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Shonky roof insulation

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11:05 am
July 15, 2011



posts 456

I am absolutely flabbergasted! After assuming for many years that my home's roof space was well insulated with batts (and receiving an energy audit that indicated there was no problem with that), I found out today that large parts of the roof space have little insulation.

The only reason I found out was because a pest inspector went through the entire roof space to check for rats (yes, he found evidence of some, but luckily not many yet). He told me the renovated area of the house and the area around the manhole had the batts, but the older parts of the house only had the original fluff insulation which was thin in some areas.

To me, someone only installing batts around a manhole area is intending to deceive the householder, as looking in through the manhole one would assume the rest of the roof space had similar insulation. Certainly, both the energy auditor and most householders would tend to look in from the manhole to check out the insulation.

This installation job would have been done well before the Federal Government's insulation program, and so clearly this kind of deception is a longstanding problem.

It makes me furious that after all the other efforts I've made to reduce my greenhouse gas emissions, this really basic area that I thought had been covered (no pun intended) had not been done properly.


8:33 am
July 28, 2011



posts 60

Sorry to hear your discovery. The building industry in Canberra, in my view, is riddled with instances of this kind. However, you know your place is an older one and perhaps you're measuring its insulation by a later, higher standard? That doesn't mean to say the people who subsequently gave it a higher EER than it should have had weren't somehow responsible for checking properly. This is the issue, when a house transfers ownership we get these 'forms', but they're often not supported with any real proof or evidence that work is done eg., like an invoice or receipt indicating how much area was laid with batts with a notation saying that the rest of the roof cavity was visually inspected to ensure that the fluff insulation was fine. Obviously, so called inspectors simply looked in the manhole, made a guess and confirmed the original deception. Well, at least you know now!


I must admit having it is good, but my place has it and it is still cold as the grave. More on that in a bit.


11:32 am
August 14, 2011



posts 456

Hi Quetzal, sorry to hear that your place is cold even with the ceiling insulation. Retrofitting a place to make it comfortable and energy efficient is like a never-ending quest.

I've been checking around for quotes on ceiling insulation and been given significantly different quotes and suggestions about the insulation material.

One suggestion was Dominion cellulose (recycled paper) loose fill treated with borax for fire prevention and to repel insects. The other was Bradford Gold high-performance batts (R5 standard).

I've been doing a bit of googling and there seems to be a view that loose fill insulation can settle unevenly, so I'm leaning towards the batts. Anyone have a view about the pros and cons of each option?

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