What to Do If Your Installer Has Gone Out of Business?

If you think you may be experiencing problems with your Cavity Wall Insulation and would like some help, first of all we advise you to check with CIGA (Cavity Insulation Guarantee Agency) if your property was registered for a 25-year guarantee.

You can do this by either contacting CIGA directly on 01525 853 300, or alternatively one of our client team members will happily point you in the right direction.

If your property has been registered with CIGA for a 25-year guarantee, you are always advised to engage the original installer should you have any concerns about the insulation in your property. Through recent reports the original installers in many cases deny responsibility or fail to make full and proper remedial works at their own expense. CIGA may assist with some help, but more often than not it seems a mine field for UK consumers.

So, what happens if the installer is no longer trading? Don’t worry, this doesn’t affect your CIGA guarantee. The only thing you would do differently should you have any concerns about the insulation in your property, is contact CIGA directly and express any concerns you have with them.

If on the other hand your property hasn’t been registered for a 25 year CIGA guarantee, one of our client team would be happy to provide a free no obligation survey, just to assess how we can help you with any concerns you have.

Your CIGA guarantee may be effective in these circumstances and you should check your guarantee as soon as possible, if you are experiencing problems and they are left without being treated, it could end up a lot more expensive for you and your health.

If you’ve got issues of any nature with your Cavity Wall Insulation that may be down to the installer not following proper guidelines as to the install. It is now apparent that hundreds of thousands of home owners across the UK will need remedial work that will consist of a full extraction of the Cavity Wall Insulation and could well mean a whole host of other repairs and replacements directly caused by the install.

Contact Wall Cavity Claims today on free phone 0800-8-654321 or visit www.wallcavityclaims.co.uk

Wet Cavity Wall Insulation

In the past majority of cases, Cavity Wall Insulation worked well, or so it seemed. It should keep your property warm and function well for the life of its guarantee (typically 25 years) and well beyond. Houses that are suitable for cavity wall insulation, with standard brick or block clear cavities between 50 – 100mm that are not unduly exposed should experience no problems. However, when cavity wall insulation has been installed improperly, or to unsuitable houses, it is more than likely to fail. The most serious of all issues we encounter with failed cavity walls is wet cavity wall insulation.

Wet cavity wall insulation can occur for a number of reasons. The first and most common is exposure to wind driven rain, often accompanied by eroded mortar joints. Bricks are porous and, if walls are prone to very harsh weather conditions, rainwater can enter the cavity to such an extent that, over time, the cavity wall insulation becomes soggy and slumps. If cavity wall insulation is installed to the correct density then water should not transfer across it in all but the most exposed of locations. However, if the density is wrong, or there are void areas, water ingress can be a problem. Another common reason for wet cavity wall insulation is water ingress through points of weakness in the fabric of the building. This can include, but is not limited to, seals around windows, guttering, downpipes and in the eaves, fascia or soffit areas of the roof. It is vitally important that property maintenance is attended to regularly to retain a sealed dry cavity wall. A third reason for wet cavity wall insulation is as a result of flooding. Naturally, flood waters breach the cavity wall and will saturate it inside and out. Cavity wall insulation therefore becomes very wet and slumps.

Unfortunately, in our experience, it is very difficult to dry out wet cavity wall insulation. Even if it does dry out, it becomes lumpy and loses a large part of its insulating qualities. Of course, while it is wet, it can have a very damaging affect on the property, allowing water to move through the inner leaf and cause internal damps problems in the plaster and decoration. At the same time, wet cavity wall insulation is having a cooling affect on your property, not unlike wearing a wet jumper would on your body if you went outside on a cold windy day.

For this reason, our advice is always to remove the wet cavity wall insulation and allow the cavity to fully dry out before considering re-installation.

If you’ve got issues of any other nature with your Cavity Wall Insulation that may be down to the installer not following proper guidelines as to the install. It is now apparent that hundreds of thousands of home owners across the UK will need remedial work that will consist of a full extraction of the Cavity Wall Insulation and could well mean a whole host of other repairs and replacements directly caused by the install.

Contact Wall Cavity Claims today on free phone 0800-8-654321 or visit www.wallcavityclaims.co.uk

Urea-Formaldehyde Foam Insulation

Urea-formaldehyde foam was initially used decades ago when Cavity Wall Insulation was first introduced. This type of insulation gradually degrades over the years and falls to the bottom of the cavity making it less efficient the older it becomes.

A question we get asked a lot about urea-formaldehyde foam insulation is; Is it dangerous?

As it degrades it can produce a gas, which if disturbed and exposed to people living in the property, has the potential to cause; watery eyes, burning eyes and nose, as well as coughing and wheezing.

Long term health implications are less known; however, some studies suggest formaldehyde could be a possible human carcinogen, capable of causing cancer in humans, under conditions of unusually high or prolonged exposure.

