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  • FIRST POST
    Turnipfarmer
    Cavity Wall Insualtion - Good idea or not?
    • #1
    • 15th Dec 14, 5:26 PM
    Cavity Wall Insualtion - Good idea or not? 15th Dec 14 at 5:26 PM
    Just had a British Gas Surveyor come round this morning to check to see if our house is suitable for their free loft insulation scheme which I am, no problems there and happy to go with.

    Now, he asked about cavity wall insulation which I never even thought about. I have read so many sorry stories about damp on inside of the house after the house has been done.

    I want to see what peoples thoughts are on this and your experiences. Are British Gas any good at doing the cavity wall insulation or has anyone had load of issues since they done it? Also does it make a massive difference to temperature of the house?

    My house is 4 bedroom detached built in the 1970s with approx 50mm cavity. Surveyor said it was clear on inspection and my house has no extensions and the damp course is 2 bricks above the ground.

    If anyone could give me feedback or advise on this that would be great.
Page 1
    • jack_pott
    • By jack_pott 15th Dec 14, 5:37 PM
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    jack_pott
    • #2
    • 15th Dec 14, 5:37 PM
    • #2
    • 15th Dec 14, 5:37 PM
    I had a quote 10-12 years ago, but I've never had it done because CIGA have a reputation for not honouring the guarantee. There was a guy at the door this afternoon pushing cavity insulation, I don't know whether he was from British Gas, he didn't get the chance to say.
    • Rainmaker_uk
    • By Rainmaker_uk 15th Dec 14, 5:41 PM
    • 514 Posts
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    Rainmaker_uk
    • #3
    • 15th Dec 14, 5:41 PM
    • #3
    • 15th Dec 14, 5:41 PM

    My house is 4 bedroom detached built in the 1970s with approx 50mm cavity. Surveyor said it was clear on inspection and my house has no extensions and the damp course is 2 bricks above the ground.

    If anyone could give me feedback or advise on this that would be great.
    Originally posted by Turnipfarmer
    We had cavity wall insulation done and it has certainly made the house warmer so I would recommend it. Be aware that there will be small marks made to the outside of your house and depending upon whether your house is painted/clad you may see this.

    I would assume the British Gas are reputable and know what they are doing - but one can never be sure ;-)
    • Furts
    • By Furts 15th Dec 14, 10:24 PM
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    Furts
    • #4
    • 15th Dec 14, 10:24 PM
    • #4
    • 15th Dec 14, 10:24 PM

    My house is 4 bedroom detached built in the 1970s with approx 50mm cavity. Surveyor said it was clear on inspection and my house has no extensions and the damp course is 2 bricks above the ground.
    Originally posted by Turnipfarmer
    Be aware that most houses never get properly checked before cavity wall insulation. It is not in the interests of the salesmen, masquerading as a "surveyor", to find defects otherwise they would not reach their sales targets.

    It would be normal for many houses to have defects like blocked cavities, holes at floor joist bearings, cavities not closed at the heads etc. Many of these, and others, do not get checked by the "surveyor".

    Hence receiving cavity insulation is taking a gamble, but for most people this gamble pays off. This is because their expectations are not great, they do not rigidly oversee the work, they accept the service that is offered and they like the idea of the product being "free".

    Yes the house will end up warmer, but it is impossible to say by how much.

    Be aware that many posters on this Forum complain about condensation after the installation.
    • Pennylane
    • By Pennylane 16th Dec 14, 9:53 AM
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    Pennylane
    • #5
    • 16th Dec 14, 9:53 AM
    • #5
    • 16th Dec 14, 9:53 AM
    My house is just like yours .... 1970s, 4 bed detached and we had cavity wall insulation put in about 10 years ago. The difference in the warmth of the house has been amazing.

    We also rent out a small house and we had that done about 5 years ago and the tenants sit in there at nights with just T shirts on now, they say it's lovely and cozy.

    My elderly Mum had hers done maybe 8 years ago and her house used to be freezing as she's right on the coast with nothing between her and the North Pole! She's in a semi and it was probably built in the late 40s.

    You can see no obvious marks on the outside of our house and we don't have any condensation problems at all.

