Getting cavity wall insulation is a proven way of keeping your home warm and cutting your energy bills. However, there are instances when the existing cavity wall insulation in a property needs to be removed or replaced. For example, it may have suffered damage over time or perhaps the insulation used originally wasn’t suitable for your home in the first place. In this article, we will look at the key reasons why homeowners may decide to remove and replace their cavity wall insulation.
Why would I need to remove my cavity wall insulation?
There are several reasons why you may need to consider having your existing cavity wall insulation removed and replaced, including:
- Poorly installed insulation is now causing damp and or cold spots internally
- The insulation has become defective or is unsuitable
- The insulation has got wet due to the property being poorly maintained
- The insulation has suffered water damage due to a flood or fire
- A leaking roof has damaged it
- The existing insulation has been infested by vermin
In the 1980s, building regulations stipulated that all new build properties should have cavity wall insulation as standard. However, once the rules were in force, it became clear there was a huge market for insulating older properties, an initiative that the government backed. As a result, many homes were targeted and sold cavity wall insulation regardless of suitability. We are now seeing some problems arise with early cavity wall insulation installs. Below we outline some of the most common issues we see as a result of these early installs:
Incorrect materials used
Early cavity wall installations used a material called urea-formaldehyde, which breaks down and releases formaldehyde into the home. In addition, as it breaks down, it falls into the cavity meaning higher walls are no longer insulated.
Incorrectly installed insulation
When the cavity wall installer puts the insulation in the wall cavity between the two skins of brick, the wall needs to be drilled in various places to allow even distribution of the insulating material. If the distances drilled are incorrect, the cavity would not be fully insulated and cause cold spots/damp problems.
Unsuitable for property
It wasn’t until new technology was developed that insulation suitable for all properties became available. Some older wall insulation types were found to cause dampness, especially in coastal areas where heavy rain and winds are expected.
Most people who come to us to enquire about cavity wall insulation removal have noticed a build-up of dampness in their homes. If you notice a problem like this, your cavity wall insulation may be the root cause. However, before going ahead with any work, we always recommend getting a professional to assess the problem as it could be caused by something else.
In addition, if you have noticed any signs of vermin (mice, rats etc.) living within your cavity walls, they could be causing damage to the insulation and making it ineffective. If substantial damage has been caused, it may be advisable to remove and replace the existing cavity wall insulation.
Finally, some customers come to us to replace their cavity wall insulation simply because they want it to work more effectively and drive down their energy bills. A professional will be able to carry out a home insulation assessment to determine if an upgrade to a higher-performing cavity wall insulation could benefit them.