Everybody deserves to live in a warm, dry home all year round, but the issue of proper insulation becomes even more important during the colder winter months. Single glazing, gaps in doors and window frames and lack of loft insulation can all cause the temperature inside your house to drop, but luckily there’s plenty you can do to retain heat in your home and reduce the likelihood of damp problems.
Insulate Your Home For Winter: From Damp Proofing to Double Glazing
In some ways, it’s better to tackle any insulation problems in the warmer summer months, so that by the time winter comes around you can relax and enjoy a cosy, warm home. With this in mind, read on for our handy guide to insulating your home for the winter.
Why is insulation important?
Insulation helps to keep your home at a stable and comfortable temperature all year round, reducing excess heat in the summer and protecting it from extremes of cold in the winter. Insulation also has other useful benefits, such as reducing noise pollution and improving a building’s energy efficiency, so you may even save money on your energy bills in the long run.
Insulation also helps to protect your home from excess condensation and the problems associated with damp. Too much moisture in your home can lead to structural damage and health issues, including things like weak foundations, mould, respiratory problems and increased allergies or asthma symptoms.
How to insulate your home
Luckily, there’s plenty of steps you can take to insulate your home and enjoy its many benefits. If you live in an older property then the insulation may not be up to the same standards that you’d find in modern buildings, but there are still solutions to be found that don’t have to cost a fortune. From large longer term methods like damp proofing or installing double glazing, to quick fixes like thick curtains or draught excluders, see below for some varied and effective ways to insulate your home.
Double glazing is made from two panes of glass separated by a thin layer of argon gas. The gas is a poor conductor of heat so it prevents warm air from escaping, and the second pane of glass also helps to reduce noise pollution.
Many new builds come with double glazing as standard, but if you live in an older property you may be living with original, single-paned windows. Making the upgrade to double glazing might feel like a daunting expense, but there are many benefits to be gained and it can increase the value of your property in the future. For better insulation, reduced noise, added security and lower heating bills, consider making the switch.
As mentioned above, a buildup of moisture in your home can cause a range of problems, from health issues to structural damage. It’s important to resolve any damp issues as soon as possible, but you can drastically reduce the chances of them occurring (or returning) by investing in damp proofing
for your home.
Damp proofing is a highly effective insulation method; particularly if you live in a home with a basement or poorly sealed windows and doors. Professional damp proofing solutions include methods like basement tanking, chemical treatments or cavity wall insulation. These methods help to insulate your walls and floors, reducing the chances of excess moisture condensing by keeping the temperature stable. They also provide a watertight seal so that moisture cannot penetrate walls or floors (e.g rising damp in a basement or penetrating damp).
Be aware that damp treatments are an efficient solution to prevent damp from returning, but if you have existing damp problems these will need to be solved before the insulation can go ahead. For example, a method such as external wall insulation can prevent future damp on walls from occurring but it won’t mask existing problems of water penetration.
If you don’t have the time or money available for a more drastic insulation method like the ones above, then adding simple draught excluders can still make a significant difference. Lay these tubular strips at the bottom of doors or along windowsills to help seal gaps and stop warm air from escaping (and cold air from getting in).
Close doors to any rooms you’re currently using and use draught excluders to plug gaps under doors – this keeps the heat in the room and prevents you wasting money by having the heating on full blast. Draught excluders can be easily purchased from many popular chain stores, or you can even make your own out of leftover fabric and stuffing or foam.
A quarter of the total heat in your home is lost through the roof in un-insulated buildings, but insulating your roof, attic or loft is an effective way to reduce heat loss and bring down the cost of energy bills too. Loft insulation lasts around 40 years and it’s a highly worthwhile investment in the long run.
The type of insulation you need will depend on the condition of your loft/roof and whether there are any existing damp or condensation problems. If there are not, then the insulation process should be fairly straightforward and you may even be able to do it yourself. DIY loft insulation can be done using a material such as mineral wool, but if you’re looking at spray foam insulation, roof insulation or insulation board, then you’ll need a professional to do this for you.
Proper loft or roof insulation will help to insulate your entire home by reducing the amount of heat loss, and it can also transform your loft area into a warm, dry and liveable space that can be used for an extra bedroom or study.
Thick curtains and rugs
Your home also loses heat through the floors (especially in rooms with wooden floorboards), so minimise this heat loss by adding plenty of rugs to any floors without carpet. Rugs come in many different fabrics and designs and they add some style and personality to your home, while ensuring it stays cosy and warm.
Thick curtains in heavier fabrics such as brocade, velvet or cotton also add extra insulation to your home by blocking draughts from gaps in windows. Draw curtains during the day to let natural sunlight in (this can help to warm your home, even in the winter), but make sure to always close them at night to seal in heat. You can also purchase specially designed thermal curtains which contain a high density foam core to trap heat and also reduce noise pollution.
Upgrade your thermostat
Installing a programmable or smart thermostat can reduce your energy bills by distributing heat more efficiently. Programming your thermostat just one degree lower can save around £60 a year, but you could save much more than this by scheduling for the heating to only come on at certain times. Thermostats can be programmed to increase the temperature for just a few core hours each day, which can be extremely efficient for maintaining heat when combined with other insulation methods such as double glazing or thick curtains.
London Property Preservation – Professional, long lasting solutions for damp and rot
There’s no use insulating your home if it’s suffering from damp issues, so if you’re in need of professional damp treatment services, get in touch with the experts at London Property Preservation. Our reliable damp proofing treatments can help with a range of issues, from woodworm to rising damp, condensation or dry rot. We also offer basement waterproofing, damp proof courses and replastering services, so you can be sure that your home will remain insulated and damp-free for years to come.
For more information about any of our services or to discuss damp proofing costs, don’t hesitate to give us a call today or visit our website.