When you choose to have cavity wall insulation installed in your home, you should be able to rely on professional firms to offer you guidance. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case and if your home isn’t suitable for the measure, it can lead to a whole raft of problems further down the line. This can be both time consuming and costly.
A survey conducted by Which? in 2011 proves that some cavity wall insulation firms are more focused on profit, recommending the energy-saving measure even when the property isn’t suitable. The consumer association asked eight separate firms to assess a house that was clearly unsuitable for cavity wall insulation and could have led to other negative effects, such as dampness within the home and cracks appearing in the walls if installed. Despite the unsuitability of the property, all the companies involved recommended cavity wall insulation.
If you’re considering cavity wall insulation, understanding whether or not your property is suitable can help you avoid installing an unsuitable solution.
Do you have cavity walls?
Obviously to have cavity wall insulation installed you need cavity walls. If your house was built after 1920 it’s likely to have cavity walls and unless it was built in the last two decades, these cavities are unlikely to be filled. If you’re unsure about your walls, you can tell by the brickwork: if the exposed bricks are all the same size, you have cavity walls.
Are the external walls accessible?
If your external walls are accessible, it makes it easier for the work to be conducted. While some installers may still be able to conduct the work even if this isn’t the case, it will add to the final cost.
How wide is the cavity in your wall?
The cavity between the two walls should be at least 50mm wide for cavity wall insulation to be installed.
Are your walls in good condition and internal walls dry?
Existing cracks, dampness or other issues with your home’s walls can be exacerbated by installing insulation. They can also cause the insulation to fail if damp gets into the cavity. Existing problems should be rectified before the work is undertaken.
Is your home regularly exposed to wind-driven rain?
Houses prone to dampness and that are regularly exposed to wind-driven rain are not suitable candidates for cavity wall insulation. There are some bad practices in the industry that means these unsuitable homes are being recommended for cavity wall insulation in some instances.
Does your home have steel or timber frames?
If your home has steel or timber frames, then cavities are needed to let moisture leave the building and the property is not suitable for cavity wall insulation.