Projects of modern country houses most often involve the use of a room under a roof (attic) as living rooms. In this case, a structure called "warm roof" is used, in which the roof slopes are insulated. Such insulation is thought out even at the stage of the project, therefore, in the future, the attic room can be operated all year round. But if the country house was built ten, or even twenty years ago, then high-quality thermal insulation may be absent. It also happens that the homeowner opted for a "cold roof" for reasons of economy or construction features (for example, due to the need to install a lightweight roof structure).
Features of the
So, first you need to decide on the side of the ceiling slabs that you will insulate. We must say right away that there are no specific rules or strict guidelines - you can insulate the ceiling from either side. There are even options for insulating floors on one side and on the other. However, if the height of the premises in the house is low, then it is better to carry out thermal insulation work from the attic side. It is more correct to choose the finish from the attic also in the case when the house has already been renovated, and there is no desire to re-do it.
Of course, if the house is being renovated, in which it was decided to install a panel or slatted ceiling, it makes sense to simultaneously lay the most suitable insulating material between the base ceiling and the new ceiling. In all other cases, owners of private houses prefer to arrange a thermal insulation barrier in the attic.
The main advantages of warming a house with cold slopes:
- almost all heat-insulating materials have a noise suppression effect, so the noise of rain, wind or a nearby motorway will not be heard;
- insulation will protect the house not only from the cold, but also from the heat.
When comparing materials for insulation of cold-type floors, we are faced with the following problem - they are all very different in their characteristics, starting from the price and ending with the degree of environmental friendliness. Therefore, we cannot definitely call some insulation “good”, and some “bad”. In order to get the most complete picture of modern materials for thermal insulation, we will consider in detail each group.
So, the owner of a country house will have to make a choice between the following materials:
- Mineral wool or mineral wool belongs to the group of fibrous insulation. Most often made from fiberglass or basalt fiber.
- Ecowool. Modern insulation material based on cellulose.
- A group of polymer heaters. Styrofoam, polyurethane, expanded polystyrene.
- Loose insulation - expanded clay, vermiculite.
- Natural traditional materials - shavings, dry leaves and reeds, straw, sawdust, pine needles. Can be used with clay.
Let's talk more about each group.
The method of producing mineral wool is the same for all the minerals from which it is made - melting, fiberizing and bonding the fibers with a sticky substance. Melting of glass will ultimately give glass wool, slag - slag wool, basalt - basalt fiber.Basalt fiber in this group is the highest quality and safest for human health.
Plates, mats and rolls of mineral wool are characterized by excellent technological characteristics. These are non-combustible and low-combustible porous materials with a density of 35 to 100 kg / m3. The most dense are mats, they can even be plastered.
To insulate the attic, it is enough to use medium and low density mineral wool, sold in rolls.
The cost of this material is low, it is cheaper than most polymer insulation. In addition, mineral wool is extremely rarely attacked by rodents, and the tree under the mineral wool plates does not rot. Disadvantages to look out for are moisture permeability and health risks. So, even water vapor can deprive the mineral wool of its thermal insulation qualities, however, after drying, the properties of the material will be restored.
By the way, the ability of mineral wool to retain heat depends on the density index. The average density is 0.045 W / ms, this is quite enough for high-quality insulation of a house, in which you can live in the winter.
Fiberglass should be used exclusively for insulating ceilings from the attic side, while stone fiber can also be used inside the house.
Traditional polystyrene and modern polystyrene foam (extruded polystyrene) are widely used as insulation materials. The cost is affordable, the thermal insulation qualities are good. The only serious drawback of foam is its flammability and toxicity of the substance released during a fire, which is why in many countries it is forbidden to use foam for thermal insulation.
Penoplex is a modern material, so it does not have such disadvantages as foam. Even when burning, it is prone to self-extinguishing, which makes it especially attractive when choosing insulation for wooden buildings. Moisture and bacteria will also not cause any harm to penoplex - it is a strong and durable material that allows you to use it even when insulating damp basements.
The more difficult (and colder) the climatic conditions, the larger the foam layer should be. So, for cold regions, the layer should not be less than 10 centimeters.
Ecowool and polyurethane foam are a new type of insulation - sprayed. Both heat-insulating materials are placed on the surface to be insulated by spraying, but sometimes the ecowool is simply poured between the floor joists and tamped. Ecowool is made from cellulose, and polyurethane foam is a polymer and is similar to ordinary polyurethane foam.
Despite the fact that for the application of sprayed insulation, special equipment is needed (and its cost is considerable and the purchase for a single use will be unjustified), many owners of country houses choose it. Why? Of course, because it is a seamless material, which means that the appearance of cracks or cavities through which cold air can penetrate into the room is excluded.
