Vermiculite is easy to install, has fantastic insulation properties, reduces noise and is also lightweight and fire resistant. It’s a loose material which can be poured into any cavity and easily spread to cover the floor of the loft.
Instead of the more common fibreglass blanket loose fill vermiculite can be used to insulate your roof space.
This type of insulation is growing in popularity as it is not only very easy to use but, because vermiculite is a completely natural product, it is much more environmentally friendly then traditional insulating methods.
Whereas the usual blanket insulation is supplied and fitted in rolls vermiculite loft insulation comes in bags or sacks which are simply emptied and raked into the gaps between the joists and the ceiling / loft floor.
So what is Vermiculite loft insulation exactly?
It is a natural material of thin flakes which are very light and which also contain traces of water. When exposed to heat, i.e., when heat rises into the loft, the flakes expand to provide very effective and high quality insulation.
And, best of all for those of us who are fed up with the irritating skin rashes when using fibreglass blankets, vermiculite does not irritate when touched and is fibre-free.
Vermiculite loft insulation is also odourless, clean and easy-to-handle. The material is very effective at stopping heat loss and, in warmer temperatures, is also a coolant.
If you type ‘vermiculite’ into an Internet search engine you will find enough horror stories to make your toes curl and have you vowing never to go into the loft ever again. Relax – its old news.
In the 1980s most vermiculite was mined in Montana. The mine was then found to be tainted with asbestos – obviously not healthy.
This material was marketed, up until the mine closed in 1990, mainly in Canada and Montana and obviously caused quite a stir when the asbestos connection was uncovered.
Later investigations found that although the material could pose a risk to health if it was disturbed during building works there was little or no risk if the insulation was sealed under floorboards.
It is highly unlikely that any of this material found its way to the UK and, of course, all modern production of vermiculite is extremely safe.
There are many advantages to using this kind of insulation and you may wish to discuss using it in your with your builder or buildings inspector.
14 reasons to use vermiculite in your loft
1 – It’s a natural material (so great for those looking to be eco-friendly and energy efficient). But it is also lightweight, fire-resistant, and absorbent making it an ideal insulation material.
2 – It’s a popular choice as it helps reduce energy consumption. This of course lowers your heating costs.
3 – Vermiculite has exceptional thermal insulation properties. It will reduce heat loss in winter and minimise heat gain in summer.
4 – It is so easy to install and can be poured or blown into any cavities (such as between flooring joists), filling gaps to create a layer of insulation.
5 – It is non-toxic and poses no health risks when properly installed and maintained.
6 – Vermiculite is highly fire-resistant, so adds a little extra safety for homeowners. It can withstand high temperatures without releasing toxic gases.
7 – It is surprisingly resistant to pests, and is a durable and long-lasting option for homeowners.
8 – Vermiculite provides excellent sound insulation and can reduce noise transmission. This is so important when converting the loft.
9 – It can be used in both new constructions and retrofitting existing homes.
10 – It has really good moisture-absorbing properties. It will help prevent condensation and will reduce the risk of mould and damp in the loft space.
11 – It is an environmentally friendly insulation option as it is a natural mineral that requires minimal processing.
12 – Vermiculite insulation is very light so won’t add any stress to the building’s structure.
13 – It is a cost-effective choice for homeowners as it offers long-term energy savings by reducing energy costs throughout the year.
14 – It’s a sustainable solution as it can be recycled and reused if necessary.
As always, consult the experts when you’re thinking of switching or using any insulation material.