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  • FIRST POST
    • welshblob
    • By welshblob 27th Sep 16, 3:21 PM
    • 422Posts
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    welshblob
    Cavity Wall Insulation - Damp/Damage Claims
    • #1
    • 27th Sep 16, 3:21 PM
    Cavity Wall Insulation - Damp/Damage Claims 27th Sep 16 at 3:21 PM
    Hi,

    My parents had cavity wall insulation installed in 2005, the expanding foam type. They now have serious damp/water ingress problems on the gable end which I believe is due to driving rain. I therefore don't think it was appropriate to have it installed originally and would like to understand what recourse we have over this.

    On this site I have seen lots of advice on having cavity wall insulation installed but not very much on dealing with issues/claims. Having seen adverts in the local paper and having googled I can see there are now solicitors specialising in no win, no fee claims for this and there are "advice" websites which feel as front ends to these solicitors. So does anyone have any advice on how to proceed with this, is it best to do it yourself or use one of these solicitors?

    To me, as with PPI, this feels like a topic that MSE should write an article on as I expect its heavily process based and the money involved to repair the property could run into thousands.
Page 1
    • bxboards
    • By bxboards 27th Sep 16, 3:30 PM
    • 1,088 Posts
    • 883 Thanks
    bxboards
    • #2
    • 27th Sep 16, 3:30 PM
    • #2
    • 27th Sep 16, 3:30 PM
    Hello

    I've have viewed a few properties which have had this issue - holes were drilled outside, then foam beads or other foam was injected. This was a council estate and pretty much all the local authority houses had been treated, having chatted to the neighbours as I always do when I view, it seems that private owners who steered clear of this treatment don't have the same proplems.

    This insulation causes damp to bridge the gap between exterior and internal walls. These cavities were always intended to be a void, so I am not surprised that this would allow penetrating damp to bridge into the internal wall. Looking back, I'm surprised people thought this was a good idea!

    Fixing it would mean removal of the insulation, and re-plastering inside. As you say this is very expensive work. Can't comment on claims etc.
    • Kiran
    • By Kiran 27th Sep 16, 3:32 PM
    • 1,043 Posts
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    Kiran
    • #3
    • 27th Sep 16, 3:32 PM
    • #3
    • 27th Sep 16, 3:32 PM
    Contact the installers in the first instance, if you get no joy from them the CIGA are the next step. Was it definitely the expanding foam type and not the polystyrene beads?
    Some people don't exaggerate........... They just remember big!
    • Kiran
    • By Kiran 27th Sep 16, 3:35 PM
    • 1,043 Posts
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    Kiran
    • #4
    • 27th Sep 16, 3:35 PM
    • #4
    • 27th Sep 16, 3:35 PM
    I should add this would be for the removal. Internal work would probably be down to the homeowner to cover. The reason I asked about the beads as opposed to the expanding foam is that Ihave no idea how they would get the expanding foam type out as it bonds to the 2 skins
    Some people don't exaggerate........... They just remember big!
    • welshblob
    • By welshblob 27th Sep 16, 4:02 PM
    • 422 Posts
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    welshblob
    • #5
    • 27th Sep 16, 4:02 PM
    • #5
    • 27th Sep 16, 4:02 PM
    Its definitely the expanding foam and I dread to think how that is removed. There was an article in the telegraph last year that this might end up being the equivalent of PPI scandal. I can imagine it costing more and being a right pita to fix though.
    • Kiran
    • By Kiran 27th Sep 16, 5:33 PM
    • 1,043 Posts
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    Kiran
    • #6
    • 27th Sep 16, 5:33 PM
    • #6
    • 27th Sep 16, 5:33 PM
    Yeah, I can't see how it can be removed so I'm now intrigued. If it does turn out to be the CWI and it does need to be removed let us know how it's done. Other than hit and miss brick removal I can think of a way.
    Some people don't exaggerate........... They just remember big!
    • Chanes
    • By Chanes 27th Sep 16, 7:51 PM
    • 603 Posts
    • 344 Thanks
    Chanes
    • #7
    • 27th Sep 16, 7:51 PM
    • #7
    • 27th Sep 16, 7:51 PM
    The foam is removed by breaking it up inside the cavity and it is extracted by removing sections of brickwork and taking it out. The wool type or bead type of insulation is blown down to a 'hoover' using compressed air lines higher in the brickwork. We had quotes to have the wool type removed prior to moving into a house and the average was around 3k the expanding foam I suspect would be costlier.

