Which Insulation Is Best For The Attic?

insulation

Of course, you need attic insulation; that much is a given. So much energy can escape through the empty space at the top of your home, so while it may seem trivial, fitting efficient attic insulation is arguably as important as securing hefty floor insulation. At SuperFoil, we’re confident that you don’t want to spend your time and money paying for energy that you aren’t benefiting from, so explore your options for material in attic insulation with help from our team. Whether you’re leaning toward fibreglass or you expect that mineral wool will suit your needs best, you’ll be confident you’re making the right choice after reading this guide.

Which insulation is best for the attic? What material will ideally suit your home and your building’s needs? Let’s find out.

Blanket Insulation

Batts or rolls of blanket insulation are the most popular form of material, consisting of flexible fibres. Fibreglass is a very common reinforced plastic material used for blanket insulation. Choosing blanket insulation is particularly cheap, but the material is bulky and can take up valuable space in your attic.

In an ideal world, your blanket insulation should fit neatly across your floor. Rolls of insulation material come in many widths and heights to match your attic, so you can start by measuring the distance between your walls and buying the closest size to fit. 

To calculate the correct amount:

  1. Measure the area of any floor space needing to be covered.
  2. Make an effort not to stretch or tear your sheets of blanket insulation. You can use scissors if it needs to be cut.
  3. Unpack your insulation, and roll it across your floor from one wall to another.
  4. If possible, add a second layer of blanket insulation across your first round for extra efficiency.
  5. Don’t squash the insulation down, as tempting as it may be. The air helps to retain heat.

Can You Install Blanket Insulation Yourself?

Confident home decorators and DIY enthusiasts may be able to lay this type of insulation with relative ease themselves, but must be sure to wear a full body suit for protection. You’ve got to be prepared to spend plenty of time referring to the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure you’re fitting your material correctly, wear the appropriate protective equipment, and do everything in your power to guarantee that you’re getting the most out of your insulation. Some insulation grants and offers are still available from energy companies. The discounted materials and installation rates on offer mean that, in some cases, getting a professional to fit your insulation could be cheaper versus doing it yourself. 

If you still want to use your attic for storage, you can place boards protected with further insulation over the top, or you may have to raise the floor level to ensure that the recommended insulation depth is achieved. Just bear in mind that blanket insulation can be very thick and take up a lot of space, so if your attic is already tight then you may benefit from a thinner insulation solution. 

Multifoil Insulation

Multifoil insulation offers excellent value for money, proves a great space-saver, and stays ideal for both new build or retrofit projects. It can be used anywhere in the home, including roof applications, meaning you only have to choose one product to handle insulating your walls, your attic and your floor! In addition, there is a fibrous core between the foil layers in some forms of multifoil insulation, which helps to reduce heat loss through convection and conduction.

Multifoil insulation focuses on interrupting convection, conduction and radiation, three significant mechanisms of heat transfer. Multifoil insulation has a slim yet sturdy, reflective outer coating, redirecting any radiation back into the room and preventing it from escaping. 

Are There Different Types Of Foil Insulation?

There are different types of foil insulation. One form of foil insulation is bubble-foil insulation. Bubble-foil insulation is filled with pockets of air that help to maximise insulation by preventing heat transfer. Energy transfer is interrupted by the gas, so your bubble-foil insulation would retain all heat in your attic.

Another type of foil insulation is multifoil. Multifoil insulation differs from bubble-foil insulation, since it doesn’t incorporate “bubbles” of air to reduce heat loss. Instead, multifoil insulation creates multiple layers using wadding, foil & typically foam, and focuses on reflecting heat back into the room with a reflective outer coating. 

The final type of foil insulation we’re covering is reflective membranes. Reflective membranes control the movement of air and water vapour. This particular type of foil insulation is most commonly installed across roofs and walls. It is so compact that it’s watertight, so you can rest assured it will stop cold air from infiltrating into your attic space.

Why Choose Multifoil?

Not only will it provide a high performing insulation, but multifoil reflects infrared radiation back into the room too. Most materials used in building construction, such as stone, wood and brick, regardless of their colour, absorb infrared radiation at around ninety percent. Heat is easily lost through this absorption, but multifoil interrupts that with a reflective layer, bouncing your infrared radiation back into the room. A side benefit of the reflective coating on multifoil is that it forms radiant & Vapour barrier, meaning that you protect your project from condensation, and you can rest assured that your home will be the ideal temperature whatever the season.

Multifoils can be used as part of a duet system to fit the material internally and externally for the ultimate solution. They can also be used in a combi installation since Multifoil is compatible with other insulation types, like mineral wool or foam board.

Whichever multifoil type you choose, you can be sure that you will always meet your required U values – whether you’re searching for wall insulation or attic applications.

Can I Install Multifoil Myself?

Our range at SuperFOIL is easy to install and requires no specialist tools for fitting. Due to its clever design, you will experience minimal wastage, unlike more traditional types of insulation. Our full range is made from up to forty percent recycled materials and is fully recyclable at the end of its fifty-year lifespan. To determine how much material you need, follow the same set of instructions as the blanket insulation.

Spray Foam and Foam Board Insulation

Spray foam insulation is a liquid foam which is sprayed into position, and eventually sets into an insulating layer. It can be applied to insulate all areas of your home, including your roof, loft, walls, floors and more. It requires a professional installer to do the work, is difficult to remove once it’s been installed, and it can be a bit of an eyesore. If you don’t need an attractive solution for your attic insulation, it may suit your needs!

Foam board insulation doesn’t massively differ from blanket insulation, in its application but the materials incorporated are different. Foam is a less dangerous material than fiberglass, so you won’t need to wear a full suit of personal protective equipment before fitting this insulation into your attic. Foam board is typically one of the most expensive options but is high performance.

Can I Fit Foam Insulation Myself?

While foam board insulation would be possible to install yourself, spray foam insulation is a little more complex. Since it involves some intense chemicals and harmful fumes, you’ve got to be cautious with spray foam. It’s always best to seek the expertise of a professional, since it’s better to be overly safe than sorry, and experienced insulation companies will definitely have the correct materials and equipment to safely fit out your attic. 

When Is Foam Insulation Most Suitable?

Spray foam insulation is ideal for any hard to reach areas. The nozzle on spray foam insulation can reach even the smallest of gaps, and it will expand to fill any space. Both types of foam insulation can be incorporated alongside multifoil or blanket insulation, and spray foam can easily cover any gaps that your other materials cannot fill.

The Conclusion On Attic Insulation

The most effective forms of attic insulation combine multiple forms of insulation into one solution. For example, Multifoil, blanket and foam board insulation could easily be fitted together for a combi application to save the most energy possible.

Spray foam insulation is ideal for any attic of an unusual shape, while blanket insulation needs cutting into the exact shape of your floor. Both blanket and multifoil insulation are simple to install, but multifoil has the added benefit of a water vapour barrier, so your attic is heat and watertight.

If you’re still unsure what material to settle on for your attic insulation, call SuperFoil on 01636 639900 for some friendly advice and a free quotation on our multifoil solutions.

UNSURE WHERE TO START?

Our FREE guide gives you all the information on saving time and money when insulating your home, and how to really make a difference to the comfort of your rooms.

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SuperFOIL Insulation Guide