    I'd recommend it.
    • ratrace
    • By ratrace 19th Dec 14, 11:25 PM
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    ratrace
    • #6
    • 19th Dec 14, 11:25 PM
    • #6
    • 19th Dec 14, 11:25 PM
    same here our house is a corner terrace house and before we had it done the house was freezing cold esp in the winter as soon as the radiators went off the house would be so cold you'd think we didn't have them on at all

    but now after we have had it done its made a huge difference in terms of heat the house now holds heat fro much longer thank before and we turn the heater down a few degrees we know it great as it reflects in our monthly bills

    no condensation, mold or damp nope nothing a very wise move all for FREE!!!
    People are caught up in an egotistic artificial rat race to display a false image to society. We want the biggest house, fanciest car, and we don't mind paying the sky high mortgage to put up that show. We sacrifice our biggest assets our health and time, We feel happy when we see people look up to us and see how successful we are”

    Rat Race
    • brightontraveller
    • By brightontraveller 20th Dec 14, 2:11 AM
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    brightontraveller
    • #7
    • 20th Dec 14, 2:11 AM
    • #7
    • 20th Dec 14, 2:11 AM
    Yes it will cut energy bills but may cause multitude of problems I’d check what other’s around you have had done, Unfortunately though “surveyor” is a title they give themselves and means nothing ….
    • Furts
    • By Furts 20th Dec 14, 9:05 AM
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    Furts
    • #8
    • 20th Dec 14, 9:05 AM
    • #8
    • 20th Dec 14, 9:05 AM

    no condensation, mold or damp nope nothing a very wise move all for FREE!!!
    Originally posted by ratrace
    But it is not really free - we are all paying for it through our gas and electricity bills. It is a form of taxation being used, in many cases, to subsidise those who could not be bothered to maintain and upgrade their homes. Hence "nanny state" steps in with a "free" scheme that gets invaded by snake oil salesmen masquerading as "surveyors", together with their cowboy installation contractors.

    Then because the customer is not the client, and because the customer thinks it is "free", the contractors have a licence to bodge the works.

    The energy companies have a vested interest in the installation being bodged, for two reasons. First, they do not want people paying less money for their gas and electricity. Consequently, the energy companies all refuse to supervise their cowboy contractors. The second reason for this is that the bodged work is being financed by the customer, so the energy companies are have no commercial interest in what is being done.

    Please do not misunderstand - I am not having a go at you for I too had a "free" installation. What I am saying is the concept is absurd, unfair, unregulated and of dubious quality.
    • thescouselander
    • By thescouselander 20th Dec 14, 11:44 AM
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    thescouselander
    • #9
    • 20th Dec 14, 11:44 AM
    • #9
    • 20th Dec 14, 11:44 AM
    I was debating the same question about a year ago. In the end we took a gamble and had the polystyrene balls installed. We did do some checks first though to make sure there wasn't too much driving rain into the external walls which can cause problems - as it happens we're ok as it's not too windy round here and there are other buildings nearby to shield our house from the weather.

    For us its so far so good. The house is warmer and the direct debit for our gas bill has just been reduced. We haven't noticed any adverse effects so far.

    My parents also have cavity wall insulation but they live very close to the sea with a lot of wind driven rain hitting the house - that side suffers from damp.

    I'd say it's worth it of you can avoid problems but do your own research into the zones of the country where it's not recommended and the different types of insulation available.
    Last edited by thescouselander; 20-12-2014 at 11:51 AM.
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 20th Dec 14, 12:31 PM
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    Davesnave
    We have it....allegedly, but recent work on the house shows that it's curate's egg: good in parts, with other parts empty of the blown insulation. The former owner had it installed, and I suspect it was a freebie, done badly.

    We have no problems though, not even condensation on the empty, presumably colder bits, and we're in a windy, quite high rainfall area.

    It's a lottery, but as above, you can shorten the odds by due diligence.
    'Only the mediocre are always at their best.' Jean Giraudoux
    • Furts
    • By Furts 20th Dec 14, 2:43 PM
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    Furts
    We did do some checks first though to make sure there wasn't too much driving rain into the external walls which can cause problems - as it happens we're ok as it's not too windy round here and there are other buildings nearby to shield our house from the weather.

    My parents also have cavity wall insulation but they live very close to the sea with a lot of wind driven rain hitting the house - that side suffers from damp.

    I'd say it's worth it of you can avoid problems but do your own research into the zones of the country where it's not recommended and the different types of insulation available.
    Originally posted by thescouselander
    We have it....allegedly, but recent work on the house shows that it's curate's egg: good in parts, with other parts empty of the blown insulation. The former owner had it installed, and I suspect it was a freebie, done badly.

    It's a lottery, but as above, you can shorten the odds by due diligence.
    Originally posted by Davesnave
    Back to Turnipfarmer. These two excellent posts reflect my experience.

    My cavity wall insulation was undertaken third time round. It was then drilled and injected twice and repaired four times. Over the space of one year there were at least twelve appointments, numerous meetings, endless contractors, and it is still unresolved.

    Due diligence is absolutely vital, as is avoiding the miriad cowboys and scams that operate in this field.

    But with the best due diligence in the world, the industry is so flawed that the customer still has a good likelihood of being taken advantage of.

