Bricks are ideal as a building material as they allow moisture vapour to pass through them and so allow our homes to breathe. However, solid 9 inch walls are also amongst the coldest found in any type of construction and especially when the outer bricks have been exposed to over 75 years of the UK’s varied climate. The effects of hot sun and wet frosty nights degrades the front face of the brick and leads to spalling . This is when the outer most protective layer comes away from the brick .
This then exposes the highly porous heart of the brick and can lead to water ingress, penetrating damp and condensation damp and a lot colder internal temperature. Naturally the responsible home owner wishes to prevent this so decides to cover the outside wall to protect it from the weather. This is often a case of making things worse not better if a cement render or the wrong paint is used.
If not carried out properly using the correct materials adding a layer to the outer bricks can seal them and stop them from breathing. This will make the damp far worse and will eventually lead to the cement render covering or the paint covering splitting and cracking open. This of course just allows more watewr into the wall when it rains and exacerbates the situation.
blown paint from trapped moisture
It is therefore absolutely vital that any paint covering, rendering or insulation that is put on a wall is microporous. This means the material is able to repel water whilst simultaneously allowing moisture from inside to escape to the outside. In other words it acts like human skin in that we can have a swim in without our bodies absorbing the water but when we get hot our skin is able to let the sweat and moisture come out of our bodies.
Our homes are full of moisture generating devices such as heating, showers, washing machines, cookers and kettles etc so it is vital we ensure the fabric of our homes can allow this moisture to pass to the outside and keep us dry and warm inside the home.
You will hear a lot of talk and read a lot of comment on the importance of U values when it comes to house insulation from both manufacturers and installers. In addition there is a whole section of the Building Regulations – Part L – devoted to enforcing certain U value standards throughout the structure of a house and covering the roof,walls,windows and floor areas.
Basically a U value is a measurement of the thermal efficiency of a material or collection of materials and represents how much heat is lost from the inside of a building . The lower the figure the better and also the slower the heat loss.
As some kind of yard stick a new build house has to hit a 0.25 U value overall and an existing solid 9 inch wall on a 1930′s house is rated at 2.05 U value !!
External thermal insulation systems on solid wall properties will typically reduce the heat loss through the walls by around 75% minimum with a resultant significant reduction in heating bills and carbon emissions as well.
For retro fitting to houses with no cavities the Building Regs give a target of 0.3 U value if possible with a maximum figure of 0.7 allowed.
A recent article in one of the local Cambridgeshire papers and unearthed by a google search concentrates on some retired local home-owners in March,Cambs who recently were awarded the full cost of fitting external wall insulation by the Council working in conjunction with Care for England.
Care for England are a charity dedicated to improving the living conditions of the over 65′s and work closely with Government, local Councils and Help the Aged and do have access to and influence over certain pools of money that can be used to upgrade the homes of the elderly especially in matters of energy conservation and lowering running costs within the home.
As with a call to your local Council it is well worth getting in touch with either Help the Aged or Care for England in your area to see if there are any grants available towards the costs of external insulation . You should find their numbers in your local directory or via yell.com.
Whilst we are currently in the midst of tough economic times there are still some small grants available from certain Energy Companies under the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target scheme.
The grants are only applicable for external insulation that has been carried out by an accredited installer and using accredited and tested materials that are acceptable to Building Regs under Part L1B . The installer – in this case Thinc – can claim a small grant rebate for the client in exchange for the client letting the Energy Company claim the CO2 savings towards their reduction targets.
To our way of thinking any free contribution is not to be passed up and although only small in size the grants can mitigate a lot of the extra cost incurred when fitting an insulation render system as opposed to a render only system.
The grants do vary by property type and size and can be paid as a rebate several weeks after the work is completed or can be deducted from the initial cost if the home-owner prefers.
If you would like to discuss this further we would be delighted to hear from you by phone or emailing wall insulation grants
As from October 1st 2010 there is a new amended section to Part L of the Building Regs that has serious repercussions for both homeowners and builders/applicators involved in any external wall renovation or coating work.
If a property has solid walls or a very narrow cavity then wall insulation must be fitted if more than 50% of any individual wall has a cladding or render applied for the first time or has an existing covering removed or replaced.
With most properties it is usually impractical to have internal insulation due to the disruption, need for redecoration and reduction in room sizes . The easier and more effective route to take is to have wall insulation fitted to the outside face of the walls and then have it rendered or bricked over.
The local Building Inspector will need to visit the job on several occasions to check up and sign off the work and ideally the insulation should give a thermal U value of 0.3 . This will generally involve fitting a system of 70mm thickness to the wall where possible given the building’s design and architectural features.
For more information on the implications of Building Regs or to find out more about the benefits of external wall insulation CALL NOW on 0800 975 5231 or email building regs for insulation
For homes that are solid walls up to 45% of heat will be escaping through these uninsulated walls and so it makes financial as well as environmental sense to insulate these walls . The choice then comes down to either internal insulation or external insulation and both have their advantages and disadvantages .
As internal traditionally means stripping the walls and having to remove and then re-position things like electrical sockets, heating pipes, skirting, coving and any fitted furniture this is only a viable option when a house is being completely renovated. The only other time when it should be installed instead of external is when the exterior is of great aesthetic value or has conservation or listed status.
Externally fitting insulation means no reduction in room sizes, no internal refitting of fixtures and fittings and redecoration and of course less disruption to family life. However, the greatest benefit is that exterior insulation is far more efficient than internal insulation per mm of insulation.
This is because the thermal mass of the solid wall – usually up to 9 inches thick – is a form of insulation itself and is not used when you put the insulation between the wall and the internal heating . Also the outer leaf of the wall will still get wet and cold with internal insulation whereas with an externally fitted system the wall is kept completely dry and more thermally efficient and the full depth of the wall is also being completely used as an additional thermal barrier as well as the insulation.
As a respected and long standing business our advisors will give genuine advice as to whether internal, external or a mixture of both are suitable for your particular property.
If you would like further information either verbally or from our brochure then please contact us via email@example.com or simply call our freephone number 0800 975 5231
We have been asked by Wethertex , the Uk’s longest established trowel applied wall coating company, to point out that a company known as, or trading as Weatherex Ltd, are in no way associated with the Wethertex name, brand or the company.
Wethertex are a stand alone business that has been trading since 1975 and do not recommend Weatherex in any way shape or form.
Traditionally solid wall homes ie those without a cavity, have been known as “ Hard to Heat ” or ” Hard to Treat ” homes as the heat quickly passes through the walls and this cannot be reduced by cavity wall insulation for example.
Until recent times in the UK there has been very little that could be done to insulate these types of walls but fortunately we are now beginning to adopt insulation practices that have been used in European countries such as Germany for more than 50 years, namely external wall insulation systems.
In laymans terms the system simply involves cladding the whole of the exterior walls with insulation sheets and then weather proofing the sheets with an attractive coloured render, brick or stone finish. The result is not only a new looking property but one that will be hugely warmer whilst also saving money on the heating bills in winter.
Thinc™ has been established by the UK’s leading external wall renovation company with over 35 years experience and as such we bring unrivalled expertise and knowledge to the specialised area of exterior solid wall insulation including our 15 year guarantee.
For more details, advice or to arrange for a free quotation simply CALL NOW FOR FREE on 0800 975 5231 or email on firstname.lastname@example.org