If your house was built after the 1920s, it is likely to have cavity walls. Older houses are more likely to have solid walls. If your home was built in the last 10 years, it was probably built with insulation installed at the time.
If you can see the brickwork on the outside of the house, look at the pattern of the bricks. If your home has cavity walls, the bricks will usually have a regular pattern like this:
If your home has solid walls, the bricks will have an alternating pattern like this:
If the brickwork has been covered by render, you can also tell by measuring the width of the wall. Examine a window or door on one of your external walls. If a brick wall is more than 3000mm thick, (from the outer wall to inner wall) then it probably has a cavity; a narrower wall is probably solid. Stone walls may be thicker still but are usually solid.
If your house is a steel-frame or timber-framed building, or is made from pre-fabricated concrete, different rules apply for insulation and this should be surveyed by a specialist before and if any insulation is fitted.
A lot of contractors should have fitted special air vents as below, which can be a good sign that you have cavity wall insulation fitted and to a good standard of quality work. Many houses will find their old air vents have merely been blocked up with silicone to stop the cavity insulation falling out, which can be a worrying start if you’re seeking a survey or suffering damp.
The good news is that most cavity wall insulation firms had to register the installation with CIGA – Cavity Insulation Guarantee Agency, which then offered a 25-year guarantee for the insulation, either themselves or through the installers insurance.
The bad news is that it can cost a considerable amount of time, money and work to rectify a bad installation.
Wall Cavity Claims is a legal services company who offer a free qualified survey to assess your cavity wall insulation and ensure it was installed correctly, and if not, we have access to specialist panel solicitors who work No Win No Fee.