    As it turned out it causes no problems to us at all and the house is very warm. But it spooked me enough to see how much to remove if it was an issue with the house we loved. I do think it is more common to have no problems - it was an issue raised in the house of commons by an MP but I cannot remember her name.

    If it is fitted in exposed walls hit by driving rain or within walls with a narrow cavity it is asking for trouble I think
    • Furts
    • By Furts 28th Sep 16, 7:48 PM
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    Furts
    • #8
    • 28th Sep 16, 7:48 PM
    • #8
    • 28th Sep 16, 7:48 PM
    What is the point of considering claims chasing sharks masquerading as legal buffoons?

    You need to ask fundamental questions such as: Who installed the CWI? Are they still trading? Is there a CIGA Guarantee? Who would any claim be made to? The original contract would have been between the installers and your parents - what is the current situation? Has the home been adequately maintained? Have any alterations of any description from replacement windows and doors, to new extract fans, or flues fitted, to any building works or extensions undertaken.

    When you have answers to these, that are 100% water tight, then you will know if you can consider a claim.

    If you then go ahead the brutal truth is your parents made a conscious, informed decision to go ahead with the CWI. For you to question this over 10 years after the event does not suggest a strong case to me.

    You comment on the Daily Telegraph but also need to consider a fundamental. Bad news and sensationalism sells newspapers. Journalists thrive on scare stories, as do no win no fee claims sharks.
    • bmthmark
    • By bmthmark 29th Sep 16, 10:11 AM
    • 130 Posts
    • 97 Thanks
    bmthmark
    • #9
    • 29th Sep 16, 10:11 AM
    • #9
    • 29th Sep 16, 10:11 AM
    I was seriously considering getting this done is my old 1930's bungalow. I had it all booked in and everything.
    Then I heard these horror stories. There are so many people that have had damp issues after having this done.
    A friend of mine has just had his removed. He had the beads and they were removed using a powerful hoover.

    I thought to myself is it really worth the stress for the amount you save in a year. I calculated that I would save probably £300 in energy costs in a year. But the risk is you may end up with damp problems.
    So in the end I cancelled the installation and improved other insulation (better loft insulation, thicker curtains, new windows)

    I really hope your parents can get this sorted, as I can imagine it being really stressful.
    Please keep us updated.
    • the_r_sole
    • By the_r_sole 29th Sep 16, 10:55 AM
    • 2,037 Posts
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    the_r_sole
    If it was covered by a CIGA guarantee then you can get it removed under that - there is nothing to appoint solicitors here for, your parents signed up to have it installed and it failed, it needs removed - that's all there is to it.
    I recently bought a house with cavity wall insulation and the previous owners had it done by a company doing next door for cash - no guarantee, no paperwork. It was expensive to have it removed but it needed done.
    CWI is inappropriate for a lot of the housing stock in the uk but it was a government sponsored scheme, you are not going to get anywhere chasing a company through a solicitor for compensation imo, just get it removed and get on with your life
    • Dipak
    • By Dipak 29th Sep 16, 11:08 AM
    • 188 Posts
    • 43 Thanks
    Dipak
    I was seriously considering getting this done is my old 1930's bungalow. I had it all booked in and everything.
    Then I heard these horror stories. There are so many people that have had damp issues after having this done.
    A friend of mine has just had his removed. He had the beads and they were removed using a powerful hoover.

