Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. What type of property is cavity wall insulation good for?
Cavity wall insulation is still good in properties where there is low to medium exposure from the elements. The cavities need to be greater than 50mm, when the product has been installed and the product must be installed properly.
2. What happens to the property if wrongly installed cavity wall insulation is left in?
The insulation will become damp within the cavity. Then the insulation will slump within the structure. The structure will show signs of cold patches on external walls. The walls in areas of cold will collect condensation and mould will form. Decorative surfaces will become stained and paint will flake off. The property will begin to smell of damp. Damp walls will become a breeding ground for black spot mould, this will spread. Ultimately the building will deteriorate and become weak.
3. How do I identify I have a problem?
Walls will feel damp to the touch. You may be able to smell mould and there may be visible
signs of black spot mould and condensation on internal external walls.
4. Why can’t I claim on my buildings and content insurance to repair my damaged property?
Some people may have insurance that will cover these sort of repairs but most don’t as cavity insulation is retro fitted to the property. Why claim on your insurance as you may have a claim against CIGA who guarantee the cavity wall insulation.
5. How do I claim against CIGA?
You could possibly claim against CIGA for the damage to your property if you have a have a valid insurance certificate for the installation.
6. What evidence is there that poorly fitted cavity wall insulation is contributing to health issues?
Living in a cold, damp environment can increase health problems such as: influenza, strokes, and heart disease.
Cold and damp homes promote the: growth of fungi, mould, and dust mites which are linked to asthma and other respiratory conditions. World Health Organisation report, Children Living In Homes With Problems Of Damp, (Fact Sheet 3.5, 2009 ) states: “Children are particularly susceptible to the health effects of damp, which include respiratory disorders such as irritation of the respiratory tract, allergies and exacerbation of asthma. Excess moisture leads – on almost all indoor materials – to growth of microbes such as moulds, fungi and bacteria, which subsequently emit spores, cells, fragments and volatile organic compounds into the indoor air. Moreover, dampness initiates chemical and/or biological degradation of materials, which also causes pollution of the indoor air. Exposure to microbial contaminants is clinically associated with respiratory symptoms, allergies, asthma and immunological reactions. Dampness has therefore been suggested to be a strong and consistent indicator of risk for asthma and respiratory symptoms such as cough and wheeze. Children’s education can be affected. Cold and damp homes can increase the time it takes to get over an illness which could mean longer absences from school.”
7. What other issues do damp walls lead to?
Homes with damp, wet, or saturated walls cost more to heat. When standard insulation materials become wet they lose their thermal performance benefit, and will increase the homeowner’s heating bills.
8. How quickly is the risk reduced once the cavity wall insulation is removed?
The risk is almost immediately removed when the cavity wall insulation is removed and the property is cleaned and aired.
9. How much energy did I save having cavity wall insulation and how much will my energy usage/bill go up?
Dependent on the size of your property but on average £150 -£250 per year approx. 25% of your energy goes out of your walls. If insulation becomes damp by even 1% it will cost more to heat your house than a property with no cavity wall insulation.
10. Where can I get more information about the issue of poorly fitted cavity wall insulation?
Do you have a question that is not answered here? Contact us using the form below and we will notify you when the information is made available where possible.