The Ultimate Guide to Ceiling Insulation
Ceiling insulation is a must-have if you wish for better thermal insulation across those cold winter months and a cooler summer when the heat rises. By investing in ceiling insulation, you are preparing your first line of defence again heat loss. It is no surprise that heat rises, your home loses up to 25% of heat through the roof, this can be significantly reduced by having effective ceiling insulation installed, reducing the amount of heat that is lost through your roof. Ceiling insulation combats against heat energy lost via conduction and convection, providing a more comfortable home to live in.
In order to best understand ceiling insulation, it is important to discuss the types of insulations that can be used, the types of ceilings that can be insulated and the overall benefits of having your home’s ceiling insulated.
What are the Types of Ceiling Insulation you can use?
When you make the decision to opt in for ceiling insulation for your home you have the choice of various types of insulations that can be used, each with their own pros and cons. Deciding on the correct insulation type for your ceiling is important and will dictate the effect you wish it to have on your property. The three main types of insulation for ceilings are:
- Spray Foam Insulation
- Loose-Fill Insulation
- Blanket Insulation
1. Spray Foam Insulation for Ceilings
Spray foam is a customer-favourite insulation and, most likely, the most superior insulant out of the four types listed above. This soft-foam and water-blown insulation is easily sprayed into joists and rim joists, forming an insulation barrier for your ceiling. So how is spray foam insulation beneficial for your ceilings?
While there are many different types of spray foam, we will use Icynene spray foam insulation as our example, one of the leading manufacturers of spray foam. This insulant is the most superior on the market for thermal insulation, in its closed-cell form, spray foam can effectively reduce the amount of heat loss through your ceilings.
Additionally, ceiling insulation needs to combat against moisture growth, there is nothing worse than a damp ceiling, that rots and effects the structure of your property. Luckily, spray foam has an open-cell composition that can combat against mould and moisture growth, allowing the joists to breathe as it is installed, which ultimately prevents the build-up of condensation.
Notably, spray foam may provide one of the longest-lasting solutions for your ceiling insulation due to its lifespan. The insulant does not sag of settle over time, allowing for a long-term and viable solution for your ceiling insulation.
2. Loose Fill Insulation for Ceilings
An alternative to spray foam is loose-fill insulation. This form of insulation can consist of a variety of materials, such as cellulose (which is made from recycled paper), fibreglass, mineral wool or more. Using a blowing machine, loose-fill insulation is effectively blown into crawl spaces, joists and cavities. One of its benefits is that it can cover most areas with insulation due to its size and blown-in application.
However, it is important to note that loose fill ceiling insulation may be subject to moisture and mould growth if the material gets wet. There are solutions to combat this problem, such as installing soffit vents, however this will merely add to project costs and prolong timelines, whereas investing in spray foam may be a better option overall.
Additionally, overtime blown-in cellulose or fibreglass will sag and shift, creating unwanted holes and gaps, reducing the effectiveness of thermal insulation in your ceiling.
3. Blanket Insulation for Ceilings
Alternatively to loose-fill, blanket insulation is usually supplied in rolls or batts that can be cut/pre-cut and placed/fitted effectively into joists. Blanket insulation is typically composed of fibreglass, mineral wool, or natural fibres (cotton or sheep’s wool) and usually shows benefits in the ease-of-application.
However, it is one of the more weaker insulations available for ceilings because it may not perfectly fit into all areas, especially harder-to-reach areas, of your ceiling., therefore, gaps left will weaken the effectiveness of your insulation in your ceiling.
What Types of Ceilings can be Insulated?
There are many different types of ceilings, all of which can be insulated; however, this guide will focus on four common types of ceilings that are found in homes and commercial buildings, these four are as follow:
- Conventional Ceilings
- Drop Ceilings
- Vaulted Ceilings
- Suspended Ceilings
1. Conventional Ceilings
These types of ceilings are the most common type, a standard flat and seamless surface which is often finished with drywall and then painted.
