How Long Does Loft Insulation Last?
Did you know that a quarter of an uninsulated property’s heat is lost through the roof?
That’s why it’s so important to ensure you have adequate loft insulation in your home. But how long does loft insulation actually last and how often should you replace it?
Loft insulation usually lasts 40 years or more if properly maintained and pays for itself many times over its lifespan. However, this greatly depends on how well it was installed and the type of material used.
Regardless of what property you use, your insulation will slowly start to degrade over time and become less effective at keeping the heat in.
In this post, we’ll look at what makes loft insulation ineffective, what to consider when installing new loft insulation, and how you could upgrade your property’s insulation for free.
Keep reading to find out more…
What can make insulation ineffective?
There are several factors that can contribute to how quickly insulation becomes ineffective, including:
- Age: The older the loft insulation, the less effective it will be at keeping your property warm.
- Compression: If the loft insulation is compressed, it won’t insulate as well as it should and you’ll lose more heat.
- Moisture: If the loft insulation gets wet, it won’t insulate as well and could result in mould forming which will damage the insulation. This can happen if you don’t have adequate ventilation or if there’s a leak in your roof.
- Damage: If the loft insulation is physically damaged, it won’t be able to insulate as well and you’ll lose more heat.
- Air pollutants and dirt: Air pollutants and dirt can settle on loft insulation and reduce its effectiveness.
- Poor insulation product: Poor-quality insulation material will not last as long as more expensive, higher-quality materials
- Pests and rodents moving in the loft: Pests and rodents can cause damage to loft insulation and reduce its effectiveness.
Do I need to update my loft insulation?
While replacing old insulation can be much more expensive than getting a new kettle or toaster, it’s vital to ensure that your loft insulation is up to date. Not only will it keep your home warmer, but it can also help save you money on fuel bills in the long run.
However, it’s important to note that not all loft insulation is created equal, and some products will have a much smaller lifespan than others.
Some loft insulation can last well past 40 years, while others may show signs of wear and tear after five years. That’s why we recommended that you check your loft insulation every 5-7 years to ensure that it’s still in good condition.
If you’re unsure, it’s worth getting a professional to take a look. This can be done by booking an Energy Assessor or getting a Green Deal Advisor to come and assess the property.
They will be able to inspect your loft insulation and recommend how you can make your property more energy efficient. This may include upgrading the insulation, fixing any air leaks or installing additional insulation if needed.
If you’re a homeowner or private tenant and are living in a property with an EPC rating of D or lower, you could benefit from free insulation through the ECO Scheme – but more on that later on!
Cost and savings of new loft insulation
Although on average, installation of loft insulation for detached properties can reach up to £890, detached properties could save up to £590/year on their energy bills just from the installation.
That’s not to mention the 1000kg of CO2 emissions being saved each year by reducing energy loss.
It’s clear to see that although the initial fee of insulation can be considered quite steep, it will quickly pay for itself through the mammoth savings to a household’s annual energy bills.
What affects the cost of loft insulation?
When installing insulation, there are several factors you need to consider, including:
- Storage space: More storage space in your loft can affect how much insulation you need and the amount of money you spend. It’s common for some homes to raise the level of the floor in their loft so they can fit more insulation beneath the new floor level.
- Insulation material and type: Certain types of insulation material can more easily fit into tight spaces than others, so the type you choose will affect how much it costs – but more on that in the next section!
- Ventilation: Insufficient ventilation can cause condensation to build up in your loft and damage the insulation. If you don’t leave a ventilated air gap between the insulation and the boards to prevent condensation, otherwise, mould could form and you may end up having to replace it sooner than expected.
- Loft size and access: How much access you have to your loft will affect how easy or difficult it is to install the insulation. Those with hard-to-access lofts could hire a professional to use specialist equipment to blow appropriate insulation material into awkward places.
- Height of loft: How tall your loft is will also affect how much insulation you need and how much money it costs. Properties with flat roofs will need additional insulation to keep the property at an optimum temperature and reduce energy loss.
- Warm lofts: The temperature of your loft will also affect how long it takes for the insulation to degrade. Warmer lofts are more likely to suffer from condensation and mould, so you may end up replacing your insulation sooner than expected.
- Room in the roof: If you want to transform your loft into a living space, or if it’s already being used as a living space, you need to make sure the room is properly insulated. This could mean you need to install insulation in between the joists, which can be more labour and time intensive.
- ECO4/Great British Insulation Scheme: The Energy Companies Obligation (ECO) is an energy efficiency scheme that helps lower-income households reduce their energy bills by installing energy-efficient measures, such as new insulation. The recently announced Great British Insulation Scheme (formally ECO+) is aimed at homeowners or private tenants living in a property with an EPC rating of D or lower, while the ECO4 Scheme targets those on government benefits.
Which loft insulation is best?
When installing loft insulation, it’s important to use the right product for your property. Make sure you choose one that is of a higher quality and has a longer lifespan, as this will save you money in the long run.
The most common type of loft insulation is mineral wool, which is made from recycled glass or rock and comes in a variety of forms. This is the best option for insulating your loft against cold air and heat loss as it offers good thermal protection.
On the other hand, if you want an eco-friendly option then sheep’s wool insulation is a great choice. This natural insulation material is breathable, water-repellent and fire-resistant. It also has antibacterial properties which can help to reduce the risk of mould in your loft.
Generally speaking, good quality mineral wool insulation can last up to 50 years if it’s properly maintained. However, more fragile materials, such as sheep’s wool insulation, may need to be replaced every 15-20 years.
For those looking for more effective soundproofing, then rigid foam insulation is the best option as it can easily fit into tight spaces and provide effective soundproofing. It’s also fire retardant, so you won’t have to worry about it catching fire if there are any electric components in your loft.
Slab insulation is a great choice for properties with a damp roof because it’s easy to fit, mould-resistant and can be used to insulate walls and ceilings as well as loft floors.
Could You Get Free Loft Insulation With So Eco?
Thank you for reading our post on how long loft insulation lasts.
To find out whether you could benefit from free loft insulation through the ECO4 or Great British Insulation Scheme, complete our free online eligibility checker.
So Eco is a registered provider of ECO so they can help you access the funding available to get your loft insulated and start saving money on energy bills today.