The decision to convert your loft into a living space doesn’t happen overnight. Like all investments it is one that is carefully considered.
But whilst you are considering it there are a few simple steps you can make to ensure your loft remains in the best possible condition for that dream room of the future.
If you’re looking to fully convert your loft, see options here.
1. Insulate Your Loft
Heat rises and, if your home’s loft is not insulated, up to a quarter of the heat that you put into your house during those long British winters will be lost through the roof.
Let’s put that another way: how would you like to cut your heating bills by a quarter?
Insulating your loft is a simple and effective way to keep in heat and reduce your heating bills
- Loft insulation will keep the heat in the places you need it in your home, making it feel warmer, more comfortable and saving you as much as £150 per year.
- Maintaining your home at a healthy temperature of between 18 – 21 degrees has many health, as well as wealth, benefits: it reduces the risk of respiratory problems, strokes and heart attacks.
- Of course, insulating your loft also cuts your carbon footprint by reducing the amount of energy you use to heat your home.
2. Check For Pests
The first place you are likely to find pests in your house is in an unused loft. They can cause short circuits or leaks (by chewing through cables and pipes) and can pollute your water tank.
Tell-tale signs are smells, droppings or small wasps’ nests.
- Block up easy-access routes like gaps at the eaves, broken slates and open vents.
- Fit wire mesh over larger holes so that your loft ventilation is maintained.
- If necessary, hire a pest control contractor.
3. Fix Damp and Condensation
Dampness isn’t always caused by roof leaks, although this is usually the thing to check for first. It can be caused by condensation. In fact, if you discover wet patches in your loft these are much more likely to be caused by condensation than by rising or penetrating damp.
Condensation is very common in lofts as warm, moist air rises through the house until it reaches a cold spot, where it condenses back into water. If your home is well insulated, but your loft is poorly sealed, this cold spot is likely to be found in your loft space.
In addition driving rain can penetrate your thin gable end walls, evaporation can occur from your water tank, poorly fitted extractor ducting serving your bathrooms can pump huge amounts of water vapour into your loft and there may be undetected leaks from pipes as well.
Things to look out for as symptoms of this are:
- Damp loft insulation.
- Damp roof timbers.
- Damp patches on ceilings below.
To deal with condensation, you need to:
- Limit the amount of moisture getting into the loft.
- And then provide sufficient ventilation so that any humid can get out of the loft.
Here are some things that will help:
- Check how well sealed and insulated your loft hatch is.
- Check that the insulation on the loft floor does not need replacing and, most importantly, leaves ventilation spaces by the eaves.
- Check all pipework and insulate it.
- Check that vents are in your eaves and install them if they are not.
- If ventilation is a real problem you should also consider fitting high-level tile vents in a few places on each side of the roof.