If you have urea-formaldehyde foam insulation in your property it may be worth considering removing and replacing the insulation to improve the efficiency of your home, and to avoid any potential health implications if the insulation becomes disturbed.

Your CIGA guarantee may be effective in these circumstances and you should check your guarantee as soon as possible, as if it is left without being treated, it could end up a lot more expensive for you and your health.

If you’ve got issues of any other nature with your Cavity Wall Insulation that may be down to the installer not following proper guidelines as to the install. It is now apparent that hundreds of thousands of home owners across the UK will need remedial work that will consist of a full extraction of the Cavity Wall Insulation and could well mean a whole host of other repairs and replacements directly caused by the install.

Contact Wall Cavity Claims today on free phone 0800-8-654321 or visit www.wallcavityclaims.co.uk

Prefabricated Houses and Cavity Wall Insulation

Prefabricated houses – A brief history

 

Post-war prefabs were built to replace the high levels of dwellings destroyed or damaged during the Second World War. The legal basis for the build of these was outlined in the Temporary Accommodation Act 1944. The prefabricated building project was coordinated by the Ministry of Works, who used the wartime manufacturing and organisation structure to roll out the building project in a military style.

 

Why prefabricated dwellings are not suitable for cavity wall insulation.

 

Taking the Tarran Newland prefab design as an example, the walls of these buildings are made up of precast concrete panels approximately 20mm thick. The process for installing cavity wall insulation would be a labour intense and invasive one.

 

As well as this, the concrete panels are connected using fixing plates which have thermal bridging issues. This means the plates will often transfer heat much quicker than the concrete reducing the overall thermal efficiency of the property.

 

Overall prefabricated houses are not suitable for cavity wall insulation and cannot be registered for a guarantee, so other methods of insulation such as external wall insulation should be considered.

 

If you’ve been sold CWI and live in a prefabricated house, your installer should have known that your property was unsuitable and CWI should not have been installed.

 

If CIGA issued a guarantee, a claim against CIGA may be effective, but more than likely a claim will be made against the installer. If this is the case, a legal professional is best to represent you on this matter as a typical costing quote for rescission and repair could be as much as £25,000

 

If you’ve got issues of any other nature with your Cavity Wall Insulation that may be down to the installer not following proper guidelines as to the install. It is now apparent that hundreds of thousands of home owners across the UK will need remedial work that will consist of a full extraction of the Cavity Wall Insulation and could well mean a whole host of other repairs and replacements directly caused by the install.

 

Contact Wall Cavity Claims today on free phone 0800-8-654321 or visit www.wallcavityclaims.co.uk

Mould and Condensation and How to Manage It After Cavity Wall Insulation Removal

If your defective Cavity Wall Insulation has been removed, you may want to consider the following steps in order to prevent further condensation and potential mould growth inside your home.

Ventilation is very important at providing a healthy environment, even more so in bungalows as there is no first floor for air to circulate. Defective Cavity Wall Insulation may not always be the sole cause of condensation and mould growth however, can often be a contributor due to restricted ventilation. We would therefore suggest adopting the following measures:

  • Installing a good quality extractor fan in the kitchen and bathroom areas
  • Double glazed windows fitted with trickle vents to allow for ventilation
  • Help to ventilate the property by opening windows, particularly after baths and showers to allow water vapour to escape. Dry clothing outside when possible.
  • Clean away old mould with specialized detergents following the cavity wall insulation extraction

Essentially, mould growth will occur when warm damp air settles on ‘cold spots’ in the walls. Defective cavity wall insulation is a principle cause of ‘cold spots’ so removing this should certainly help. However, if excessive water vapour is being produced and the property is not ventilated properly, then condensation and mould growth can still occur, which is why it is important to adopt the steps mentioned above and promote a clean healthy environment.

If you’ve got issues of any other nature with your Cavity Wall Insulation that may be down to the installer not following proper guidelines as to the install. It is now apparent that hundreds of thousands of home owners across the UK will need remedial work that will consist of a full extraction of the Cavity Wall Insulation and could well mean a whole host of other repairs and replacements directly caused by the install.

Your home and your health can be seriously affected if you do not take action.

Contact Wall Cavity Claims today on free phone 0800-8-654321 or visit www.wallcavityclaims.co.uk

Mark Group and Climate Energy Enter Administration on The Same Day

Two of the largest and most established energy efficiency businesses announced that they have gone into administration. The Mark Group and Climate Energy would appear to be casualties of the recent cutbacks in ECO funding and the folding of the Green Deal Finance Company. Naturally our first thoughts are for the employees who are looking for new job opportunities and their families that will of course be the hardest hit by this. Secondly of course is the supply chain that sits behind them and all the customers who have booked work with either of these companies.

 

That leaves tens of thousands of home owners who have had CWI installed by one of these firms no direct recourse and the only cover available for when things go wrong is directly with CIGA.

