For the building designer, insulation is a year round concern.
Building regulations drive a greater than ever emphasis on sustainable building design – improving the energy efficiency of buildings and reducing carbon dioxide emissions.
However, it is when summer turns to autumn and we begin to reach for our scarves (and thermostats) that the thoughts of many householders turn to insulation.
In the Celotex Technical Centre we field a lot of calls from householders over the colder months, their two primary concerns are upgrading the insulation within their property and condensation.
It is an unfortunate fact of life that energy costs only move in one direction. Upgrading the insulation within your property can reduce your energy costs and improve the comfort of your home.
However, it can be a confusing area for the householder to navigate.
Loft insulation upgrades
One of our most frequently asked questions is how to upgrade a ceiling within a property. Despite years of government initiatives to provide subsidised loft insulation, many houses still have little or no insulation in their roof.
While mineral and glass fibre can be cost effective when used as loft insulation, many householders are reluctant to give up storage space.
A rigid insulation board such as Celotex FR5000 can be laid across the ceiling joists and will be strong enough to take occasional traffic. If the boards are overlaid with chipboard, then the loft can still be used for storage. The Christmas decorations need not find a new home!
When upgrading loft insulation it is critical to ensure the loft is sufficiently ventilated. This will minimise any risk of harmful condensation forming in the roof void. It would also be a good idea the check that any water pipes in the loft are lagged.
Upgrading solid and cavity walls
We are often asked about improving the insulation on uninsulated solid masonry and cavity walls.
An uninsulated masonry wall can make a room feel very cold. Where walls face to the north they can become cold enough for condensation to form – leading to damp patches and mold growth.
This form of surface condensation can be resolved by insulating the wall to a better standard. An insulated plasterboard such as Celotex PL4000 is an excellent choice to upgrade a masonry wall with minimal loss of room space.
Common questions with internal wall lining revolve around condensation, breathability and vapour control layers.
When lining a masonry wall with internal insulation, the masonry behind the insulation can become even colder – as the insulation performs it job and keeps the warmth in the room.
The role of the vapour control layer is to prevent water vapour contained in warm air reaching the cold wall and forming as condensate.
Celotex PL4000 contains an in built vapour control layer that allows masonry walls to be lined without causing a condensation risk.
When considering lining any solid wall, it is important to assess the wall for potential moisture ingress.
Insulation can greatly improve the quality of our life. Whatever your project, speak to the Insulation Specialists.