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How loft insulation shouldn't look!

The headlines

You know you have a decent amount of loft insulation, yes? But how well laid is it really? When did you last look?

Badly laid loft insulation means you are wasting energy, and is very easy to fix.

Plus you might find other things that can easily be sorted that can help you avoid wasting energy.


A true story

I visited a friend a few weeks who told me confidently 'I have a decent amount of loft insulation, though in fairness I've not been up there a while to look'.

So, we went up in his loft and had a look.....

This is how it SHOULD look: even, no gaps, 270mm or so thick. Cosy! :-)

Or this if it has plastic covered insulation rolls, all butted up to each other neatly

BUT.....this is what we found when we ventured up there. This is one of the rarer examples of a home with a central heating boiler in the loft but some of the issues we found were nothing to do with the boiler.

Much of the insulation looked like it had been thrown down, and the wrong way too.

Given that these pipes will be running at 50-60C and that a loft can go sub zero in cold weather this amount of insulation won't prevent completely unnecessary heat loss.


All these things are easily fixable, for pretty much instant benefit, and very cheaply too.

The image below shows how much colder even small ceiling areas with poorly laid loft insulation look using a thermal camera. Even small areas like this will make the room feel cooler, take longer to warm up, add to energy costs risking formation of damp and mould.



  • I personally would never buy 'economy' pipe insulation. It is THIN! It might be cheaper to buy but in the long ru, particularly when lagging hot pipes it will probably cost you more. There may be times when the thin stuff is the only stuff that you can squeeze around a pipe that is cramped by other things around it but I always fit the thickest I can physically fit.

  • Why not get some mates to help you sort the loft? Perhaps offer them rewards such as beers and a takeaway?

  • For other info on loft insulation including storage and boarding systems, and excellent practical DIY guides do visit this other blog article on this site.

Look out for my other articles soon on dormer bedrooms, loft conversions an attic bedrooms and how to diagnose and fix cold bedroom problems.


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Mark Thompson

Get Energy Savvy - simple practical home energy efficiency information

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