7 Things To Know Before Insulating Your Attic

June 17, 2022

Home insulation should protect a house’s inhabitants from frosty weather, typically from June to August in Australia. But if you feel a spine-tingling chill in some parts of your home, even if the thermostat was on, it may be a sign that your attic is bringing that cold temperature downstairs.

Many homeowners forget to give their attics proper attention since they’re mainly used for storage. But if there’s one room that could help control the overall temperature inside your home, it’s your attic. 

Before insulating your attic, here are some things you need to know:

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You must inspect your attic thoroughly before installing roof insulation. The first thing you should search for is any water damage. It indicates that rainwater and frost may have seeped through your roof and walls, causing further damage to the rest of your attic.

Where there’s water damage, there’s bound to be moisture, which promotes mould growth and weakens your attic’s structure.

If you lack the expertise to give your roof and attic a proper assessment, you may seek the professional services of an insulation contractor. Aside from water damage, they’ll also check for rodent infestation, any damage to the insulation material, and signs of poor ventilation.


You need to know R-Value, which is the effectiveness of an insulation’s ability to prevent heat loss. Insulation materials with a higher R-Value tend to be more expensive. The size of your attic and the brand of ceiling batts you’ll use will also affect the cost of the materials.

And don’t forget about the installation fee. To give you an idea, the cost of insulating an attic with an area of 100 square metres ranges from AUD$650 to AUD$1,600. 

Insulating an attic isn’t the cheapest thing in the world. So, some homeowners take the do-it-yourself (DIY) route to save money. Doing this is possible if you can safely reach your roof and install the insulation correctly. You can watch DIY attic insulation videos to ensure you’re doing the right thing and not missing any steps.   

Types Of Insulation

Roof and attic installation comes in two types: loose-fill and batts. Loose-fill insulation is excellent for attics with many obstructions and limited headroom and for DIY enthusiasts who want to finish the job quickly. Meanwhile, batts are perfect for those who like to take their time cutting the material themselves and for high-clearance attics with standard joist spacing.

Insulation Materials

Each type is made from different materials and has an R-Value. Here is a list of the materials commonly used for roof insulation:

  • Polyester: If you or the members of your home suffer from dust allergies, this material should be your top choice. Polyester has no breathable fibres and is considered a premium type compared to others. R4.0 polyester batts may cost around AUD$15 to AUD$20 per square metre.
  • Glasswool: This insulation material is popular among homeowners due to its affordability and effective prevention of heat transfer. So, if you’re on a tight budget but still want high-quality insulation, glasswool is perfect for you. R4.0 glasswool batts may cost around AUD$8 to AUD$10 per square metre.
  • Blanket: Unlike other pre-cut materials, blanket batts come in single rolls. Some brands might even have reflective foil layers to reflect as much radiant heat as possible. An R3.0 blanket batt may cost around AUD$11 to AUD$15 per square metre.

Apart from these three, there are other insulation materials, such as mineral wool, cotton, cellulose and fibreglass. You may consult an insulation company to determine the appropriate material for your attic.

With professional advice, you may eventually turn your cold, decrepit attic into a warm and cozy entertainment centre.

Seal Up Gaps And Air Leaks

You must cover all visible air leaks before beginning an attic insulation project. This ensures that cool or warm air doesn’t escape outside.

No matter how little, air transfer can spell the difference between a warm home and a freezing one during winter.

Check for leaks and gaps around these parts of your attic:

  • Chimneys
  • Vent pipes
  • Electrical cable penetrations
  • Exhaust fans
  • Electrical boxes
  • Windows
  • Flues

You may use caulk, spray foam, or cement, depending on the area with the air leak. Don’t forget to seal gaps between the partition top plates and partition drywall. If you need extra help, call a professional to inspect those hard-to-spot gaps in your attic.

Insulate The Floor First

This might sound odd, but it’s recommended that you start with the floors when you insulate your attic. You can’t skip this step if you plan to use your attic for more than just storage. Even if you don’t intend to convert it yet, insulating your floors is the best way to warm up your attic.

Insulating your attic floor and the roof ensures that the heat from downstairs doesn’t rise. With the floor and the ceiling adequately insulated, you may notice a good change in your home’s temperature when winter rolls in.

You’ll need to pull up the flooring to place all the insulation material. The plywood may get in the way, so you must remove this to stuff the batts properly. Cellulose, fibreglass, or mineral wool works best for insulating attic floors.

Stay Protected

This tip may be a given, but it never hurts to remind home DIY enthusiasts. As with any home project, remember to use proper gear and equipment to protect you from injury and health hazards. Installing insulation in an attic is a dusty affair, so you need a few things aside from your toolkit.

For DIY home repairs and renovations, you’ll need the following:

  • Dust mask
  • Work gloves
  • Goggles
  • Long-sleeved shirt and trousers
  • Knee pads and portable mats

Also, remember to keep the lights on while you work. Doing home projects with little lighting is dangerous since you risk hurting yourself and making mistakes.

Make sure you have a stepladder or a sturdy wide beam. Avoid standing on the joists as they might not be sturdy enough or you might lose your balance. 

Keep these tips in mind, so you can safely insulate your attic for warmth or if you plan to convert it to create an additional living space.


Insulating your attic is one of the first steps to warming your home in time for colder months. With an insulated attic, you’ll likely save on your electric bill when winter comes.

It’s a taxing project, but once you’re done, you’ll have a more comfortable residence no matter how cold it gets outside.

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