Ceiling Insulation: Weekend Project (How To Install It Yourself)

If uninsulated, your ceiling could lose up to 35% of heat during the winter and gain the same amount during the summer. So, it’s crucial to ensure that your ceiling is insulated. The good news is, you can do it yourself without much hassle if you have the right insulation batts. Our blog today will be concentrating on steps you should take to install insulation in your home’s ceiling.

Gather your equipment

The first thing you should do is ensure that you make a list of all the equipment that you’ll need when tackling such a task. The following equipment is essential and a good place to start:

  • Appropriate PPE (personal protective equipment) such as gloves, long sleeve tops, pants and face mask. This is to mitigate any skin irritation and injuries;
  • Utility knife for cutting batts when necessary;
  • Ladder for ceiling access;
  • Measuring tape;
  • Powerful torch;
  • A long, non-conductive object such as a broomstick handle, for prodding the hard-to-reach batts into place; and
  • A kneeling board that can be laid over joists for easy and safe navigation.

Once you’ve gathered your essential equipment you can start to look at the type of ceiling insulation that would best suit your home.

Choosing the right insulation

There are several different types of insulation that you can get for your ceiling and in varying R-Values. Each type of insulation brings with it its own set of pros and cons and you should assess each one and choose accordingly. Glasswool, for example, is a non-combustible environmentally friendly option that is highly effective at trapping heat.

Next, you should determine what the minimum R-Value you’re required to have in your region is and look to purchase the appropriate batts from there. For example, Melbourne is zone 6, so you’ll need a minimum of R4.1. We stock ceiling insulation batts available from R2.5 all the way to R7.0 so you can find the perfect fit for your home.

Measure the area that needs to be insulated (or look at the plans of the house if you have them handy) and then figure out how many insulation packets you’ll need. Make sure to look at how much area each pack covers so you can roughly get the right amount. 

It’s definitely better to overbuy than it is to underbuy and you should strive to get an extra packet on top of what you think you’ll need just in case you need to cut some extras up for those oddly shaped parts.

The installation process

The process itself is fairly simple and can be broken up into six steps:

  1. Ensure all electricals are turned off from the fuse box to avoid any unnecessary accidents from occurring. You’ll want to aim for a cooler day to install insulation as ceilings can get very hot – especially if you’re covered in protective clothing head to toe.
  2. Open the insulation in the ceiling as opposed to down below. This is because they expand quite a lot and it’s much easier to manage them up in the ceiling than it is to pull them up the ladder after they’ve expanded.
  3. Start on the outskirts of your ceiling and roof first – pushing the insulation towards the eaves of your roof with your stick-like tool – and then work your way back inwards towards the ceiling’s access point. Be sure to only stand on the joists and not on the plasterboard (or lay your kneeling board across two joists).
  4. Fit the ceiling insulation batts snuggly between the joists and use offcuts if you must to fill in any smaller gaps as there mustn’t be any gaps left between the joists. Whilst the insulation should be installed right to the eaves so it’s around 50mm past the outside wall – keep in mind that there still needs to be at least a 20mm gap between your roof and the insulation. 
  5. Air conditioning ducts can be placed on top of the insulation and electrical wiring can be placed beneath it. Downlights can be a little trickier. There are many types on the market and depending on how old yours are you may have to leave as much as 200mm either side of the globe. It is worth taking a couple of photos to send to an electrician to confirm how much clearance you need to allow so you don’t allow too much.
  6. Have a thorough shower and enjoy your newly insulated ceiling. 

Looking to purchase insulation batts?

Insulation Essentials is a premium supplier of insulation batts and accessories and will undoubtedly have what you need to perform your own DIY installation project. From glasswool to polyester and all the R-Values that come with them, our insulation experts can offer invaluable advice on how to go about your project as well as what products will best suit your home.

If you’re looking to purchase some insulation batts for your ceiling, then please contact us through our website or give us a call on 03 8339 7111.