While installing flat roof installation isn’t by any means impossible, it’s far easier to fit pitched roof insulation. And when 25% of heat loss is because of a poorly insulated roof, it should be an easy decision to opt for pitched roof insulation if your home has a pitched roof.
If your loft is being used as a living space, cold loft insulation may not be possible to install. Your alternative option will be pitched roof insulation (aka warm roof insulation), which is fitted to your roof rather than your loft floor. It will stabilise the temperature of your loft and drastically reduce how much heat and CO² escapes through the roof.
The benefits of pitched roof insulation
By installing pitched roof insulation, your loft will be far more habitable and you’ll be able to store delicate items in there. With cold loft insulation temperatures can reach extreme levels and potentially damage your possessions. While any type of warm roof insulation will unfortunately be more expensive than cold loft insulation, its immediate and long term benefits justify the initial expense.
How’s it fitted?
Pitched roof insulation is almost self-explanatory. Any such insulation will be installed in the plane of the roof pitch, directly underneath the sloping roof. There is normally some ventilation just between the insulation and under the roof tiles so that there isn’t a build-up of condensation, but not so much that water is allowed to drip through. If air isn’t allowed to flow then you’ll soon have an issue with a rotting roof, and one of the main points of pitched roof insulation is to prevent that from happening.
The material often used for warm roof solutions is mineral or glass wool, which is held in place by battens of wood. Sometimes expanded polystyrene is used, which can be easily pushed into place, and polystyrene slabs which are often covered in foil and able to be cut to different shapes and sizes. All these materials will do an equally effective job at insulating your pitched roof, so it just depends which one is more appropriate for fitting to your particular roof.
You can also use polyurethane spray foam insulation, although this shouldn’t be used for the entire roof like other insulation types. This should primarily only be for patches where there is no roofing and you can see the underside of the roof tiles. This isn’t a permanent solution however, and you may have to get your roof repaired or replaced in the long run.
Before applying any interior pitched roof insulation, you should check the condition of the outer side of your roof. Loose tiles or slates will need to be replaced, or your insulation will soon be damaged prematurely by the weather or small animals.
For information on further loft and roof insulation methods, check out this Energy Saving Trust guide.
Image: Richard Wawrzyniak