 

Your CIGA guarantee may be effective in most circumstances and you should check your guarantee as soon as possible, and ensure it is kept safe.

 

If you’ve got issues of any other nature with your Cavity Wall Insulation that may be down to the installer not following proper guidelines as to the install. It is now apparent that hundreds of thousands of home owners across the UK will need remedial work that will consist of a full extraction of the Cavity Wall Insulation and could well mean a whole host of other repairs and replacements directly caused by the install.

 

Contact Wall Cavity Claims today on free phone 0800-8-654321 or visit www.wallcavityclaims.co.uk

Flood and Fire Damaged Cavity Wall Insulation

We really feel for any household that has had to endure a fire or flood. Amongst a massive list of remedial work that is typically required after an event like this, Cavity Wall Insulation should be something that is assessed to determine the level of damage and action required.

 

The obvious issues with flood water is moisture saturating the cavity wall insulation, and penetrating the inner leaf of brickwork. Over a prolonged period of time the moisture is likely to transfer to the internal plaster and plasterboard, could become damp and mould growth could occur if left untreated. This can spoil décor, produce an unpleasant odour and in severe cases, particularly to those with any health issues. In these cases, it is absolutely essential the insulation would need to be removed.

 

Flood water often contains dirty untreated river water, diluted drainage and sewer water. These hazards can become “trapped” within the cavity wall insulation and remain there until the insulation is removed.

 

Fire damage is slightly different in the sense that it is the heat that can affect some cavity wall insulation systems, rendering it ineffective or even melting it.

 

Another problem faced in the case of fire may be wet cavity wall insulation due to the volume and pressure of water used by the fire brigade. In these circumstances, the insulation will again need removing to prevent all of the problems that likely to appear in the future such as damp. Insulation rarely recovers from fires or floods.

 

Your CIGA guarantee isn’t effective in these circumstances and your home and buildings insurance should pay particular attention to address this issue, as if it is left without being treated, it could end up a lot more expensive for you and them in the future.

 

If you’ve got issues of any other nature with your Cavity Wall Insulation that may be down to the installer not following proper guidelines as to the install. It is now apparent that hundreds of thousands of home owners across the UK will need remedial work that will consist of a full extraction of the Cavity Wall Insulation and could well mean a whole host of other repairs and replacements directly caused by the install.

 

Contact Wall Cavity Claims today on free phone 0800-8-654321 or visit www.wallcavityclaims.co.uk

Condensation and Cavity Wall Insulation

Often when our surveyors are out surveying people’s homes for Cavity Wall Insulation removal, we are asked about condensation; what causes condensation, how to reduce it and what effect if any it can have on cavity wall insulation. So, we thought the following article might be of some use should you feel you are experiencing condensation problems in your home.

 

Day-to-day activities such as; cooking, bathing, washing clothes, heating and even breathing produce water vapour. The air can only hold a certain amount of water vapour before it becomes saturated, and condenses back into a liquid. This is what’s known as condensing, the product of which is condensation.

 

Prolonged exposure to condensation in a property can cause; unsightly staining and damage to décor, mould to grow and in severe cases structural defects.

 

Types of condensation

 

Cold bridging – This occurs when moisture heavy air comes into contact with a surface that has a temperature at or below its dew point. This causes the water vapour to condense back into a liquid form and condensation occurs. An example of this could be if rubble or whole bricks are left within cavity after building works or construction, and are touching both sides of the cavity.

 

Interstitial Condensation

 

This type of condensation occurs when moisture heavy air disperses within a vapour-permeable material such as cavity wall insulation. If this material is warm on one side (The side nearest your inside walls) and cold on the other side (The side nearest your external wall) the moisture vapour will condense and deposit its liquid state within the material. Wet cavity wall insulation can lead to damp and mould growth if left untreated.

The Problem

Interstitial condensation is perhaps the more insidious, as it is difficult to detect until significant damage has occurred to the building fabric.

Interstitial condensation occurs where warm, moisture-laden air from the interior diffuses into a vapour-permeable material such as fibrous insulation or a porous brick wall. This is most common in cavity walled structures where the cavity is filled with insulation. The air reaches its dew point within the cavity, depositing water in the insulation layer.

The result is the insulation material can become saturated, so it no longer functions as an effective insulation layer. Water droplets can also form within the cavity, leading to damage of structural elements: corrosion of metal wall ties or rotting timber frames. These may not be evident until significant deterioration has occurred.

When the dew point is reached in the outer brick wall, water will be deposited within the porous brick. In very cold weather, the resultant freeze/thaw action can cause spalling or cracking of the brick.

The Solution

One way to prevent the water vapour entering the wall and reaching the cold surface is to apply a vapour proof barrier on the internal wall underneath the plasterboard and decorative finishes. Cavity trays are also required to assist moisture evaporation.

