Cavity Wall Insulation & Damp:
Cavity Wall Insulation & Damp:
Over the years many properties have retrospectively installed cavity wall insulation. You may be thinking what has that got to do with a damp company?
Firstly, we will explain what cavity wall insulation is. There was a period of time around the 1930’s when properties were built using a cavity wall construction. Simply explained, a cavity construction is when there is an outer layer of brick visible from the outside followed by an air gap (cavity) and finally an internal wall. The walls are held together with metal wall ties.
When the properties were built with a cavity construction the idea was that the gap would prevent external moisture penetrating to the interior wall along with the cavity holding air to act as insulation.
As time went on people believed the cavity allowed warm air to leave the property therefore making it colder and more expensive to heat. This is where cavity wall insulation comes in. Companies who were often backed by the government were incentivised to go out and offer free cavity wall insulation on a government scheme. The aim was to make the properties warmer with some companies promising a 40% reduction in energy costs.
Over the years, the majority of cavity construction properties has cavity wall insulation installed. Typically, the insulation installed was made from polystyrene beads/granules, blown mineral fibre or foam.
Although the scheme was government backed, the government did not check all of the companies who were installing the insulation. This lead to some shoddy workmanship along with properties that did not have a cavity wall also being fitted with the insulation as the companies installing it were given a kick back from the government.
All of the cavity wall insulation installations were backed by the cavity insulation guarantee agency and property owners received a CIGA Guarantee.
Over time some property owners began to experience problems, the heating bills did not drop by the promised amount and some properties began to fall victim to condensation and damp problems.
At first the connection was not made between the damp & condensation problems and the cavity wall insulation. However, the connection has since been not only made but proven.
In properties were the insulation was not correctly installed there was a notable increase in condensation and damp problems.
The products used to fill the cavity absorbed moisture from the exterior wall and this then seeped into the internal walls causing flaking paint, peeling wallpaper, damp patches, musty smells and black mould.
The air within the property was less able to escape which in turn caused condensation within the properties that not only affected the windows and walls but also sometimes leading to wood rot and timber infestations.
It can be costly to remedy the problems that the damp and condensation causes along with the removal and correction of poorly installed cavity wall insulation.
Currently there are numerous property owners making claims against the CIGA guarantee. Property owners are entitled to compensation and corrective work.
DH Damp Proofing & Plastering are working across London & Berkshire carrying out surveys at properties that may be affected.