    I thought to myself is it really worth the stress for the amount you save in a year. I calculated that I would save probably £300 in energy costs in a year. But the risk is you may end up with damp problems.
    So in the end I cancelled the installation and improved other insulation (better loft insulation, thicker curtains, new windows)

    I really hope your parents can get this sorted, as I can imagine it being really stressful.
    Please keep us updated.
    Originally posted by bmthmark
    Hello,

    Before you get it done, this featured on Rip-off Britain, last week, i think on Tuesday. They mentioned that apparently if your wall is South facing you should not get it done however these companies never advise you of that....worth a watch i think especially if your thinking of getting it done.

    Cheers
    D
    • bmthmark
    • By bmthmark 29th Sep 16, 12:26 PM
    • 130 Posts
    • 97 Thanks
    bmthmark
    Hello,

    Before you get it done, this featured on Rip-off Britain, last week, i think on Tuesday. They mentioned that apparently if your wall is South facing you should not get it done however these companies never advise you of that....worth a watch i think especially if your thinking of getting it done.

    Cheers
    D
    Originally posted by Dipak
    Cheers, but there is no way I would ever get it done. As mentioned for the amount you save its not worth the risk. Too many horror stories out there
    • welshblob
    • By welshblob 30th Sep 16, 12:51 PM
    • 422 Posts
    • 83 Thanks
    welshblob
    What is the point of considering claims chasing sharks masquerading as legal buffoons?

    .....

    You comment on the Daily Telegraph but also need to consider a fundamental. Bad news and sensationalism sells newspapers. Journalists thrive on scare stories, as do no win no fee claims sharks.
    Originally posted by Furts
    OK so let's compare this with the PPI companies. Those companies know the process on how to search your various bank account details, experience of knowing exactly what can be claimed back and how and also have built up a database of which offerings included PPI.

    Now MSE offered some of that with understanding the process and template letters to send off etc. which is all very helpful and has benefited a lot of people who could identify that they had PPI included on their loans etc. However from what I've been told by a few friends is that these companies found PPI that they would never have known about and therefore not claimed for and this was through the experience these companies have built up.

    So although I hate having PPI cold calls I do see there is value in what some of these companies can achieve and it would be good to know which ones have good references. I can see where this could also be applied to CWI claims as I don't know the process particularly well or how to push it if I get into disputes with the original fitters and when am I allowed to take it to the CIGA. Therefore once again I think an MSE article on the subject would be useful and some references for companies dealing with this to avoid the sharks and legal buffoons in case I'd prefer to let someone else handle it all.

    I guess the difference between this and PPI is that PPI was more or less an instant decision and can be all compiled remotely with access to the right computer systems. I expect CWI problems can take some time to develop and therefore this might be a much slower to be identified as a wider problem. Also there are now multiple companies actively focused on these claims and I have seen one which has put an advert in a local paper. Therefore I'd guess there has to be a level of demand in this type of claim for these companies to be interested.

    As for this specific case I believe the original company is still trading (on the surface of it at least) and there is a 25 year CIGA guarantee in place. I'm sure there will be challenges from the company about various things and I would dispute whether it should have been installed in the first place with the gable end being south east facing and tending to get a lot of rain especially being in Wales.

    Thanks for all the replies, I'll keep you updated.
    • superbmum
    • By superbmum 8th Oct 16, 4:31 PM
    • 13 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    superbmum
    Hi welshblob. I feel for your parents! Do they live in Wales? Although this is a nationwide issue, there's a massive problem with CWI in Wales due to it having been installed in regions subjected to driving wet weather. Do your parents have their 25 year CIGA guarantee? They can contact CIGA but I warn you now, they have a battle on their hands. This is a problem that is getting worse but even worse is that CIGA are a guaranteeing agency who do not make a profit and only have a certain amount of money to put things right. They will argue your parents' case from the outset and will say the damp and any mould is due to lifestyle condensation. The fact that they had it installed so long ago is irrelevant (it's a 25 year guarantee). I would not recommend a claims company - they're unlikely to put in the amount of hours/months/years this is going to take. Look up CIVALLI - they know so much about this problem, particularly from the Wales angle, and will support you every step of the way (for free). They're a victim support group.

