What Problems Can Cavity Wall Insulation Cause?
Properly installed cavity wall insulation (CWI) shouldn’t cause any problems at all. Unfortunately, millions of homes in the UK have had it incorrectly fitted as part of a government backed scheme designed to reduce energy emissions.
If your home has had cavity wall insulation retrofitted (injected into your walls) in the past 20 years or so, then you need to know which potential problems to keep an eye out for. In this article, we’re going to explain these warning signs to help you identify any issues caused by poorly installed cavity wall insulation.
Damp caused by cavity wall insulation
The potential problems caused by cavity wall insulation all come down to damp: water seeping into the walls of your property. Annoyingly, cavity walls themselves are designed to combat this issue so it’s particularly frustrating when poorly fitted insulation then starts to cause it.
If you’ve had cavity wall insulation installed recently, you were undoubtedly told how much money it can save you on energy bills. This is true, if it’s fitted properly. For the millions of homeowners stuck with dodgy CWI, heating bills often increase and damage caused to their properties can end up costing tens of thousands of pounds.
When cavity wall insulation is installed, there needs to be a solid layer inserted without any gaps. Gaps lead to air pockets were water can get trapped and seep into the walls of your home. Likewise, a space allowing cold air to pass through will result in cold spots along your walls, which can result in condensation gathering on the inside of your property.
Once damp sets in, you could be dealing with structural damage to your home and mould which poses a number of health risks to you and your family.
What are the warning signs of damp?
The good news is, it’s relatively easy to spot signs of damp if you know what you’re looking for. The bad news is, you’ve already got a problem on your hands by this stage and it’s often too late to fix things simply – especially if cavity wall insulation is the root cause.
Here are the warning signs to look for:
- Walls: Hold your hand against the external walls of your home (from the inside). Does it feel cold or damp? Are there obvious cold patches as you run your hand along the walls? Look for signs of mould or fungal growth which should look like black or grey speckles. Pay special attention to corners, crevices in textured wallpaper, cracks and joins in skirting boards where would is more likely to develop. Also, look out for any cracks in your walls, curling wallpaper and flaking paint.
- Ceilings: Aside from looking out for signs of mould, keep a close eye on the colour of your ceilings. If you see any discoloured or stained patches develop, this could be an indication of damp. Signs of damp often begin in the corners of ceilings and chimney breasts so make it a regular habit to check these for any changes.
- Bathroom: Mould will often first appear along the grouting of tiles, window frames, and along the inside of cabinets. Bathrooms are often the most likely room in a house to develop damp and this is often the result of poor ventilation – so rule this out first.
- Furniture: Mould can develop on the inside of curtains, blinds and on upholstered surfaces such as sofas. You may also find mould growing on the inside of pillows, mattresses and other items of bedding.
Serious cases of damp can cause major structural damage to your home – the kind that comes with expensive repair bills. More importantly, mould in the home can lead to a wide range of health issues and make existing conditions more severe, particularly repertory issues.
If the damp in your home has been caused by poorly installed cavity wall insulation, you shouldn’t have to pay the price. Wall Cavity Claimers can help you get the compensation you deserve to cover your repair bills and the damage done to your home.