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Is Your House Suitable For Cavity Wall Insulation

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Cavity Wall Insulation

Over the last 100 years, most homes have been built using cavity walls. These were introduced to prevent wind driven rainwater from penetrating the outer wall to the inside surfaces of the property.

However, the space created by the cavity wall leads to the loss of heat and has been identified as one of the main causes for energy waste. As a consequence, a lack of effective cavity wall insulation contributes to higher energy bills and a higher carbon footprint for the home.

Since the 1980s, Building Regulations have required all new houses to be built with insulation material inside the cavity wall. However, contractor malpractices and installation problems have led to reports of cavity wall insulation (CWI) causing dampness in the home.

CWI – Installation Problems and Incorrect Materials

Most problems with CWI installation have occurred in properties built prior to 1980 with cavity spaces filled with a mineral-wool fibre material. This material would be used to ‘retro-fill’ the cavity wall which is a technique of drilling into the outer wall and inserting the insulation material into the empty space.

Manufacturers have stated that mineral-wool fibre is a water proof material but new research from the Building Research Establishment shows that this type of insulation does absorb water and can lead to rainwater penetrating the inner structure of the building and causing dampness.

Furthermore, this material can lose its insulation effectiveness and cause energy bills to actually increase. This financial cost is further compounded when faulty insulation has to be removed and replaced.

Risk factors Associated with Cavity Wall Insulation

There are a number of factors which could make your home is unsuitable for cavity wall insulation; these include:

  • Your home being exposed to severe levels of wind-driven rain
  • The external walls to your property are in poor condition e.g. in need of rendering or has damage to the brickwork
  • Your property is located in an exposed position – unsheltered from other properties or trees etc.
  • If you already have damp problems with internal walls then CWI should not be installed until this is remedied.

Is Your Home Suitable for Cavity Wall Insulation?

Nevertheless, cavity wall insulation (installed correctly with the right materials) remains one of the most effective ways of insulating your home and reducing your energy costs – up to an annual saving of £135.  It is also effective in reducing condensation problems resulting from your external walls.

The suitability of cavity wall insulation is dependent on the following criteria:

  • Masonry or brickwork of the property is in good condition and is well rendered.
  • Walls are not unsheltered and are not exposed to wind-driven rain.
  • The property is more than 20 years old – most new builds are already appropriately insulated.
  • External walls are unfilled cavity walls.
  • The cavity between the walls is at least 50mm wide – this information can be found at your local authority’s building control department.

Eligibility for Free Cavity Wall Insulation

There are two ways in which you can apply for free cavity wall insulation – the ECO fund and the CERO grant. Below, is a detailed explanation of the eligibility requirements for both resources.

Energy Company Obligation (ECO)

DK Hughes are involved with the ECO fund which is a government energy efficiency scheme in Great Britain to help reduce carbon emissions and tackle fuel poverty. As a result, we have funding to provide homeowners and private renters with free cavity wall insulation – dependent of whether they have the following house types:

  • Detached house with 2+ bedrooms
  • Mid terrace house with 3+ bedrooms
  • Semi-detached or end terrace house with 3+ bedrooms

To be eligible for free CWI you must also be in receipt of the following benefits:

  • Child Tax Credit (and your income is £15,860 or less)
  • Working Tax Credit (and your income is £15,860 or less)
  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance

Carbon Emissions Reductions Obligation (CERO) Grant

The CERO grant focuses more properties that have solid walls and are harder to heat. This grant is available to homeowners and private renters and also offers some provision for social housing tenants. Some applicants will get free CWI and others will have to contribute something to the cost. To be eligible to apply you must live in one of the following house types:

  • Detached house with 2+ bedrooms
  • Semi-detached house with 4+ bedrooms

Grants are higher for larger properties with no gas central heating with a higher number of bedrooms.

Only Use CIGA Registered Installers for Cavity Wall Istallation

Cavity Insulation Guarantee Agency (CIGA) is an independent body that gives 25 year guarantees for cavity wall insulation fitted with registered installers. CIGA was established after government consultation with the aim of providing householders with an independent, uniform and dependable guarantee covering defects in materials and workmanship.

DK Hughes is a registered (CIGA) installer of cavity wall insulation and we will assess the suitability of your property and recommend the right type of insulation for your home.

So, if you would like to take advantage of free cavity wall insulation, provided by a trusted organization then please do not hesitate to contact our team who will be happy to assist you.


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