Government estimations suggest that up to one-quarter of UK homeowners with retrofitted cavity wall insulation could experience problems with the installation in the future. In many cases, poor workmanship will be responsible for the issues. However, we need to remember that poor property maintenance won’t help.
Why Cavity Walls Experience Problems
The most common concern with cavity wall insulation is that moisture will cross the gap and cause dampness and mould to form inside a property. The main reason for this to happen is shoddy work. Maybe a cavity is underfilled, with the insulation carrying water from one side or another. Or perhaps the cavity hasn’t been cleared thoroughly, with leftover debris creating a link from the external to internal walls.
However, the quality of the installation isn’t always the main culprit. Even with the highest standards, the most skilled professionals, and the best materials, the homeowner must always ensure they’re properly maintaining their property after the installation.
Property Maintenance & Insulation Efficacy
External walls that are exposed to wind-driven rain can significantly affect the performance of cavity wall insulation. Any cracks or vulnerabilities in the external brickwork or rendering can allow directional water jets to penetrate the outer wall, increasing the likelihood of moisture transfer across the cavity to the inner walls. Maintaining the exterior walls of the property is essential following an installation.
Another factor to consider is condensation. While the insulated walls themselves will feel warm, surrounding uninsulated areas will feel cold. This means that, should there be a lot of water vapour in the air, this can hit the cold walls and produce condensation which then becomes a risk factor for dampness around the cavity walls.
Following an installation, you should ensure that any kitchen extractors, bathroom fans, or other forms of ventilation are working well to minimise a vapour build-up.
What Happens if a Property Isn’t Maintained?
Without regular maintenance, it’s possible that dampness and mould could form inside the property. This brings with it its own set of problems, such as a loss of structural integrity, challenges in selling a property, and even health concerns. Not only will this require treatment of the mould and dampness, but also a removal of the compromised insulation inside the cavity wall, and the complete replacement of the insulation.
At Extract Insulation, we’re here to remove damp insulation and provide a new installation as needed. However, prevention is always better than cure. Get in touch for more advice on maintaining your property to get the most from your insulation.