A rather common misconception about loft boarding is that normal loft boarding doesn't damage your home in any way. This isn't true at all. Having normal loft boarding installed in your home can have several adverse impacts on your property. Wood acting as a thermal barrier can cause dampness. Wood also acts as a natural thermal bridge and natural thermal bridging is probably one of the main reasons why basement walls tend to get water logged.
The reason for this is quite simple. Wet air rises, dry air descends. The loft board helps prevent dampness by providing a temperature-controlled space above the attic floor, learn more on this site. Damp air cannot rise beyond the attic floor and as it climbs up the ladder it also creates humidity which is trapped in the wood. As long as the weather is dry the inside of the wooden framing won't absorb moisture, drip or seep through to the exterior of your building. However, if the roof over your heads collects moist and humid air then all that growth along the attic floor is going to be transferred upwards into the structure of your house.
If you take into account the fact that the actual construction of your house is what holds the moisture and humidity in your attic then you can see how important it is to understand how to properly install and use loft boarding insulation. Proper installation of insulation is critical for two main reasons. Firstly, if you don't seal the opening correctly then moisture will escape into the rest of your house through the opening and then potentially through the ventilation system. Secondly, if you don't insulate the area properly then you will notice that there is insufficient warmth in the winter and warmer in the summer. By using the right type of insulation you can avoid both of these problems completely and your heating and cooling bills will be much lower as a result.
There are two main types of loft boarding insulation available on the market today. Firstly there is what we call the BOP (built-up board) which is the simplest, cheapest and easiest to install. This insulation is made up of a membrane held together by a plastic adhesive and then by either polyester or mineral wool. The disadvantage of BOP is that it is the least energy efficient of the two.
Then there is the FIP (fibre reinforced plastic) which is a little more expensive and more effective but the best if you want to keep the warmth in your loft. FIP is made from an extruded polystyrene fibre and is very rigid. This means that when it has been hot and dry the membrane will expand back to its original size and this should stop any moisture penetrating the interior of your storage space. It also works well on loose joists as it is quite strong and flexible. One of the main disadvantages of FIP is that you have to remove the insulation at regular intervals as it expands.
Another method of loft boarding insulation is what is known as a cavity wall. It consists of a row of cavity walls which run the full length of one wall. The boards that make up the wall are cut to fit together and have a cavity insulating between them as they are all connected. The board that forms the ridge of this cavity wall is then sloped towards the main access hatch. It is the ridge and width of the cavity wall that determines the amount of heat can be retained in the loft boards and therefore has a direct bearing on the comfort of your storage space, click here for more info.