In­su­lat­ing your home? Ask the ex­perts

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In­stalling in­su­la­tion

In­stalling in­su­la­tion is sim­ple. You can ei­ther use a Pink ® Batts ® Ap­proved In­staller or do it your­self. Here are some point­ers on in­stalling in­su­la­tion into your roof cav­ity your­self:

The ba­sics

1. Light up the area in which you will be work­ing. Take a good look around for po­ten­tial haz­ards, in­clud­ing pro­trud­ing nails, splin­ters, bees, wasps, loose boards, wiring and pipe work. 2. To avoid break­ing through the ceil­ing, lay wooden planks be­tween the joists to cre­ate a sturdy plat­form to work from. 3. En­sure any ex­ist­ing in­su­la­tion is level: you can lay the new stuff on top. 4. Start­ing fur­thest away from the roof ac­cess hole, take the packed in­su­la­tion up into the ceil­ing. Cut along the length of the pack to open. If the packs won’t fit, open them be­low and have some­one hand up each piece. Leave plenty of room for the in­su­la­tion to ex­pand out. 5. Fit each piece be­tween the joists, the pieces will be slightly over size to en­sure a snug fric­tion fit. In most homes this will re­quire two pieces fit­ted snugly side by side. Make sure the in­su­la­tion is not squashed or flat­tened and it has no gaps or folds. 6. If cut­ting pieces to fit, use the straight edge, knife and cut­ting board. Cut the piece about 10-20mm over size to en­sure a good fric­tion fit. Never cut on the joist. 7. In­stall the in­su­la­tion com­pletely over the top plate (this is the piece of tim­ber that makes up the top of your ex­te­rior wall), use the rod to push the in­su­la­tion into the tight spots you can’t get to.

In­stalling around wiring, plumb­ing and lights

You may need to cut a hole in your in­su­la­tion to get a good fit around re­cessed down­lights. Older lights will need a clear­ance, so it may be worth re­plac­ing them if you want the snuggest fit. Slit the in­su­la­tion along the face to fit snugly around pipes and plumb­ing. It is best to sit wiring over the top of in­su­la­tion. In homes with old wiring (pre 1989) the wiring shouldn’t be cov­ered at all, as it can over­heat and fail.

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