When Does Cavity Wall Insulation Need to Be Removed?

There are a variety of reasons why a property might need cavity wall extraction:

1) Slumping Insulation – Some of the earliest cavity wall insulation, employing more rudimentary materials, such as Urea Formaldehyde, has now slumped in the cavity wall, leaving cold spots that may be causing condensation.

2) Urea Formaldehyde – This form of cavity wall insulation was used for a period of time in many thousands of installations. We now know that this degrades over time losing it’s insulation properties and in the process can present health risks due to gases which are released as it degrades and so the removal of this type of insulation is advised.

3) Poorly Installed CWI – More recently, unfortunately, we see many cases of poorly installed cavity wall insulation where the wrong drill pattern or blowing pressure has left cold spots which may lead to condensation. Cavity wall insulation cannot be ‘topped up’ and so cavity wall extraction and correct re-installation is required. Other poor installation practices, such as not dealing with wall vents properly, can cause similar problems. You may have noticed that stories about poorly installed cavity wall insulation have been appearing more and more in the media. Keep an eye on our website and blog where we will be posting anything we see.

4) Flood/Water Damaged Insulation – Cavity wall insulation may have been damaged during flooding; sometimes broken or under performing rainwater goods may have allowed water to penetrate the cavity or the property may be located in an area of high exposure to wind driven rain. If cavity wall insulation becomes wet or damp, it really must be removed as this will transfer moisture to the inner skin of the property, damage wall finishes and potentially cause health hazards.

5) Unsuitable Building Type – the building, or a particular wall, may have been unsuitable for cavity wall insulation. Examples can be buildings with porous brickwork or mortar; steel and timber framed buildings; or buildings with high exposure to moisture.

6) Steel Framed Properties – We have had a few cases lately where we have been asked to carry out Extraction on Steel Framed properties. In all cases the customers have been trying to sell their properties but have found that potential buyers have been turned down for the mortgage due to the fact the property is insulated.

Cavity wall insulation is not recommended for steel framed houses because they need a well ventilated cavity to prevent moisture from building up and corroding the steel. If you have had CWI installed in a steel framed property you need to take immediate action.

If insulation were to get damp it would hold the moisture against the steel frame, particularly towards the bottom of the structure and make it more likely to corrode. In the majority of cases steel framed properties should not have been insulated in the first place.

If you find yourself in this situation fear not, all is not lost. The property can be Extracted.

The time and cost of cavity wall extraction depends entirely on the conditions that present themselves: the size of the property, the nature of the cavity wall and, of course, the material that must be extracted. It is difficult therefore to provide an indication of cost without gaining some more information about the particular job in question. However, we have tried to answer some questions about the cost of cavity wall insulation extraction here.

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, costing in excess of £10,000 and up to £30,000 in come cases. CIGA guarantee certificates generally stipulate an amount of cover on the certificate between £10,000 and £25,000

Mortgage lenders are also looking at properties which have had CWI installed and can devalue a property by as much as £30,000 if a valid CWI examination certificate is not available.

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, contact us for a free, no obligation review.

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

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