Materials, measuring and tools

Materials

You will probably need several rolls of insulation material, some expanded polystyrene, a tank jacket, pipe insulation and some draft excluder (for the hatch). By far the most important is the insulation material, and it is such messy stuff to work with that you will want to do the job in "one hit". Therefore, if in doubt, get a bit more material than you think you will need — you can always use it for other jobs or if the packages are unopened the shop will usually take them it back. Typically packs come in rolls that are 1.2 metre in height but these are split into three sections each measuring 400mm wide (about 16") so these can be tucked in between the joists.

You will want at least 4" material and some people recommend 8". If you are insulating this thick you should use 4" in the gaps between the joists and then use the material in the other direction to provide better insulation.

Measuring

The size of the loft can be measured from below, but the safest way is to go into the loft and measure the square metres that you are likely to need. You divide the number of square metres of each roll into this figure to work out how many rolls you will need. You may think that some will be saved because of the joists but this is not the case as you lose some material with "tucking it in".

Tools

You will need a Stanley knife (preferably two in order to save unnecessary crawling) and an inspection lamp on an extension lead. You will need to wear a mask to avoid breathing in too much dust and fibres. There are two sorts: the "pig's snout" type and the small flat gauze pads with a flexible metal plate to hold them. Both work quite well but definitely don't try to do the job without.

Additional useful items include string for holding insulation around tanks, and some spare "crawl boards" for crossing joists and avoiding damaging the ceiling.

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