Been offered 'free' wall insulation……

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  • Been offered 'free' wall insulation……
  • BFITH
    Member

    Thanks for the link geoff……

    jekkyl
    Member

    We had our loft insulated f.o.c. a few years ago with a similar scheme. No scam, it was all good

    BFITH
    Member

    Jekkyl.. we were offered loft insulation by British Gas a couple of years back – wish id taken them up on it! Thats probably the worst insualted part of our property.

    Not hearing good things so far (from t’internet) about retro bead insulation with regard to dampness etc. Think I’ll leave it and stick with the insulation I’ve got 😉

    teef
    Member

    The government is keen for home-owners to insulate their homes, but cavity walls were built as a barrier against penetrating dampness, So what happens when you fill an empty cavity with insulating material? Or in other words, when is a cavity wall not a cavity wall? Answer: when it is filled with damp fluffy stuff.

    Cavity Wall Insulation Problems

    BFITH
    Member

    A company has been knocking on doors around our area recently offering free wall insulation for detached, 3 bedroom houses (ours fits the bill!).

    Obviously I’m suspicious about anything free. Apparently there are grants available from the government or this type of thing and the insulation company claim back the money from the govt. Struggling to find any concrete evidence of this online.
    Should I be wary (I am naturally wary of any body who comes knocking on my door offering free stuff!).

    Has any body else been offered such free insulation, had it done, any horror stories?

    Our house is only 23 years old, so they would be filling the cavity between the outer skin and the existing solid insulation with a bead type insulation.

    spooky_b329
    Member

    Thank them for letting you know you qualify for a grant…and now find out if a more reputable company that will still be around in 12 months time can do the same work with the grant.

    I missed a loft insulation grant for my 3 bed bungalow, luckily they called me up a year or two later to say the grant had been renewed and they could do my loft for free. Saved a packet as a bungalow has double the loft area to insulate, used practically the whole grant!

    Edit: reputable as in one of the energy companies. British Gas did ours, don’t even buy our energy from them 🙂

    Premier Icon sockpuppet
    Subscriber

    We had our cavity wall done with beads ~3 years ago, no damp issues yet. Noticeable change to heating bills, and house feels warmer at the same thermostat setting – fewer drafts I think.

    We’ve had some other work done since and I can confirm that the beads get pretty much everywhere in the cavity!

    FOC to us, I think it was British Gas funded, them essentially buying carbon reductions.

    Happy with the outcome here.

    not wall insulation but my wife took a call back in the summer, one of many we get like it, offering a new boiler. she played along just for fun thinking it was a scam, and about a dozen calls later from them and a site visit we had a whole new oil boiler, the upgraded version of what we had (8 years old) and new improved controls in the house. all for no cost at all. certainly changed my view of these ‘schemes.’

    Premier Icon allfankledup
    Subscriber

    Loft insulation done here… sounds too good to be true…..

    Premier Icon mrblobby
    Subscriber

    We’ve had some other work done since and I can confirm that the beads get pretty much everywhere in the cavity!

    Had ours done. Was all good. Though the beads really do get everywhere. They managed to get out the cavity and fill up our electrical junction box. Some melted and started causing fuses to blow. Had to hoover it out, block up the holes and replace some fuses.

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    BFITH wrote:

    Our house is only 23 years old

    You should already have insulation in your cavity in that case – I’m fairly sure our similar age house has when I looked into this.

    BFITH
    Member

    You should already have insulation in your cavity in that case – I’m fairly sure our similar age house has when I looked into this.

    We have…inner skin of block/solid insulation/air cavity/outer skin of stone.
    Apparently they just fill up the remaining cavity with the beads… I wouldnt have thought we needed it TBH

    Premier Icon edhornby
    Subscriber

    proceed with caution and do your research

    we had the beads into cavity about 2yrs ago, we have just finished with builders who are fixing the dry rot caused by improper installation – they blocked the air vents and didn’t clear them out causing dry rot, £3.5k plus new carpets !! Unhappy wife.. no-win-no-fee companies are springing up to provide legal challenge to all the dodgy installs…

    I’d say that DIY loft insulation is better solution

    ctk
    Member

    Dont get cavity wall insulation. We had ours removed because of damp. Also know of wall ties rusting and walls falling down.

    ctk
    Member

    @edhornby you shouldn’t have had to pay for that. Ours was removed f.o.c because it was poorly installed.

