Finally, after months of reading up and getting estimates, and just over a year after I joined the Green Homes scheme and got my home energy audit, my plan to insulate and 'green up' my flat took a step forward today, with the start of the work to insulate under my floor boards. Living in the ground floor flat of a converted Victorian house with stripped floorboards and single glazed sash windows has been more than a bit draughty over the past few weeks, but hopefully that's all set to change. The works are going to take a few weeks, and involve moving all the furniture out of one half of the flat while all the floorboards are taken up. Any inch of space that isn't taken up with furniture, is jam-packed with huge bales of insulation material.
Work started today in the front room. The floorboards have all been lifted and the skirting boards removed. 'Periscope vents' have been fitted onto the air bricks to channel the air down. It's important that air continues to circulate underneath the insulation to avoid damp problems. A fair amount of rubble has been removed to make sure the air holes are clear. A breathable membrane is going to be placed over and between the joists, to hold the insulation in place.
The insulation that I'm using is hemp based, and (I'm assured) both fire retardant and treated with smthg which makes it unappealing to mice. After discussion with the builders today, we decided to add an extra 6mm layer of board on top of the insulation and joists to add extra support to the floorboards (they've already been sanded once and after being sanded a second time might be slightly thinner than ideal).
All this insulation will just about bring my floor insulation up to modern day building regs standards, ie not by any stretch of the imagination zero carbon, but significantly better than it currently is. We're limited in what we can do by the fact that the gap under the floor boards and the depth of the joists is not that big, but the insulation should certainly be enough to block the draughts that currently blow through the place and help to make my home a bit cosier and more comfortable than it has been.
Blogging may be slightly intermittent while the works are underway . . .