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