April 15, 2024

Why your cavity wall insulation is failing, and the signs you should be looking for

Cavity wall insulation experts, First Choice Energy Limited consider the many causes of cavity wall insulation failure, and what to keep an eye out for.

Many homes in Wales have cavity wall insulation, i.e., materials in the cavity of your walls designed to keep your house warmer,  As a lot of readers will be aware, cavity wall insulation can cause more problems than it solves. There are a lot of reasons as to why this is the case and this article will tell you all the things you should keep an eye out for if you think your cavity wall insulation is failing.

Why is your cavity wall insulation possibly failing?

Your cavity wall insulation should last at least until its guarantee period is over, if it hasn’t, here are some of the reasons as to why… you could be eligible to make a claim.

Your home location may not be suitable for cavity wall insulation

Unfortunately, if your home is vulnerable to wind-driven rain, cavity wall insulation is completely unsuitable. The rain will definitely penetrate through your walls, with no chance to dry out, making the insulation materials damp, and clinging to your walls.

Poor materials were used in insulating your home

Through no fault of your own, of course! Polyurethane foam and mineral wool are known to be problematic insulating materials. Either breaking down over time, or gathering dampness in your walls and not allowing each layer of your cavity to breathe.

The width of your cavity is too small

For a cavity to be unproblematic, it needs to breathe! If your narrow cavity has been insulated, there is very little space to allow it to do so!

Your cavity wall insulation wasn’t installed properly in the first place

For example, when having EPS beads injected into your walls, they need a perfect bead-bonding ratio. If this isn’t executed, too much or too little of the bonding will definitely cause problems down the line.

What are the symptoms of failing cavity wall insulation?

If you think your cavity wall insulation could be failing for any of the above reasons, here are a few of the tell-tale symptoms that could be creeping up in your home.

1. Increased energy bills

Unfortunately, this symptom can slip under your nose. While a little monthly increase on energy bills might not be entirely noticeable, you could actually end up paying up to £200 more each year on your bills if your cavity wall insulation isn’t working as it should.

2. Damp patches growing on your walls

If cavity wall insulation begins to fail as a result of dampness, it acts as the perfect bridge to transfer this moisture absorbed from the external wall of your home to the internal wall of your home, allowing the dampness to evolve inside.

3. Mould growth on your walls

Again, this is a result of the development of dampness. Mould tends to thrive in moist warm places, i.e., a cavity wall with plenty of damp insulation and no air circulation! Again this is transferred to your inner walls, allowing the mould to spread along the inside of your home… lingering mould in your home can also make you feel as though you’ve got a terrible cold that you just can’t shift. So, if you find yourself feeling rather congested and you have a few dark, mouldy patches on your walls, your cavity wall insulation could definitely be declining.

4. Are there cold patches on your walls?

When cavity wall insulation is in failure, dampness isn’t the only cause. Many materials can begin to bunch and clump, leaving areas of the walls without any insulation. So, have a feel of your internal walls! If your cavity wall insulation is clumping, some parts of your walls tend to feel colder than others.

5. Cracks in the render or the brickwork of your home

This could possibly be a sign of cavity wall insulation failure. When the insulation materials become damp, or begin to clump, they can hang off your wall ties. The wall ties are the pins holding the two layers of your cavity wall together. Dampness can creep into these wall ties, causing them to expand inside the mortar of your walls, causing them to crack.

6. Blown plaster

This is when the plaster on your walls loses its adhesion, so it appears lifted, or bubbly. This is a result of damp cavity wall insulation, once again! The dampness causes the bonding between the wall and the plaster to stop working.

Failing cavity wall insulation is not something to be ignored, and can leave your home as a risky environment to live with its symptoms, one example being the growth of mould in your home, or the compromising of the structural integrity of your home. So, if your home is showing any of these symptoms, it might be time to talk to a specialist about cavity wall insulation removal.