    NB preivious owner of our house had it installed. Imo its a stupid idea especially in dampest South Wales!

    dabaldie
    Member

    As a Building surveyor I’d categorically stay away from the retro installation into the cavity.
    The firm I work for have instructing remedial works going around removing the fluff from the cavity which just allows water to span the air gap. The air gap enables the cavity to stay dry and needs to be designed slightly differently for a full fill cavity including dpm’s
    The issues tend to come to light either immediately, or about 10 years later.

    The best solution is external insulation.

    Premier Icon dthom3uk
    Subscriber

    I had someone knocking on the door this week to offer ‘Free’ cavity wall insulation. They were offering the microbead insulation. They said OFGEM were funding it but when I looked at the Ofgem website we didn’t fit the selection criteria for funded cavity wall insulation.

    I looked up their company details online and they’d only been incorporated in September so I decided to leave it.

    Earlier in the year someone from British Gas told me our house wasn’t suitable anyway……..

    As another Building Surveyor I’d also avoid against it.

    The beads have a tendency to settle & slump over time causing cold spots at high level, leading to localised pockets of condensation & black spot mould to the inside face of the walls.

    The blown fibre type can snag on the wall ties causing moisture to be held on the metal ties leading to accelerated wall tie corrosion.

    The cavity is there for a reason.

    DT78
    Member

    What exterior insulation do you recommend? I have a draft old 1930’s place – pebbledashed / mock tudor clad on the upper levels. Wood needs replacing, and don’t really like pebbledash.

    Any grants for external cladding?

    rockhopper70
    Member

    Be wary. We are getting loads of claims in now for property damage alleged to arise from incorrect installation of insulation, cold/damp spots as mentioned above and breaches of the DPC.
    But if you do, and it causes a problem, the it keeps me in work and then I can buy that new bike you keep wittering at me to buy…….

    BFITH
    Member

    Be wary

    You know me… I am! Immediately thought about water bridging the gap etc.

    Dont let me be an excuse for you not buying a new bike….. 😉

    Premier Icon dknwhy
    Subscriber

    The grants are real, I work for a local authority and had a meeting with SSE yesterday about this very thing. Utilities are expected to help reduce CO2 or face heavy fines. They do this but looking for lifetime solutions for properties and covering some or all of the cost. They effectively buy the CO2 savings and it equates to far less than the 10% fine on profits that the government forces upon them.
    I was told yesterday about how they did a full central heating install on an 8 bed HMO at no cost to the landlord.
    I’m securing funding to ease the financial pressure on some of the projects I’m working on.
    Whether you want cavity wall is up to you. Personally I’d look at external wall insulation or internal insulation such as Matilda’s blanket.

    spooky_b329
    Member

    I’m in a 60’s bungalow and it has strange cavity insulation. We decided the survey/previous owner was wrong as I could not find any of the typical holes in the mortar, it wasn’t until we had a window knocked out into a door and the installer was quite confused to find insulation that was consolidated into a fairly solid mat inside the walls. Eventually he found a brick that had a fairly large core drilled out of it, which had then been carefully filled and textured, and stained/painted. Once he found it, you could see the repair, but otherwise practically invisible! I’ve not spent any time looking but I reckon there a fewer, but larger holes than the current installation methods.

    hammerite
    Member

    DT78 – I’ve not worked in this field for a few years, but there used to be grants for external wall insulation. But it was very much based on where you lived. If you lived in an area which is seen as deprived (bottom x% on the index of multiple deprivation) then grants were hefty bordering on completely free.

    If you don’t live in one of these areas there probably would be some funding, but it’ll be less. External wall insulation is quite pricey and takes a while to install especially for one off houses. Insulation providers much prefer installing area by area.

    Energy savings trust used to be the place to go or your local council’s energy team. The EST will pass on your details to one of their approved installers to work out whether you’ll get any funding or provide a quote.

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