    I had it installed in my home in 2004 (blown fibre). It took me 11 years to work out why my walls were damp and mouldy - a chance link on Google took me to CWI. After well over a year of battling CIGA, including two inspections, I'm finally at the point of it being removed under guarantee, due to it not having been installed properly (in fact, due to debris in my cavities, it should never have been installed in the first place).

    Good luck and don't give up! It will be a long, stressful and soul destroying process but you will get there in the end. Don't be fobbed off.

    Watch Rip off Britain Tues 10th Oct - BBC1.
    Last edited by superbmum; 08-10-2016 at 4:54 PM.
    • superbmum
    • By superbmum 8th Oct 16, 4:48 PM
    • 13 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    superbmum
    What is the point of considering claims chasing sharks masquerading as legal buffoons?

    You need to ask fundamental questions such as: Who installed the CWI? Are they still trading? Is there a CIGA Guarantee? Who would any claim be made to? The original contract would have been between the installers and your parents - what is the current situation? Has the home been adequately maintained? Have any alterations of any description from replacement windows and doors, to new extract fans, or flues fitted, to any building works or extensions undertaken.

    When you have answers to these, that are 100% water tight, then you will know if you can consider a claim.

    If you then go ahead the brutal truth is your parents made a conscious, informed decision to go ahead with the CWI. For you to question this over 10 years after the event does not suggest a strong case to me.

    You comment on the Daily Telegraph but also need to consider a fundamental. Bad news and sensationalism sells newspapers. Journalists thrive on scare stories, as do no win no fee claims sharks.
    Originally posted by Furts
    As for new windows/doors being fitted - does the CIGA guarantee state not to have this done after installation? No. Is it unreasonable to expect homeowners not to fit new windows/doors/flues in the space of 25 years? Yes.

    Chances are your parents were NOT well informed before they had the installation. Did the installer carry out a full survey of the property prior to installation, which your parents were given a copy of? I doubt it. Not a strong case 10 years after the event? Erm, it's a 25 year guarantee.

    Sensationalism? This has become a widespread problem which has been raised in the House of Commons, the Telegraph wrote a very honest article, it's been aired several times on Radio 4's You & Yours, it's been reported on BBC1's Rip off Britain (with an update being shown on Tues 10th Oct) and a victim's alliance support group (CIVALLI) has been set up.

    So yes, it's a huge issue which needs a bit more compassion shown to those who have been affected and whose homes have been ruined.
    • Furts
    • By Furts 9th Oct 16, 6:58 AM
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    Furts
    As for new windows/doors being fitted - does the CIGA guarantee state not to have this done after installation? No. Is it unreasonable to expect homeowners not to fit new windows/doors/flues in the space of 25 years? Yes.

    Chances are your parents were NOT well informed before they had the installation. Did the installer carry out a full survey of the property prior to installation, which your parents were given a copy of? I doubt it. Not a strong case 10 years after the event? Erm, it's a 25 year guarantee.

    Sensationalism? This has become a widespread problem which has been raised in the House of Commons, the Telegraph wrote a very honest article, it's been aired several times on Radio 4's You & Yours, it's been reported on BBC1's Rip off Britain (with an update being shown on Tues 10th Oct) and a victim's alliance support group (CIVALLI) has been set up.

    So yes, it's a huge issue which needs a bit more compassion shown to those who have been affected and whose homes have been ruined.
    Originally posted by superbmum
    We live in a consumer society and "Buyer Beware" is a well known term. Add to this there are almost weekly news articles on BBC about new scams. The bottom line is CWI is a problem for some people but why should the government be deemed responsible for sorting it out? Where does personal responsibility come into matters? Should we as a society petition the government to stop rogue traders pressure washing roofs, or fitting defective plastic verge strips, or fitting vinyl wrapped kitchen unit doors?