By the way, the thermal insulation characteristics of sprayed heaters are about 1.5 times higher than that of foam and mineral wool. The disadvantages of polyurethane foam include the need for protection from ultraviolet radiation, since it is destroyed under the influence of sunlight.
Loose heat insulators have remained popular for decades as they can be used to fill a wide variety of spaces. Bulk materials are made from waste cellulose, glass and other post-industrial materials - vermiculite, perlite, polystyrene. Loose heat insulators are quite diverse, but expanded clay is in the first place today. Large, medium and small expanded clay granules are made from ordinary clay, do not burn and do not have a smell.If you choose expanded clay as a heater, give preference to large porous granules - they retain heat the best.
Bulk insulation has a lot of advantages:
- environmentally friendly;
- fire resistant;
- unattractive to insects and rodents.
Loose heaters are not afraid of high humidity, the granules do not crumble or split. Despite the fact that these heaters pass steam well, the ceilings do not damp, since the special structure of the materials provides excellent ventilation. Bulk materials have one drawback that needs to be mentioned - you will have to build an additional partition to fill the insulation between the wall and the cladding. With the floor and ceiling, the situation is somewhat simpler - the granules can be poured into the space between the logs of the rough and main floor, and when insulating from the attic side, you can not cover the bulk insulation with anything if the room is not used as a living room.
Natural heat insulators
For centuries, our ancestors used natural materials to warm their homes - sawdust and shavings, reeds, hay, spruce branches, cones, leaves and even dry algae. The choice of insulation depended on what kind of suitable material was more in a given area. By the way, if in the region of your residence there are woodworking enterprises, you can get sawdust and shavings literally for a penny or even free of charge, because such companies themselves often strive to get rid of production waste.
Unfortunately, all natural heat insulators (with the exception of clay) are capable of catching fire easily and quickly. In addition, rodents often settle in natural heat insulators.
Remember that no matter what material you choose for ceiling insulation, the effectiveness of the work performed will depend on the correct thickness of the insulation layer. Also, regardless of the type of insulation, it is recommended to remove all electrical cables in special insulating tubes. When building a new house, calculations are performed by designers and allow taking into account the thermal conductivity of all building materials. Such calculations will be the most accurate, but when we insulate an ordinary country house, we use simpler methods.
So, it is known that the thickness of the interlayer of shavings or sawdust for regions where the temperature in winter drops to no more than -15 ° C, a layer of 5-6 cm is sufficient.If the temperature drops to -25 ° C, the layer thickness increases to 8-10 centimeters.
For other insulation materials, it is most convenient to use a formula that allows you to determine its thickness with approximate accuracy. To do this, you need to find out the thermal conductivity of the material (it is often indicated on the packaging of the material or certification documents and is indicated by the indicator W / mS). Next, find out the indicator of the minimum floor resistance for your region (m2C / W) - information about this indicator can be found on the Internet or in any large hardware store from a specialist consultant. Now you can calculate the thickness of the insulation by multiplying this indicator by the declared thermal conductivity of the insulation.
For example, for the Moscow region, heaters must provide a heat transfer resistance of 4.15 m2C / W. Suppose that foam was chosen as a heater, the thermal conductivity of which is 0.04 W / mS. We multiply the indicators: 4.15 x 0.04 = 0.166 m (or 170 mm). According to this formula, it can be seen that the thinnest layer will be made of polyurethane, and the thickest - expanded clay.
Insulation of the ceiling from the outer (cold) side is also popular because you do not need to think about problems with condensate - steam does not get into the thickness of the insulation, which means that it cannot condense there and provoke the appearance of mold.
So, for proper insulation, it is necessary to perform work in the following order:
- We attach the films to the beams using brackets or battens.You can simply spread the film on the floor of the attic.
- We put insulation plates between the beams or roll out the rolls. The insulation should not lie in "waves" or bulge, so if it is wider than the rafter pitch, then the insulation should just be cut.
- The second and third layers are stacked as needed. The main thing when working with slabs is to lay them apart, that is, with overlapping joints and beams.
- Soft roll materials do not need to be compacted, this can lead to a deterioration in thermal insulation properties.
- We cover with a diffuse membrane, and, if necessary, make a counter-lattice.
Warming with expanded clay or sawdust is performed using a similar technology.
Many articles and even books have been written about the insulation of country houses. Before starting work, take advantage of the experience gained by the masters - read special literature.
- The ceiling usually accounts for up to 15% of the heat loss. If even after it is insulated the house remains cold, it is worth thinking about the correct insulation of the walls and replacement of windows.
- Insulation technologies suitable for country houses are also suitable for bath insulation. In this case, bulk heaters have proven themselves best.
- Remember that if there are cracks in the ceiling, warm air will inevitably leave the room. Before starting the insulation work, assess the quality of the ceiling - it may need repairs.
How to insulate the attic with your own hands, see the following video: