Timber ceiling beams

Can Loft Insulation Cause Damp?

22 September 2021

Loft insulation is a great way to help you save on your energy bills, whilst keeping your property at the temperature you want it all year round. Sadly though, many report that after the installation of loft insulation, they have experienced an uptick in the amount of damp present in their home.

Here you will be able to find out whether loft insulation does indeed cause damp to appear in your home, how loft insulation might contribute to the onset of damp and what steps you might need to take if damp is appearing in your home once the insulation has been installed.

Does Loft Insulation Directly Cause Damp?

The simple answer to this is no. Loft insulation in itself is not responsible for damp appearing in your property – however, it can be a contributing factor when it comes to the spread of damp via condensation.

The primary purpose of insulation is to keep warm air within your property – and in the case of loft insulation, to stop warm air from rising up and out of your property via the roof.

Of course, you should always keep an eye out for the likes of interstitial condensation. This isn’t damp caused by insulation, but rather a form of specific damp that takes root within insulation, where warm damp air settles on cooler insulation, and can build up into a larger problem over time. You can read more about interstitial condensation and how to avoid it here.

How Can Loft Insulation Lead to Damp?

The primary reason that damp might appear after the installation of loft insulation is because of condensation in the loft.

What could happen is thanks to your new loft insulation, your loft space is now cooler than it has been previously, with warm air generally staying lower in the home itself.

That means though that any hot, humid air that makes its way into the loft is going to come into contact with cooler air in the loft itself, which means the moisture which would be in a gaseous form in the rising warm air reverts back to a liquid.

This liquid can easily bead on loft slats, lintels, the underside of your roof, or on any other surface in the loft. Condensation behaving in this manner more often than not leads to the development of damp, and potentially rot.

The reason this occurs more often in newly insulated loft spaces is that previously there was a less drastic heat transfer between the loft and the home itself. The humid air would have been in more regular contact with the cool air, and whilst condensation would have been present it might not have been as concentrated as it can be following the installation of loft insulation.

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How Can I Remedy Damp and Condensation Due to Loft Insulation?

Condensation building up anywhere in a home is a cause for alarm, and should be addressed as soon as possible to avoid future issues. As with many condensation based issues, the answer here lies in the installation of additional ventilation measures within the loft itself to help remove that warm air before it comes into contact with the cool loft air.

Firstly, examine what ventilation measures you have in place before looking into other options. Could it be that whatever ventilation you are relying on is being blocked? With lofts being an incredibly handy space to store items that you don’t use everyday, it might be that packed up boxes and other bits and pieces are clogging ventilation solutions you already have installed.

If all of your current ventilation measures are clear, then it could be time to look into additional solutions. First off, you have the option of roof vents.

Roof vents are exactly what they sound like: a vent that sits within the tiles on your roof designed to allow that humid, warm air to escape upwards and out of your property, instead of coming to rest within the loft itself.

You should also make sure that any activities that produce steam or humid air that happen beneath your loft aren’t venting directly into the loft itself. Make sure that steam from the shower, your cooker or even your tumble dryer are all being ventilated correctly rather than being allowed to rise into the loft space itself.

Also, it is worth checking to see if any boiler you keep within your loft is working correctly, and not allowing steam to escape directly into your loft.

Check with a qualified engineer if necessary, as a poorly maintained boiler that is allowing humid air into your loft whenever the heating is used is going to be a huge contributing factor to the build up of condensation based damp.

Fixing Condensation Based Damage in Your Loft

Condensation in the loft is a problem that’s best prevented rather than solved, but sadly sometimes the fact of the matter is that you may need some help in dealing with the effects.

One of these side effects is damp. Damp from condensation can be just as serious as other forms of damp like rising damp, or penetrating damp, and as such you should have a condensation survey carried out to understand the breadth and extent of the damp itself.

At Timberwise for example, our experts won’t only complete a survey outlining the potential damage and dangers the damp has wrought, but also present you with a list of actions to follow up with in order to help put a stop to the damp, and reduce the risk of it reoccurring in the future.

These actions are usually capable of being undertaken by our own team of damp proofing experts, who can help restore your property to a pristine condition just as it was before damp set in.

As for the likes of dry and wet rot affecting your timber, again our experts are ready to lend a hand. Not only are Timberwise experienced in the removal and replacement of affected wood, but also in stopping the spread of dry and wet rot through your home, ensuring that your property is as protected as it can be when it comes to its timbers.

Finally, when it comes to alleviating the condensation itself, you can rely on Timberwise and our range of condensation based surveys and remedial methods to help you understand how your property is producing the volumes of moisture that allow the condensation issues you have to occur, as well as understand how you can control the condensation levels.

All of these services can be discussed and arranged with our team by either calling us on 0800 288 8660 or by getting in touch with us online here.

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