    The CIGA Guarantee does state it is not valid if "the installation has been altered or disturbed after the installation was completed". This rule can be applied if double glazing is installed. It is a reasonable exclusion, but should be tempered with a realistic analysis by CIGA. However I have yet to meet a consumer who issues a firm specification to a double glazing company to counter this. The consumer then becomes a victim of their own misfortune.
    • superbmum
    • By superbmum 10th Oct 16, 4:45 PM
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    superbmum
    The government championed CWI as part of their energy efficiency campaign, subsidised the majority of installations, and pressured energy companies performing the installations to meet a certain target or have their energy efficiency certification withdrawn. The entire process was driven by the government. That's why so many installations were performed without a survey being carried out. So no, not the same as having your roof cleaned or faulty kitchen cupboards and hence not standard consumerism.
    • jack_pott
    • By jack_pott 10th Oct 16, 5:39 PM
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    jack_pott
    If it was covered by a CIGA guarantee then you can get it removed under that
    Originally posted by the_r_sole
    There has been lots of publicity over the years about CIGA being a load of shysters who find excuses not to honour the guarantee. I think there were questions asked in parliament about it not long ago.

    When I was thinking of having it done I sent CIGA a letter full of questions but as they avoided answering them all I didn't touch it with a bargepole.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/property/advice/11411880/Could-the-cavity-wall-insulation-scandal-rival-PPI.html

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/property/11485758/Cavity-wall-insulation-crisis-may-hit-three-million-homes.html
    • Furts
    • By Furts 11th Oct 16, 7:00 AM
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    • 1,817 Thanks
    Furts
    The government championed CWI as part of their energy efficiency campaign, subsidised the majority of installations, and pressured energy companies performing the installations to meet a certain target or have their energy efficiency certification withdrawn. The entire process was driven by the government. That's why so many installations were performed without a survey being carried out. So no, not the same as having your roof cleaned or faulty kitchen cupboards and hence not standard consumerism.
    Originally posted by superbmum
    You are correct in saying the government did want it, but sharks and cowboys jumped on board. Incompetence, corruption and greed also came on board coupled with collusion from the energy companies. But ultimately it was the consumer in the driving seat - a simple yes or no to having CWI installed. Simple questions were not asked, common sense went out of the window, terms and conditions were not read...and now we have problems with some homes.

    The reality is there may not be a single house in the UK that is fully compliant with the requirements for CWI. Yet countless homes save been insulated. It is inevitable problems will crop up, but the consumer is not the innocent victim in all this.
    • superbmum
    • By superbmum 11th Oct 16, 7:48 AM
    • 13 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    superbmum
    You are correct in saying the government did want it, but sharks and cowboys jumped on board. Incompetence, corruption and greed also came on board coupled with collusion from the energy companies. But ultimately it was the consumer in the driving seat - a simple yes or no to having CWI installed. Simple questions were not asked, common sense went out of the window, terms and conditions were not read...and now we have problems with some homes.

    The reality is there may not be a single house in the UK that is fully compliant with the requirements for CWI. Yet countless homes save been insulated. It is inevitable problems will crop up, but the consumer is not the innocent victim in all this.
    Originally posted by Furts
    12 years ago when I had mine installed it was heavily subsidised and publicised, alongside loft insulation. There were no negative reports about it all over the internet like there are now. I asked ' simple' questions such as "is there a 5mm clearance?" But, no I didn't ask questions that consumers now read about such as "do I have existing debris in my cavities?". Why? Because I'm not a builder, just like I'm not an engineer but unfortunately bought a tumble dryer that's likely to burst into flames. I guess my 'common sense', along with thousands of other clearly gullible people was lacking on several counts then, wasn't it? I'm sure those people who own a Samsung Galaxy Note 7 also only have themselves to blame, after all, did they ask if the battery will explode???

    There were no terms and conditions, just a 25 year guarantee which was provided post-installation and a nice big subsidy from the government to persuade you of the effectiveness.

    Goodbye Furts, I have a feeling you're just about to have a day working for either CIGA, a CWI manufacturer or an installation company. I'm pretty sure your responses don't go along the line of understanding Samaritan.
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