How to Install Underfloor Insulation
Installing underfloor insulation in your house can save you money each year on your energy bills. You can usually save at least 60 pounds per year in heating and cooling, but some estimates indicate that you may save as much as 90 pounds per year. In any case, you can save money on your insulation by installing it yourself. Because a professional installation costs several hundred pounds, if not more, it will take a long time for your insulation to pay itself off if you must pay a professional to put it in. If you decide to undertake the process of putting in underfloor insulation, here are some quick tips to keep the job efficient and safe.
Use a Sealant Gun
A sealant gun and the necessary flooring sealant can be purchased at just about any do it yourself store. The total cost for materials will be around 20 pounds, or possibly less, and can make a big difference in your energy costs. To insulate your floor with a sealant gun, go around the perimeter of the rooms, installing the joint between the floorboards and skirting board. If you have carpet, it will need to be lifted up during this process. Fill in any gaps or spaces with the sealant and let it dry. You can also seal any gaps you see underneath the floor from a cellar.
Inspect the Floorboards
Insulation, whether installed via a sealant gun or fiber insulation sheet, should only be applied to dry and stable floorboards. If the joints are wet or damaged, you need to conduct repairs before you add insulation to your floors. When insulation is applied to wet floors, it will soak up the moisture and you may put yourself at risk of getting mold or mildew in your home. If you have a cellar from which you can view your floorboards, go over every inch of the boards and joints looking for wet spots or cracked wood that need to be reinforced.
Choose the Right Materials
You should use a fibrous material to insulate your flooring. A material like sheeps wool or mineral wool will allow for thermal movement, but stop air movement. This means that your floors will stay warm but air cant circulate between floors when the insulation is in place. Look at the thermal bypass factor of any insulation; this is the degree to which the insulation can stop moisture and air from circulating through the openings in a building. Dont buy the cheapest material, but rather the insulation that is designed for the temperatures in your area and the easiest to install as a homeowner.
Install and Fire Proof
As a homeowner, the most reasonable time to install the insulation yourself is when you have access to the underside of your floors via a cellar or basement. If you dont have cellar access, you will need to install the insulation on top of your floorboards and then install another level of boards. This essentially raises your ground level floors by several inches. Raising your floors is a complicated process that should be left to professionals. To install insulation from beneath the ground floor via a cellar, you should stable or secure the insulation between joints, making sure not to cover necessary air flows or vents. You will sometimes need to use netting beneath the insulation to hold it in place. If you dont already have a plasterboard in place to afford fire resistance, apply one under the insulation.
Underfloor insulation is an investment in your home. Not only can you save on your own energy expenses, but it might make your home more attractive to a buyer when you eventually hand over the keys to a new owner. While the installation process is not meant for every home owner, it can certainly save you quite a few pounds. To start, use the sealant gun to fill any obvious gaps, and then move on to fiber insulation only when you still feel obvious drafts or your energy costs have not decreased to your liking. Always consult with a professional when you think that you may be in over your head, or you might wind up wasting your time or even causing a fire hazard in your cellar.