If your ceiling insulation isn’t doing its job properly, it’s time to retrofit your ceilings with new insulation. Follow these steps to ensure a successful retrofit.
Step 1. Choose your R-Value
The R-Value of an insulation product indicates its ability to resist heat transfer. The higher the R-Value, the more insulating power the product has. For ceiling applications, it’s important to choose the right R-Value for your climate.
Experts recommend getting at least R4.0 for warmer climates such as Perth and northern NSW and upgrading to R5.0 or R6.0 if you live in a cooler climate such as Sydney, Melbourne or Adelaide.
Step 2. Measure the space
It’s important to take measurements of your ceiling space to determine the size and amount of insulation that you need.
Measure the distance between the midpoint of one ceiling joist to the midpoint of another. This will tell you what width insulation batt you need.
- If your ceiling joists are 450mm apart, you need 430mm ceiling batts.
- If your ceiling joists are 600mm apart, you need 580mm ceiling batts.
Next, determine the amount of square metres you need to purchase by measuring the width and length of your ceiling space.
Step 3. Check your existing insulation
Have a look in your ceiling cavity to assess the condition of your existing insulation. In many cases you can install your new insulation over the old insulation. Your existing insulation won’t be very effective, but it may have at least some insulating power still.
If your existing insulation is damaged, infested or mouldy it should be completely removed before installing the new insulation. Vacuum out the ceiling space in preparation for the new insulation.
Step 4. Take the necessary safety precautions
Installing insulation comes with a number of risks and safety measures should be taken to protect the installer and the house occupants. Ceiling insulation should be installed during the early hours of the day because the roof space can get very hot. Turn off the power before installation to reduce any electrical safety hazards.
Whoever installs the insulation should wear gloves, a dust mask and safety glasses. Consider buying low-itch insulation batts such as Knauf Earthwool to avoid irritation to the skin.
Step 5. Install the insulation
Ceiling insulation can be retrofitted by a professional or if you feel confident, you can do it yourself. DIY installations are a good way to save money and insulation batts are fairly easy to handle. However, there are a lot of things you need to know in order to have a successful retrofit. Poorly installed insulation can be dramatically less effective. Ceiling contractors can ensure a high standard finish, meet all safety regulations and complete the job efficiently.
Whether you decide to DIY or hire a ceiling contractor, ceiling insulation will benefit you in more ways than one. If you want a more energy efficient home, comfortable indoor temperatures and increased savings on your power bill, ceiling insulation is the way to go!