Over the last couple of years, cavity wall insulation has gone from being seen as one of the best ways to keep a house warm, to detested by many homeowners due to the umpteen problems that have occurred as a result of this once popular insulation. Damp and mould has been the number one issue that has blighted people all over the country, as this solution for keeping homes warm and dry has actually caused the opposite. Thousands of people have fallen victim to the issue as a result of the insulation not being installed properly and has caused stress, expense and mess in their homes.
But how can you tell whether you have been affected?
Let’s start with the homes that are classed as ‘high risk’. Damp is more likely to occur in properties as a result of cavity wall insulation if:
- your home is exposed to severe levels of wind-driven rain. These are often around coastal areas – and in particular on the west coast.
- your home is located in an unsheltered position and not protected by other buildings or trees.
- your home’s external walls are poorly built or maintained. An example of this would be if there are noticeable cracks in the brickwork or rendering.
However cavity wall insulation can also cause issues if it was not installed correctly. And unfortunately, because people think they’re safe from such troubles, many don’t realise there is an issue until it is too late.
So what should you look out for – even if you’ve recently had cavity wall insulation installed?
Damp internal walls
Depending on the severity, this can go unmissed for many months – particularly in the summer. However damp internal walls are the top sign that something is amiss. Look out for wet patches that turn the paintwork darker and paint that has peeled off.
Staining occurs as a result of the damp rising. It can cause staining on the walls, turning them a brown colour, as well as carpets, rugs and furniture that leans against these walls.
Condensation is a sign that the walls aren’t breathing. And when they’re damp, they’re not. Although some condensation is expected in bathrooms and kitchens for example when you’ve been cooking or just had a shower, keeping an eye out in other, otherwise dry and well ventilated rooms, will help you to spot if something is not right early on.
Black mould is one of the hardest things to get rid of. It gets onto walls and fabrics and can take a long time to scrub off. Unsightly, usually it is easy to spot, but does develop over time as the damp doesn’t dry out, so if you spot this, something needs to be done right away.
All of the above make for a very unpleasant smell. More noticeable in winter when homes are more likely to have windows and doors shut, a fusty smell can be an early warning sign.
Should you experience any issues after having cavity wall insulation, it’s always advised to speak to the installation company. If they are no help, contact governing bodies, such as the CIGA (Cavity Insulation Guarantee Agency) as they currently regulate the installation. Always keep receipts and documents together and make sure you document findings with pictures or videos to evidence your problems.
If you are experiencing issues and need cavity wall insulation removing, contact us today. We are fully-regulated and have a wealth of experience helping people all over the country get rid of their poorly installed insulation and give them their homes back.