Instead of the more common fibreglass blanket loose fill vermiculite can be used to insulate your roof space.
This type of insulation is growing in popularity as it is not only very easy to use but, because vermiculite is a completely natural product, it is much more environmentally friendly then traditional insulating methods.
Whereas the usual blanket insulation is supplied and fitted in rolls vermiculite loft insulation comes in bags or sacks which are simply emptied and raked into the gaps between the joists and the ceiling / loft floor.
So What Is Vermiculite?
It is a natural material of thin flakes which are very light and which also contain traces of water. When exposed to heat, i.e., when heat rises into the loft, the flakes expand to provide very effective and high quality insulation.
And, best of all for those of us who are fed up with the irritating skin rashes when using fibreglass blankets, vermiculite does not irritate when touched and is fibre-free.
Vermiculite loft insulation is also odourless, clean and easy-to-handle. The material is very effective at stopping heat loss and, in warmer temperatures, is also a coolant.
If you type ‘vermiculite’ into an Internet search engine you will find enough horror stories to make your toes curl and have you vowing never to go into the loft ever again. Relax – its old news.
In the 1980s most vermiculite was mined in Montana. The mine was then found to be tainted with asbestos – obviously not healthy.
This material was marketed, up until the mine closed in 1990, mainly in Canada and obviously caused quite a stir when the asbestos connection was uncovered.
Later investigations found that although the material could pose a risk to health if it was disturbed during building works there was little or no risk if the insulation was sealed under floorboards.
It is highly unlikely that any of this material found its way to the UK and, of course, all modern production of vermiculite is extremely safe.
There are many advantages to using this kind of insulation and you may wish to discuss using it in your with your builder or buildings inspector.
For more info see the related pages below
Vermiculite Loft Insulation is an echo-friendly alternative to traditional insulation materials
The old loft water tank will need to be moved if the roof space is being converted into a habitable room
Structural calculations for loft conversions are of course hugely important to ensure safety and that the proposed plans meet building regulations