When most people think of insulating walls they think of cavity walls – having an older property with cavity walls doesn’t mean that you can’t help to keep warmth inside your home.
Insulating a solid wall is more expensive than cavity walls but as the savings amount to hundreds of pounds every year – it can be well worth the outlay.
When you are weighing up the costs just remember that a solid wall can let nearly 45 per cent of your heat escape.
Solid walls can be insulated internally or externally so let’s look at both options.
- EXTERNAL SOLID WALL INSULATION
External insulation entails a layer of insulated material covered with a decorative weather-proof covering being applied to the wall. The material is applied to a thickness of between 50 and 100mm.
Houses undergoing extensive refurbishment or that have severe problems with retaining heat, benefit most from this type of insulation.
Advantages include no loss of room size or the need to undertake any internal decoration work.
It can give a totally new look to your home as the external cladding offers a choice of stone, clay tiles, brick slips or aluminium panels.
If you live in a conservation area or in an older building, it is worth checking with your local authority’s planning department that this type of work is allowed and what kind of finish it will sanction.
- INTERNAL SOLID WALL INSULATION
These solutions are usually cheaper to install than external forms of insulation, but they will mean redecorating rooms once the work is complete – which just offers a great chance to freshen up the look of your home.
A cavity wall is created by fixing a wooden studwork frame to the internal wall and then covering it with the insulation material. By trapping warm air between the brick and the new wall the principle is the same as that of double-glazing.
There is a choice of materials to provide the layer of insulation. They include:
- Thermal board – this is made from laminated insulated plasterboard
- Layers of fibrous insulation, such as mineral wool which are built up to the required thickness, or
- Flexible thermal linings, these come in rolls 1 metre x 12.5 metres to make them easier to install.
- Walls must be dry before the work can be carried out, sealing in damp won’t solve anything.
- You need a professional to check out what is causing the damp and how it can be eradicated – that includes inspecting damp courses to see if they are sound and fit for purpose.
- It is vital not to cover any ventilation already provided in the building and to check if additional sources are recommended by the installer.
- Improving your home efficiency with insulation will help you to save hundreds of pounds every year on heating bills.
- As heat naturally rises, loft lagging acts as a superb insulator to retain warmth in the home.
- 20% of heat can be lost through inefficient walls, so consider wall cavity and solid wall insulation.
- You could be wasting £200 a year on heat with inefficient windows. Consider replacement double glazing.
Solid wall insulation tips
Any problems with condensation need to be tackled before insulation is installed.
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