Make your home warmer: Roof Insulation Check

By The Helpful Engineer / On / In Energy Conservation

The recent cold weather is beginning to wane and the snow has begun to melt. Following on from the last post, which discussed how snow can be used as an investigative tool; the same technique can be applied to indicate the relative standard of a  buildings roof insulation. It was quite obvious during the snowy weather, if you looked, which buildings (with sloped roofs) had poor attic insulation. I took some photographs to illustrate how a building with poor attic insulation was losing so much heat through its roof that it had melted all the snow on its roof, while the neighbouring buildings, with better insulation, still had snow covered roofs. Obviously it is important to compare buildings with the same orientation and roof slopes before drawing conclusions. But it is a reminder to affected building owners how much heat is being wasted and it is something that is relatively cheap and easy to rectify. There are government grants available which contribute to the cost of the work, provided the work is carried out by registered and approved contractors. So now that a relative thaw has set in, and the roads are easier to navigate, it would be wise to use the time productively to increase the insulation in your property before the next cold spell begins. Reducing your heating costs might help to offset the effects of the recent tough budget and improve your homes Building Energy Rating (BER).

P.S. Just to add a note about my own attic. My house is approx. 15 years old and originally had a 150mm layer of rockwool insulation in the attic ticked in between the ceiling joists. I have increased this with an extra layer of 200mm rockwool insulation a few years ago, bought in rolls from a local builder supplier. It was really easy to lay out, as the rolls of insulation are packed so tight, once unpacked they practically unroll themselves. I also insulated the reverse side of the attic hatch with a 50mm thick layer of rigid insulation board. Doing this made a huge difference and the house stays warm for a lot longer, and yes the snow remained on my roof.

Heat loss from a poorly insulated roof has melted snow.
McDonald's roof is well insulated compared with the pub next door

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