03:07AM | 12/19/04
Member Since: 12/18/04
2 lifetime posts

I use our loft as an office. I spent some time putting down flooring, installing electricity and currently use it for several hours every day.

Our house is in the UK, it was built around the 1930's/1940's. The roof is in excellent condition, no leaks, no damp.

Our house is semi-detached, so I have one wall in the loft where the houses meet, if you are looking at that wall directly, to your left and right the roof comes down on angles, and like wise behind you.

Where the roof meets the floor of the loft on every edge there is one hell of a draft. The outside of the house has some kind of plastic coving around it, underneath/behind the gutter, this has lots of small air ventilation slits in it.

I purchased some plastic sheeting and stappled it to 2 sides of the loft, leaving one side open - but even now a draft blows through - its currently snowing outside and is about 1 or 2 degree's C up here....

In the summer the loft is exceptionally hot, I usually have to have 2 fans on but these only cirulate warm air. In the winter the opposite is true, its so cold that my oil heater just cant cope, and I suspect the cold air blowing in from outside is the main cause.

What I would like to know is what I can do to prevent this draft. I am aware that some air ventilation is necessary to prevent damp forming in the loft. However, do I need to have as much as I have got?

How can I prevent it from being so hot in the summer? Some one I spoke to recently suggested putting the fibre-glass rolls actually on the inside of the roof (then boarding over) to help with this, but that occured to me that it would then keep more heat in (handy in the cold I guess)...

I'm sure my polythene sheeting isn't a good idea around the edges of the loft, but it does help a little in keeping some of the breeze out - but not enough...

Any advice would be really appreciated.




04:15AM | 12/20/04
I think the vents in the eaves are to allow are into the attic to dry and cool the underside of the roofing. This is to prevent excess humidity and heat from damaging the roof sheathing. There should be some sort of venting near the peak of the roof.

I can think of two ways of finishing the inside of the roof. One is to use fiberglass batts on the underside of the roof, between the joists. To keep the air circulating against the sheathing, you'll need to install styrofoam troughs to keep a space between the sheathing and the insulation. In the US, the big building supply stores sell the troughs in the same aisle as the fiberglass batts and other bulk insulation. If the roof joists are small you may get little to no insulation since the troughs take up space.

The other option is to get rigid foam board and mount it to the underside of the joists. You should be able to find an adhesive for this or use long wood screws with washers. This would leave the space along the sheathing for air flow. The boards are big sheets that are about 5 cm thick for R-15. The stuff is pricey compared to the fiberglass but may be more what you want. You will probably want to caulk between the panels to prevent drafts.

You will need to drywall or otherwise cover the insulation. Fiberglass fibers are hazardous for your lungs and the rigid foam is easily gouged and broken. Also the squeaking of the foam board is as annoying as fingernails on a chalkboard.

Insulating the loft will definitely help in summer. Insulation works by slowing the movement of heat from hot to cold. In summer, the roof is hot from the sun and the outside temperature. Adding insulation would slow down the flow of heat into the loft.


08:54AM | 12/20/04
Member Since: 11/27/04
172 lifetime posts
sounds like your attic is still an attic space and not a living space.if you have a rafter constuction then you need to put in roof vents(if your counsel allows) and put insulation inbetween the rafters leaving a small 1 inch air space running up the bottom of the roof deck from those slits going up to the roof vent. then you put plastic up against the insulation and drywall/plaster on that. another method is to strap the rafters with 2 by 2's and put styrofoam inbetween and drywall. (r 20 insulation minimum, r 28 better to resist the heat coming in)

the damp in the loft should not be an issue if it is a living space, but you will still need to control humidity/damp and the extra summertime heat with some type of ventilation. can you put a small opening window in the end wall,unless you have no outside wall space due to the roof angles. or then some time of attic venting fan to a roof vent.


08:43AM | 12/30/04
Member Since: 12/18/04
2 lifetime posts
Hi there,

Thanks for the reply.

You are correct in that the loft is still a loft and not a living space, you have lost me a bit with some of your technical talk though...

Rafter Construction?

Insulation between the rafters?

To describe my loft a little more...

If you look at the front of our house, at the roof, the roof goes up, slightly less than 45 degrees, as you look at the left of the roof, that part is kinda cut of, again, similar angle, it moves up towards the chimney...

I'll attempt an image with characters on the keyboard!

__ __

/ | \

That would be the 2 houses joined together, ours on the left...

Inside the roof the wooden beams on the floor from from left to right (as you look at the front of the house)

They are approximately 12"'s appart, this is also true of the beams that support the tiles.

I have placed wooden boarding over the majority of the floor beams, these were insulated (a long time ago by the council) with some kind of mashed up paper by the looks of things, its very dusty, and very message, I would like to get rid of all of that and replace it with the rolls of yellow fibre glass insulation I've seen.

Were you talking about doing the safe with the beams above me, ie the ones holding the tiles up etc? And then placing plasterboard of those to make more of a ceiling?

Where the beams that support the tiles comes down and meet those of the floor in the loft, thats where the draft comes through, although there is the plastic stuff on the outside, there's just so many little slits in that (by design), and nothing inside the loft to prevent the breeze its really cold - how much of this could I board over?

Any further info appreciated, sorry if my text is vague, is hard to explain what I mean in this message...
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