A well insulated home means increased comfort and decreased heating bills. And if you follow the safety and installation instructions, putting in your own insulation is actually a pretty straightforward DIY project.
Keeping Insulation Simple
Insulating your home – ceiling, walls or underfloor – is basically a process of filling the gaps between your house framing with an effective thermal barrier.
• You need the right insulation for the job – wall insulation for walls, ceiling insulation for ceilings, underfloor for floors. • You need the right insulation for your area – colder areas need a higher “R” rating. • You need to be accurate – insulation should be cut slightly oversize for a “friction” fit. Too small leaves gaps and too big compresses the insulation material, reducing its effectiveness. • And you need to be safe. You’ll be working around electrical wiring and pipes, you’ll be working in awkward spaces and if you’re up in the roof space there’s always the danger of stepping between the framing and falling through the ceiling. Just follow the recommended safety procedures and safety-wear guidelines.
What To Wear
Old roof cavities and under?floors are dusty places at the best of times, and glass wool insulation can produce skin irritation so it pays to wear protective clothing.
Disposable overalls and taking a cool shower straight after the job is the ideal way to keep things comfortable.
Correct Clothing - Loose fitting, full cover clothing – long sleeves, long pants, or better still, overalls – will lessen the chances of skin irritation. Dust Mask - A disposable cotton pad mask is generally suitable to help prevent discomfort. Increased protection is available with a more sophisticated mask such as a R1000 Respirator. Safety Glasses - Safety glasses are also a good idea, particularly when installing underfloor insulation where you’re working underneath/looking up at the job. Gloves - Rubber palmed gloves are recommended to help prevent skin irritation. Washing up gloves are fine. Footwear - Sturdy footwear is also necessary to maintain safety. And because you’re going to be working around electrical wiring, rubber-soled footwear is a must.
Installing Underfloor Insulation
Many of the guidelines for ceiling and wall insulation can be followed when installing underfloor insulation.
Select the correct insulation for the job (floor insulation) and the correct R-rating for the area you live before you calculate how many bales of insulation you need. Coverage area per bale varies with different types and grades of insulation.
Start working at the furthest point away from the access and work back towards this point. Joist spacings under the floor can often be uneven, so be prepared to measure and cut accordingly.
Unlike the ‘friction fit’ of the ceiling and wall insulation, underfloor insulation is fitted a little differently. Each piece of insulation needs to be cut at least 30mm wider than the distance between the joist faces. Use your cutting board. DO NOT CUT AGAINST FRAMING and risk cutting through electrical wiring.
Slip the insulation into place, pushing one edge against the face of the joist and up to the underside of the floor. As you push the other side into place against the opposite joist, the edge will fold down the face of the joist. This installation method helps ensure there are no gaps between the insulation and the joists.
If you’ve cut a little too big and the folded section protrudes beneath the bottom of the joist, just trim it back.
Pink® Batts® supply flexible installation rods with their underfloor insulation. Just cut 20mm longer than the space between the joists, bend to fit into position against the underside of your insulation and let them spring back into place. Use three installation rods per section of insulation to hold it up in place.
Do not cover over wiring with insulation. Cut insulation around plumbing, pipes or sub-framing.