Whilst we are all relaxing and enjoying the great British summer, it is actually the perfect time to start planning ahead as the balmy days and nights will soon turn to cooler wetter ones and any problems with damp in your home will start to get worse again. It is an interesting fact that many property owners put off dealing with a damp problem because of the expense yet in most cases the expense is less than expected but will increase rapidly if the damp problem is lefty to get worse. Where damp is concerned it’s far better to act swiftly and save yourself time, hassle and money.
According to the UK Government English Housing Survey, between the years 2015 – 2017 4% of the 23 million homes in England had damp problems in at least one room. A shocking statistic provided by Shelter – the housing and homelessness charity – is that in its recent study, it was found that 38% of tenants in rented accommodation had a damp problem.
It is a known fact that damp in your home is neither good for your health nor your spirits. Shelter also found in the same study that one in three children living in damp conditions were displaying symptoms of asthma or other respiratory problems. Dealing with damp – especially in the early stages of the problem, is not as costly as many imagine and prompt action is called for. Seeking the advice of specialists is strongly recommended as they will be able to advise the course of action needed and complete the necessary work quickly – before autumn and winter arrive.
Cavitech-UK Are Cavity Wall Insulation Specialists
Cavitech-UK is a family run business that was formed in 1955 and is still evolving as it uses the latest technology and processes as well as dynamic, well-trained professionals. Cavitech-UK specialises in cavity wall insulation – both its removal and replacement. Our company also does repointing, brickwork and loft insulation. Cavitech-UK is a nationwide company with numerous branches including one in Goring-By-Sea.
About six million homes in the UK with cavity walls have cavity wall insulation – but nine million homes do not. Statistics provided by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy for 2017, show that 249,000 homes had cavity wall insulation fitted in that year. The main benefits are that cavity wall insulation increases heat efficiency and is cost saving. Up to 35% of heat is lost through the walls and with good cavity wall insulation, the average sized detached family home can save £245 – or more- per year on its heating bill. This estimated saving was calculated by the Energy Saving Trust based on a gas heated home using April 2018 gas prices. Cavity wall insulation conserves energy, and saves you money – and as a bonus, it sound proofs your home too!
Since the 1920s, properties have been built with an inner and outer wall with a gap between as it was thought that the layer of air was insulating. Cavity wall insulating is when this cavity is filled with polystyrene, mineral wool or foam and stops any air from circulating. The insulation creates a ‘sandwich’ between the walls which does not allow the warmth in the house to escape of the cold from outside air to penetrate. The insulating layer is easy to install as it is done by drilling a number of small holes in the brickwork through which the insulating material is pumped.
Cavity wall extraction and replacement is a common solution for all types of properties with ageing or damaged insulation. As summer turns to autumn it is well worth spending some time checking that your cavity wall insulation is still in good condition and doing its job efficiently. If for any reason the insulation has become damaged or has sagged, this can cause many problems with loss of heat at the top of the list. If damp is able to seep through the cavity wall to the inner wall, the inner wall will feel cold to touch and a damp patch will be visible too. Once you suspect that you might have a problem, it is worth getting it checked by professionals sooner rather than later as prolonged damp in the cavity wall can lead to structural damage and hefty repair bills.
Unfortunately, this type of problem is not unusual in the UK because of the weather conditions – a damp climate, sometimes with high winds and frost. The weather can sometimes cause problems with brickwork and can erode the cement so that a gap develops allowing water to get in to the cavity. Once this happens and the insulation has become wet, it is almost impossible to dry it out effectively.
Five Tell-Tale Signs of Damp to Look For
- The classic smell of a dampness in a room is easy to recognise and this could indicate that there is a problem with damp in that room.
- Are there any dark patches on your walls or ceiling? This is a good indicator of rising or penetrating damp.
- Is your flooring beginning to lift? This is another clear indicator of rising damp.
- Wallpaper that is lifting or peeling is another good indicator of penetrating damp caused by wet insulation in your cavity wall.
- Check regularly for indicators of rising damp. Rising damp travels vertically up from a damaged Damp Proof Course. The wall could feel damp to touch too and maybe you can feel salt granules underneath the wallpaper or see a white salty deposit on the paintwork. If the problem has been there for a while, the skirting board could be soft and rotten in any places.
If you find any of the above symptoms in any of your rooms, it is well worth calling in the experts to establish the extent of the damage and to prevent it spreading.
If you are considering having cavity wall insulation installed in your home, you will be surprised how affordable it is. Money Super Market states that the average cost for a medium-sized detached property is £745 which means with a saving of at least £245 on your annual heating bill, it will have paid for itself in three years. The average cost of cavity wall insulation for a semi-detached house is £475, a mid -terrace, £370 and a flat, £330.
If these figures have convinced you that it makes financial sense, contact a specialist such as Cavitech-UK and check that they are a member of either the Cavity Wall Insulation Guarantee Agency (CIGA) or The National Insulation Agency (NIA) as both give 25 year guarantees on their product and its installation.
Whilst you are checking the insulation on your property and for any damp problems, another part that needs to be looked at as it can cause dampness, is the Damp Proof Course. This is a layer of waterproof material that has been installed just above ground level that ensures that there is no rising damp from the ground below. Unfortunately, over the years, debris such as sand, soil and even bricks can accumulate in the bottom of the cavity and this debris can act as a bridge across the Damp Proof Course that successfully lets damp in and gives the property owner a problem with rising damp.
When you are next up in your loft, check the insulation! Good loft insulation can make a huge difference in keeping your house warm but only 38% of homes have loft insulation with a thickness of at least 125mm. 25% of the heat in your home will be lost through the roof if you do not have good loft insulation. Loft insulation will only be effective if it has been well fitted, is the correct thickness and is not damaged.
Quality loft insulation can last up to 40 years, so it will definitely pay for itself many times over. It is well worth checking your loft insulation regularly and if you are in any doubt, contacting Cavitech-UK as the company also specialises in loft insulation – both its removal and installation. Loft insulation is very effective and is relatively easy to install yourself if you do not use your loft for storage – if you do, it is best to seek professional advice to ensure that the loft is adequately insulated – especially if you have a boarded floor.
The UK government is committed to reducing carbon energy by 80% by the year 2050 and to reducing the UK’s carbon footprint in so doing. At present, 26% of the total energy used in the UK simply goes into space – lost and wasted. Not only is this seasonally the right time to be considering the quality of insulation in your home but it is also the right moment to do your part for energy conservation to reduce your family’s carbon footprint and to ensure that the UK meets its target as it is such an important one for future generations.