    Again one for Turnipfarmer - one of the cowboys trying to con me was British Gas.

    Ultimately the responsibility lay with Domestic and General Insulation. They were so bad the Police became involved in an attempt to control the criminal damage being undertaken by them. Fortunately after the Police got on the case Domestic and General Insulation cleared off - probably to wreak havoc on some other innocent householder. The Police knew all about this shocking company, but I did not pursue a statement and press charges. I accept that it was my duty to do so, and the Police encouraged me to do so, but I was just glad to see the back of them.
    • r2015
    • By r2015 20th Dec 14, 4:04 PM
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    r2015
    Be aware that many posters on this Forum complain about condensation after the installation.
    I get more condensation on the inside of my double glazed windows in the morning since I had it done.

    Possibly because the windows are colder than the walls?

    I have noticed that the house takes longer to cool down when the heating goes off at night, I haven't had to have the heating left on all night yet.
    Last edited by r2015; 20-12-2014 at 4:06 PM.
    • Slinky
    • By Slinky 11th Oct 16, 4:25 PM
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    Slinky
    spam reported
    • Chanes
    • By Chanes 11th Oct 16, 5:05 PM
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    • 346 Thanks
    Chanes
    We bought a house with cavity wall insulation installed by British Gas, we asked for a reduction in the price by 1k in case we found damp caused by the insulation (it is 3k to remove from the quotes we got prior to exchange) It was the only item we negotiated a reduction for on the whole survey, the rest, we considered reasonable wear and tear and fixable for a fair price and we didn't want to lose the house.

    We have had no problem relating to damp or condensation, we have had access to the cavity in some place during works and it is dry and so is the insulation. The cavity has a large gap. This is a 4 bed detached built 1991.
    I am sure some folks have had issues but this property has had the CWI for 14 years and has been fine throughout. I think if I neglect the brickwork and water gets in to the cavity could may be an issue but who lets their house get so much in disrepair as to become soakable!

    Our heating bills are cheaper here than our previous home which was a 3 bed detached and by about £30 a month (G&E)
    • bmthmark
    • By bmthmark 12th Oct 16, 10:00 AM
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    • 97 Thanks
    bmthmark
    I've been considering cavity wall insulation as well. I've read a lot of horror stories online regarding this so i'm really not convinced as of yet.
    These houses/bungalows were built with a cavity for a reason, to allow air circulation and have a gap between outside wall and internal wall. The questions that keep going through my mind is why would we want to fill this with cheap material's to cause a bridge. Surely we are asking for trouble??
    Yes we may save ourselves a few hundred pounds a year in gas bills, but is it really worth the risk of causing damp issues in the property? The clever people that designed the original builds must of had valid reasons to create a cavity.
    A friend of mine had it done and he has had nothing but trouble. He is now looking at spending lots of money removing the stuff.
    I'm not convinced as of yet that this is a good idea.
    Last edited by bmthmark; 12-10-2016 at 3:55 PM.
    • Grenage
    • By Grenage 12th Oct 16, 12:06 PM
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    Grenage
    It's not there for air circulation, it's there to stop water getting from the outside to the inside.

    I had it in my 1970's ex council and it was fine. Solid build, cheap to heat, happy days.

    New place is a 1905 build, and I don't plan on having cavity wall insulation. No idea why, just go with your gut.
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 12th Oct 16, 12:21 PM
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    Davesnave

    New place is a 1905 build, and I don't plan on having cavity wall insulation. No idea why.....
    Originally posted by Grenage
    There's a pretty good reason; houses built in 1905 won't have a cavity!
    'Only the mediocre are always at their best.' Jean Giraudoux
    • the_r_sole
    • By the_r_sole 12th Oct 16, 1:53 PM
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    the_r_sole
    Cavities are there for a reason, filling them up isn't the best way to insulate a house. It's just a cheap way to do it and has lots of potential problems in our climate
    • Grenage
    • By Grenage 12th Oct 16, 2:12 PM
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    Grenage
    There's a pretty good reason; houses built in 1905 won't have a cavity!
    Originally posted by Davesnave
    That's a bit of a generalisation

    My house certainly has a cavity; my mate's 1880s house also has a cavity.
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 12th Oct 16, 2:35 PM
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    Davesnave
    That's a bit of a generalisation

    My house certainly has a cavity; my mate's 1880s house also has a cavity.
    Originally posted by Grenage
    Yes, but the cavities, where they existed, prior to more general adoption in the 20s/30s, were pretty narrow ones and probably not the best to infill.

    People were also still building estates of houses without cavity walls in the 1950s, but they weren't typical of general practice either.
    'Only the mediocre are always at their best.' Jean Giraudoux
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