We are currently accredited to install, service and repair
- Air Source Heat Pumps
- Solar Photovoltaics (Solar PV)
- Biomass Heating Systems
- Inspect the site both on the inside and the outside of the property. This inspection will most notably be looking for any cracks that have become apparent where dust, debris and insulation particles can enter the home. If we do find any such cracks we then seal these before proceeding further with the job.
- We will remove bricks to allow us access to the cavity (in the cases of rendered properties we would instead drill ‘core’ holes’.
- We use an industrial grade vacuum (designed especially for cavity wall insulation extractions) and insert the nozzle into the cavity; this is coupled with a machine that blows air into the cavity, and together the two work in tandem to clear out the old insulation. Often we couple this with other removal tools, such as an item known as the whip.
- Once the cleaning process is complete with all debris removed we then take a closer look at the cavity using a camera on a rod, known as a Borescope – this simply confirms that we’ve cleared every last mortar piece and brick end out.
- We then replace and re-point the bricks and drill holes – being sure to use the right colour for a seamless finish.
- Finally, we undertake an inspection of the work and ensure that we leave the property spick and span with both an inside and outside tidy up.
One of the most common causes of issues with cavity wall insulation that could otherwise have been avoided is linked to debris such as brick ends, mortar or rubble being left behind within the cavity.
This happens as these items (known within the industry as ‘snots’) lie at the foot of a wall within the cavity ties. Usually, as rainfall hits the exterior of a property, the ties will guide the water away ready for evaporation, however when these ties are blocked by snots the moisture cannot escape – and instead seeps into the inner wall and eventually turns into a damp spot.
One of the most effective ways of establishing whether a cavity wall has been compromised in such a way is through Thermal imaging.
Our experience within the industry has led us to discover a wide range of properties where cavity wall insulation has proven to be problematic, including:
- Properties where there are elevations that are exposed to the elements and partially effected by wind driven rain;
- Timber framed properties;
- Steel framed properties;
- Properties where incorrectly fitted or poor quality rain water goods have been used;
- Properties that have experienced crumbling mortar (which should have been re-pointed prior to cavity wall insulation being installed);
- Properties where rising damp was already being experienced;
- Certain properties where raked mortar joints are used;
- Properties where the cavity wall space is either under a measurement of 40mm, or over a measurement of 150mm;
- Properties where debris, mortar, broken bricks or rubble were left within the cavity.
Steel framed homes are absolutely not suitable for cavity wall insulation; in fact often these properties, where cavity wall insulation is installed, have been unable to have a mortgage granted for them as the surveyors deem insulation a serious risk to the steel or timber frame. The reasoning behind this is that, if the insulation were to become damp, it could lead to the corrosion of the frame – ultimately over time making the building potentially unstable.
Similarly, timber framed properties could experience a rotting of the frame, what’s more both steel and timber frame properties require sufficient air circulation in order to avoid damp, rotting or corrosion
We have a wide range of non-invasive and invasive survey methods for assessing whether CWI extraction is required, including:
Non-invasive methods: Borescope inspection, Thermal Imagery and Moisture & Damp meters.
Invasive methods: Brick removal.
Beyond incorrectly fitted or old and inefficient cavity wall insulation not performing, there are a number of other reasons that may mean your insulation should be removed and re-fitted. These include;
- Where urea-formaldehyde insulation is in use;
- Where there has been flood/water damage caused to the property;
- Where the cavity wall insulation has been installed within an unsuitable building type such as a steel or timber framed property.
Damp can certainly be caused by either incorrectly fitted insulation, or insulation that was simply installed a number of years ago. In the former case, there are a plethora of poor practises that could have led to damp issues (If you in the latter instance it could be that the old insulation has simply slumped down, leading to the revealing of cold spots and the consequent forming of condensation.
It is estimated that over 6 million properties around the UK have had cavity wall insulation installed. Of course, the energy efficiency and cost savings have made it very popular. However, not every building is suitable.
If the building is located in an area of the UK that has high exposure to wind and rain and wool type insulation has been used to fill the cavity, then it is likely that this will be causing damp in the property. One of the primary purposes of the cavity is to drain water away from the inner leaf of the brick, but if the cavity is filled with wool, this type of insulation can create a pathway for water to travel over the cavity and cause damp in the house.
We live on an island with a generally damp climate often exposed to high winds and even icy conditions.
This takes its toll on brick work which can lead to gaps opening up in bricks or pointing and water getting into the cavity itself. The whole point of insulation is to insulate. It stops air flow. The problem with this is that once it becomes wet, it is virtually impossible to dry out.
Instead, dampness and cold is drawn through the cavity into the inside of the property. You can see this if there are cold spots on walls in your home or unexplained patches of damp.
Not only can this create uncomfortable living conditions, but the prolonged damp will also rust wall ties, an integral structural part of the property which can eventually mean the inner and outer walls can actually separate.
Cavity wall insulation is an insulating material; commonly-used materials include mineral wool, polystyrene beads or foam that is inserted into the gap or cavity between the internal and external wall of a home.
Cavity wall insulation stores the heat within the inner walls, bouncing it back into the room and holding it for longer. This gives you a more even temperature and gets rid of the draughts that come down from the walls.
The external wall of a property is constructed of two (brick or block) walls, with a cavity (gap) of at least 50mm between. Metal ties join the two walls together. If your home was built after 1920, the chances are that its external walls are made of two layers with a gap or cavity in between them.
Wherever possible we aim to offer a same day service but if this is not possible we will be with you as soon as physically possible and normally within 24 hours of you calling us.
Just as no two homes are identical, no two central heating systems can be the same either.
When you contact us, our central heating expert will arrange with you to visit your home and establish certain factors that will have a bearing on the cost as well as assessing your exact needs from a new installation.
Our expert’s survey will include:
- An assessment of the condition of your current system; Is it just the boiler that needs replaced or are further improvements recommended?
- Can the location of your boiler and radiators be improved for greater efficiency?
- Are more radiators required for greater efficiency?
- What is the best replacement boiler or system for your needs?
- Identifying other sources of funding or available grants & incentives.
- Once our expert has completed their survey you will receive a written and guaranteed quotation of the costs involved
Simply call us on free phone 0800 046 9190 and one of our qualified gas heating experts will call at your home whenever it suits you and assess the condition and energy efficiency of your current gas central heating system.