 

Cavity problems and not sure where to turn?

 

If you’ve got issues of any other nature with your Cavity Wall Insulation that may be down to the installer not following proper guidelines as to the install. It is now apparent that hundreds of thousands of home owners across the UK will need remedial work that will consist of a full extraction of the Cavity Wall Insulation and could well mean a whole host of other repairs and replacements directly caused by the install.

 

Contact Wall Cavity Claims today on free phone 0800-8-654321 or visit www.wallcavityclaims.co.uk

Chartered Surveyor Reports to Confirm Cavity Wall Insulation Removal

The number of requests for Cavity Wall Insulation removal following surveys for mortgage purposes has greatly increased.

Building Surveyors are increasingly aware of the problems associated with cavity wall insulation that has been incorrectly installed, particularly in timber and steel framed properties. When this is identified in a survey during the conveyance process, the lender may well generally be advised not to lend on the property until the cavity wall insulation has been removed.

Very often, a Chartered Surveyor will be required to confirm that the cavity is now clear of insulation once the insulation has been removed.

To assist our customers in this predicament, we can provide a free no obligation Cavity Wall Insulation Inspection Surveyor who, fortunately, specialise in energy efficiency and renewables. The cost of their inspection and report is absorbed by us a company, and with a national coverage they are able to offer an extremely professional and unbiased report backed by a RICS qualified Chartered Surveyor.

If you’ve got issues of any nature with your Cavity Wall Insulation that may be down to the installer not following proper guidelines as to the install.

It is now apparent that hundreds of thousands of home owners across the UK will need remedial work that will consist of a full extraction of the Cavity Wall Insulation and could well mean a whole host of other repairs and replacements directly caused by the install. And if it isn’t causing you obvious problems, it could be affecting your health, and you wallet!!

Contact Wall Cavity Claims today on free phone 0800-8-654321 or visit www.wallcavityclaims.co.uk

Gas grid connections best way to combat fuel poverty

Installing gas central heating in homes which currently rely on electricity for warmth is the best way to combat fuel poverty, the Energy and Utilities Alliance (EUA) has argued in a new report.

The government should make increased connections of properties to the gas grid the focus of the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) and remove a cap on new connections under the Fuel Poor Network Extension Scheme (FPNES), according to the alliance.

EUA said first time central heating has “often been overlooked as a tool for reducing fuel poverty” but offers the biggest potential bill savings to fuel poor households.

Its analysis shows that for a household using electric storage heating with a heat demand of 10,000kWh and an initial bill of £1,386, being connected to the gas grid could deliver yearly savings of £922, compared to £116 for cavity wall insulation, £215 for solid wall insulation and just £29 for loft insulation.

The trade association urged the government to amend ECO to focus on the installation of first time gas central heating in fuel poor homes.

“For homes in fuel poverty the cost of a first time central heating system is too great for them to be able to afford without help,” the report said.  “However, the bill savings of £922 means it has a greater value for money than solid wall insulation and better annual bill savings than fabric measures such as cavity wall insulation and loft insulation. As our analysis shows having no boiler is a major indicator of fuel poverty.”

For properties outside London and within 23m of the existing gas network, EUA estimated that the average cost per household would be roughly £4,600: £600 for connection to the gas grid; £2,000 for the installation of a gas boiler; and a further £2,000 for the installation of radiators and pipework. It would cost more for properties in London or those which are further away from the existing gas network.

The government’s 2015 spending review revealed plans for a new iteration of the supplier obligation with an annual budget of £640 million. Based on the cost estimate of £4,600, the EUA said this could be used to provide first time central heating to more than 139,000 homes each year.

The current RIIO framework only allows for up to 91,203 homes to be connected to the gas grid under the FPNES – this equates to around 11,400 homes per year and EUA said this cap should be removed.

Furthermore, the connections can only be signed off once a central heating system has been agreed and funded, which the report said is a “major barrier” to progress.

EUA added that there is a bureaucratic “disconnect” as FPNES is operated by Ofgem and ECO by BEIS. It said the two schemes should operate in tandem to identify fuel poor homes not on the gas grid, arrange for the central heating system funding and then the connection.

In addition, it has called for a revised ECO scheme to operate in a less “isolationist” manner by identifying properties on a “street by street” basis rather than individually. “With first time connections to the grid it will be more cost effective to connect a number of homes rather than on an individual basis,” the report said.

Alan Hoey, Managing Director of Claims Legal who operate ‘Wall Cavity Claims’ said “With the massive difference in what you can save on household energy bills with a gas central heating system, to the relatively small amount of savings portrayed after having Cavity Wall Insulation fitted, the nightmare of CWI seems to grow and grow”

“Not only does it save a small amount of money at huge expense to the energy companies, now the scandal of all the issues and potential claims for housing damage and health issues will surface over the coming years”