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Insulation – a quick guide

Is your building insulation up to standard?

Your premises could be losing a lot of heat without you realising if they aren’t well insulated. It may be the time to look at the levels of insulation you have and whether you need to upgrade. Our quick guide will cover the basics to help you decide if it is a route you want to go down.

What is insulation and how can it help my business?

The cost of heating is one of the biggest outlays for a business, so the last thing you want to do is let your precious heat escape because your premises are leaky.

This is often the case in buildings that are old and lack insulation measures to limit heat loss. It could also be caused by poor draughtproofing with heat (and your business’s hard-earned profits) escaping through holes and cracks.

Building regulations have changed a lot over the years and unless you are in modern premises that adhere to the latest standards, it is definitely worth checking that your insulation is as good as it can be.

The levels of insulation you need to consider installing depend on the type of building you are in and when it was built, but among the insulation measures you should be checking out are wall, ceiling, roof, floor, doors and windows – essentially all the areas where your heat may escape.

The different types of insulation include:

  • Cavity wall: An insulation material is injected into the cavity in your walls
  • Solid wall: Older properties did not have a cavity, but they can still be insulated by fitting materials around the outside or inside of the walls.
  • Floor: If you can access beneath the floor through a crawlspace or the basement, insulation can be added to the underside of the floor. If inaccessible, suspended floors are created that can be insulated. If the building allows it, you can add insulation directly on the inside of the floor, although this will require adjustment to skirtings, doors and radiators.
  • Roof: Just as you would lay mineral wool insulation in your home attic, the same can be done in your business premises. It can be placed at ceiling level or directly on to the sloping roof (internally) between rafters.
  • Windows and doors: Fitting double or even triple glazing is the best option, but if you are looking for a cheaper alternative, draught-proof seals, gaskets, brushes and compression strips can be placed around your doors and windows.






The benefits of upgrading your premises’ insulation

Insulation can be often overlooked in favour of installing a new energy-efficient heating system. It’s invisible most of the time, so it may not seem quite as important.

You may have the latest heat pump or biomass boiler, but if your insulation is not to a high enough standard, you will be losing your heat – and money.

Fitting insulation will reduce energy demand which has the potential to save on your energy bills and reduce your carbon emissions. For instance, 15% of heat can be lost under your feet.

Insulation can also lead to a healthier environment for your staff. For instance, if you have noticed any mould appearing, the chances are that is down to poor insulation. The sight of mould is not only unsightly, but also poses a health risk to staff. Fitting insulation will help to solve this issue.

And it isn’t just during the colder months that you will appreciate the difference insulation can make. It also works to help keep your workplace cool during the warmer months leading to year-round savings.

What are the key considerations when thinking about insulation?

Installing insulation can be disruptive to your business, so you may decide to use a quieter time or a weekend when no one is around. Remember, this inconvenience is far outweighed by the long-term benefits.

If you are having cavity wall insulation put in, you probably won’t notice the work going on. But if you are thinking about internal insulation, bear in mind that the insulation will reduce your floor area and you may also have to redecorate

If you are having external insulation, you will need to consider how this will affect the outside appearance of your premises. There may be a need for new exterior decoration.

How much will it cost to insulate my premises?

The costs to upgrade existing insulation will vary a lot from building to building and there are many factors that will influence the costs, For example, the size of your building, the age of your building, current levels of insulation and the type of upgrade required.

Cavity wall insulation is cheaper than a solid wall alternative and costs around £20-£25 per m2 for the material. One of our clients, Pend Books, spent £12,500 internally insulating new stone wall premises.

Should I improve the insulation in my business?

If your current levels of insulation are not satisfactory, then the answer would be a resounding yes. You can invest in the best heating system, but if your insulation is sub-standard you will see not the full benefit.

Frequently asked questions about insulation

  • Is insulation expensive? As we have already said, the value of insulation is in keeping the heat you have paid for inside your building. Not insulating could be just as expensive as insulating in the long run.
  • Is insulation only effective when it’s cold? Insulation is effective all year round. If you use aircon units, the insulation will maintain a cool temperature in the same way it does with heating during the winter months.
  • Will insulation damage my property? Seek the advice of a professional to ensure you have the correct type of insulation for your premises. If it is the right insulation and is properly installed, there should be no damage.

See what other businesses have done

We have worked with a number of organisations that have upgraded their install insulation and gone on to make savings. Click below to read their stories:


You can arrange a free assessment here

If you are a Scottish SME and would like to know if retrofitting insulation is a good option for your business, we are here to help. We can arrange for an independent consultant to visit your site and make recommendations for free. You can arrange a free assessment here.