2. Drop Ceilings
Drop ceilings, also known as false ceilings, are common in commercial properties and consist of a secondary structure formed below the main ceiling. Drop ceilings are typically created from vinyl tiles. Because commercial properties typically have a lot of duct work, sprinkler systems and the like, drop ceilings act as a way to hide these. Additionally, they can be used for soundproofing, reducing noise pollution from the piping and alike above them.
3. Vaulted Ceilings
This type of ceiling requires a bit more expertise to insulate. They can come in a variety of forms and styles, from concave to traditional. Understanding your ceiling will be helpful to provide the best insulation solution for it. For vaulted ceilings you want to use a lightweight insulation solution. Icynene open cell spray foam insulation may be the best product for insulating vaulted ceilings. This insulant is lightweight, open-cell properties for breathing, offers great thermal properties and prevents condensation. Importantly, Icynene spray foam insulation can be installed and sprayed in place, without having to remove the roof, which may be a case of other insulation types.
4. Suspended Ceilings
Suspended ceilings are another common type for commercial properties such as office spaces. Therefore, providing a consistent and comfortable temperature all year round is extremely important for a place of work. Ceiling insulation will need to be installed that can both create a warm place in the winter and a cool place to work throughout the summer months.
The most preferable and recommended solution for suspended ceiling insulation would be Icynene spray foam. There are a variety of reasons which suggest why spray foam is a great fit for ceiling insulation in offices. For example, offices rely a lot on energy consumption via heating and cooling, this can add unnecessary expenses that can be significantly reduced by using spray foam insulation in your ceilings. Furthermore, offices require a peaceful atmosphere and place of work, spray foam’s open cell composition can create an effective sound barrier, reducing noise pollution and creating a better working environment. Lastly, suspended ceilings also require a more lightweight solution, something where insulation batts and rolls show weaknesses to.
What are the Benefits of Ceiling Insulation?
Ceiling insulation for both residential homes and commercial properties has a myriad of benefits, for all types of ceilings. By having your ceiling insulated you are likely to witness the following benefits (note: benefits may vary depending on the type of insulation you choose to insulate your ceiling with):
1. Energy Efficiency
Ceiling insulation provides benefits all year-round regarding energy efficiency. Across both the summer and winter months your property will experience a more comfortable place of living or working. All types of insulation, spray foam, cellulose, batt and more have a certain level of thermal resistance, helping to better control the internal temperature of a property. However, spray foam insulation has a superior level of insulating, and you will likely experience better and more energy efficient results if you applied foam insulation to your ceiling.
Certain types of insulation can provide soundproofing properties in your ceiling. This can be greatly beneficial if you have excess noise via piping or if you have a room in your loft space that you wish to dampen the sound of or many other reasons. Icynene insulation products have renowned soundproofing benefits that can provide your office or home a better environment to be in.
Because up to 25% of heat loss occurs through the roof, by having any insulation installed in the ceiling, which can hamper this figure, will make you less reliant on heating and cooling the property. Therefore, with ceiling insulation, you are likely to reduce your carbon emissions output and reduce your carbon footprint every year. Some types of insulation, such as blown-in cellulose, are also composed of recycled materials like newspapers, strengthening the eco-friendliness of ceiling insulation.
By relying less on heating and cooling your property every month, you will, in turn, save money on energy bills. Home and commercial insulation is seen as an investment, where you will be expected to see a ROI over the lifespan of the insulation. Some forms of insulation you’ll see a quicker ROI on, such as cavity wall insulation.
5. Moisture Control
When moisture builds up in the ceilings of properties, it can have disastrous effects on the building, rotting timber, mould growth, an unhygienic living environment and more. Therefore, when you opt in for ceiling insulation, we highly recommend finding a solution that prevents the build up of moisture, to provide a better space to live.
If you are interested in ceiling insulation, contact one of our insulation experts today for a free consultation, we are here to answer your questions and calls to help you make the most informed decision regarding your next insulation project. You can call us directly on 0203 411 5188 or email us here.