor segments to lengths of just under 1.2 m long, making them easy to handle in confined spaces.
Ceiling, Walls, Underfloors
The underfloor is just one of the three main areas of your home which should be insulated. Ceilings and external walls should also be insulated with thermal insulation, with an R-Value to suit the construction type and climate zone of the house. Not sure how much you need? Call us on 0800 697 742.
Immediate Benefits of Underfloor Insulation
Chilly floorboards in winter time, hints of a draught coming up from beneath the house – these are the typical symptoms of un-insulated flooring. The effects can be noticed in summer time also – the air-con is on full, the indoor thermometer shows chilly 22 degrees… but the floor still feels warm? The great thing about underfloor insulation installation is that it instantly addresses these issues. From the first day, you will notice that the temperature of the floorboards now corresponds closely to the room air-temperature. When you heat up the room, the floor warms up also. When the room is cooled down, the floor temperature follows. In winter time this can mean the difference between 1 and 3 pairs of socks!
Long Term Benefits
Whether you opt for polyester rolls strapped to the side of the underfloor joists, or glasswool segments slotted up in-between the joists and secured with a few rows of tape or strapping – you can be sure that the benefits of under floor insulation are long term. Aside from the obvious increase in comfort, thermal insulation is also proven to deliver significant energy savings, particularly during the warmest and coldest months of the year. Now you will be able to operate your indoor air-conditioning and heating appliances on a lower setting, with the same result. It isn’t always easy to estimate the exact energy savings upfront in dollar terms, but a 10% reduction in energy use from the underfloor insulation alone, is most likely a conservative estimate. In winter time, you can expect the savings to be significantly higher.
Types of Floor Insulation
The above photo shows how polyester underfloor insulation rolls are installed in an existing home. The polyester rolls are pulled tightly between the joists to remove air-gaps and then stapled in place.
Extruded Polystyrene (XPS)
This photo shows Extruded Polystyrene (XPS) Insulation panels being laid before the concrete foundation is poured. These lightweight foam boards are suitable for residential and commercial buildings.
Underfloor Insulation Installation – Safety First
When undertaking any job on a building site, the first thing to consider is safety. While installing underfloor insulation may not seem like the most dangerous of tasks, it does come with its own set of hazards.
The area beneath the house may often contain leftover rubbish from when the house was built, discarded bricks, protruding nails, pipes and broken glass. If there is plenty of space to stand, the risks are greatly reduced. However, if underfloor access is very low, you may find yourself crawling or even lying on your back in order to install your insulation, and extra care needs to be taken to avoid injury.
Use a torch, headlamp or other light source to illuminate the area you will be working in; this will help you to avoid any potential hazards before you come in contact with them. Take care when moving around and don’t rush. Safety glasses are strongly recommended to avoid dust and debris from falling down into your eyes. For DIY videos and install tips click here.