Underfloor insulation can provide many benefits to your home and is a compulsory requirement in newly built homes, as per the revisions made to the Building Code of Australia. It’s not, however, compulsory to have underfloor insulation in older homes. But if you’re looking at retrofitting an older home with underfloor insulation, it can be a tricky job. That’s why in today’s blog, we’ll be going through the ins and outs of underfloor insulation, including where to buy underfloor insulation in Melbourne, and how to install it.
What are its benefits?
Just like with wall and ceiling insulation, underfloor insulation has great thermal properties and will help keep your home cool during warmer weather, and warm during the cooler weather. In fact, you can save up to 45% on heating and cooling costs if you have underfloor insulation installed. This is due to the fact that even if your floor is completely sealed, air can still escape. This will become particularly noticeable in winter if you walk around barefoot. Sealing cracks in the floor will be an improvement but not a complete fix.
The reason insulation is so efficient is because it’s actually a poor conductor of heat. Without insulation, if it’s cold outside, the chilly air will rise through the floor and offset the heat stored in the floor. But if you have underfloor insulation, it acts as a barrier between the air outside and the floor – allowing your floor to retain its heat and leaving it at a more comfortable temperature for you to walk on. Up to 20% of heat can be lost in winter if you do not have underfloor insulation installed – so it’s worth having it retrofitted if your home doesn’t have it already.
Selecting right R-Value
When it comes to underfloor insulation in Melbourne, selecting the correct R-value is key. Remember, the higher the R-value, the better the product is at insulating – but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll need to fork out for the highest rated insulation product. Each house is different and having an energy assessment performed on your home is a good idea so you can get an idea on how best to insulate it.
Installing underfloor insulation
Installing underfloor insulation when you’re building a house can be a relatively easy task. First off, lay down strapping underneath the joists. Three straps should be sufficient – 10cm from each end of the batt and a strap down the middle. Staple them to the wood so the batts can sit on them. Take the batts you’ve ordered and fit them into the joists before you install the floor.
Cut the batts to size if need be so they can fit between the joists correctly and ensure that it’s a snug fit. The tighter the fit, the better the chance that the insulation works effectively. If there are any gaps, try filling them with any offcuts you may have. Be sure to wear protective gear such as long pants, a long-sleeved top, a face mask, safety goggles and gloves when installing insulation as sometimes irritation can be caused by the fibres.
Retrofitting underfloor insulation
Installing underfloor insulation into a new home can be fairly easy, but what about retrofitting it into older homes? This is where the process can become a little more difficult. The installation process is actually the same as it is when installing during the building stage. However, the main obstacle with retrofitting is how much room is left underneath the house – the difficulty will vary from house to house. Some houses may have a generous amount – leaving you to operate with relative ease – and others will be quite restrictive with their headroom.
This is the aspect that makes retrofitting underfloor insulation a tricky and frustrating process to undertake. The other thing to consider is that houses that have been around for a while will most likely have collected various bits of rubbish and debris underneath them. Anything from planks, bricks and nails to old garden appliances could be found underneath a home. This can make navigating the underneath of the home and retrofitting insulation under there even more difficult.
Do you need insulation in Melbourne?
Insulation Essentials is your one-stop-shop for insulation products in Melbourne. We offer a variety of different floor, wall and ceiling batts at varying R-values – as well as other insulation-related products. Our knowledgeable and friendly staff will also be able to find exactly what you need for your home and help you with any queries you may have.
So, if you’re looking at investing in some Melbourne insulation, then give us a call on 03 8339 7111 or fill out the enquiry form on our website to get in touch with us.