Cavity Wall Insulation

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Damp and cavity wall insulation

Firstly, it should be made clear, that cavity wall insulation can be highly beneficial and can be a great improvement for your home if done correctly.

Unfortunately, with the rush to make our homes greener and more energy efficient; a growing problem we are increasing seeing is a link between damp and cavity wall insulation leading to issues such as penetrating damp.

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What exactly is cavity wall insulation?

Cavity wall insulation refers to the process of filling the gap between the outer wall and inner wall (known as the cavity) with insulation material such as foam, mineral-wool fibre or beaded polystyrene.

The reason why it is a benefit is that it helps prevent the flow of heat from inside the property to the cold outside. A great idea in theory, but it is not without its problems if you have not used a qualified or industrial approved contractor.

Why does cavity wall insulation cause damp?

Damp problems relating to cavity wall insulation usually stem from it being inappropriately and incorrectly installed or a lack of attention to the suitability of installing the cavity wall insulation in the first place.

What we mean by the later is that if you have damage to the external wall brickwork or render that was not been picked up prior to the installation, once the cavity wall insulation has been installed it will effectively act as a bridge for moisture between the damaged external wall areas to the internal wall. The most common outcome of this moisture bridge is penetrating damp.

Will my cavity wall insulation cause damp?

It is a difficult question to answer. If it is the case you have used a reputable contractor that is approved by a industrial trade organisations such as the National insulation Association (NIA), then the likelihood is that your home has been appropriately surveyed prior to the cavity wall insulation being installed.  Even if it is the case that you do experience damp problems from the cavity wall insulation, companies associated with industrial bodies such as the NIA typically have guarantees to cover instances where something has gone wrong to ‘make right’ the problem.

If it is the case where you have not used an industry approved contractor for the cavity wall insulation, then unfortunately it really boils down to the ‘good graces’ of the contractor.

Reducing the risk of damp and cavity wall insulation

Below is not an extensive list however is a guide to help you consider whether cavity wall insulation is right for your property and will it avoid damp problems if installed. Ask yourself these questions and ensure you ask the same questions to whoever may be installing the cavity wall insulation:

  • Is your property is severely exposed to wind-driven rain?
  • Does your property lack adequate shelter from trees or other buildings?
  • Are your external walls poorly constructed or poorly maintained?
  • Do your external walls have damaged bricks or rendering?

As we mentioned previously, cavity-wall insulation will not necessarily cause damp problems, however, from time to time, it does happen and it is certainly worth asking the above questions prior to considering the installation.

If it is already too late to ask the questions and you suspect you are suffering damp issues due to the cavity wall insulation, then we would suggest you take a look at our penetrating damp treatment page to help you understand what you need to do to rectify the issue.

Talk to the damp professionals at Peter Cox

If you think your cavity wall insulation might be causing a damp problem and want to consult with a damp specialist, then we are here to help.

Simply give us a call today on 0800 633 5712, find your local branch or contact us using our online contact form below. Our highly trained and qualified surveyors will be able to access any areas of concern, offer you help and advice and if necessary, recommend any appropriate solutions to ‘make right’ the issue.

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