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Insulating your home may not seem as exciting as buying a new part for the living room or reheating the kitchen. However, it is equally important for the house to maintain the temperature desired. Thermal insulation not only keeps your home warm in winter and cool in summer, but it can also help reduce energy costs and maintain the value of your home.
Without proper insulation, air can escape from the house; this means the HVAC system works harder, increasing both your energy consumption and energy costs.
What Can You Do if You Run into Problems Due to a Faulty Installation?
Check if You Can Find the Cause of Moisture
If moisture problems occur after installing floor, solid wall, hollow wall, or roof insulation, there are four possible options:
- There is a new moisture problem that occurs approximately at the same time as the installed insulation, but it is not related to the insulation.
- The house was not suitable for the installed insulation measure (e.g. the location was too exposed for standard diaphragm wall insulation).
- The installation has not been carried out correctly (e.g. the insulation of the outer wall has gone through a process of protection against moisture).
- There was a problem with moisture, and the insulation made it worse (e.g., the gutter leaked into the cavity, and now the insulation of the cavity wall allows water to reach the inner sheet of the wall).
Most households can’t diagnose the first two possibilities; however, you can rule out an existing or new moisture problem that is separated from the insulation. Typical things to watch out for are:
- Damaged or blocked gutters
- Damaged or clogged downpipes
- Missing slate or tiles
- Missing or damaged blinking
- Outer floor levels that are now higher than the moisture protection course
- Failure of doors or windows
- Blocked air ducts or other ventilation problems
- Damaged stones
- Pipes leaking
- Excessive moisture
If you have used a reputable installer, he/she should have performed a pre-insulation test that would have addressed many of these problems at this time. If any of these problems have occurred since the insulation was installed, you need to have the problem fixed.
Talk to Your Installer
Most installers should be ready to investigate any problems and do their best to determine the cause. If it turns out that there was a problem with the installation, they may simply offer to fix the problem for you, and the job is done. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always go as smoothly. For example, the company may be out of business, find it difficult to return, or turn out to not be as helpful as you might have hoped. In this case, there are several options.
Contact the Professional Association or Installer Accreditation System
Most specialized insulation installers are members of one or more industry associations or certification bodies, and these organizations generally have a certain code of conduct for their members. If your installer does not follow the guidelines of the organization it belongs to, you can get support from that organization.
Review the Documents Provided to You by the Installer
You should find references for the organizations or associations that represent the installers you chose.
As with any other construction job, the key to a positive experience is paying attention to who you employ in the first place. You should always insist on working with an installer who can provide a third-party warranty. You should also check that the insurer has signed the PAS 2030 (industry accreditation).
According to the NIHE survey:
- 63% had CWI installations that did not meet industry standards or the requirements of the CWI system contract certificate (an approval process by the authority that confirms the product, process, or service is appropriate and complies with UK building codes).
- 84% indicated inadequate maintenance and showed different stresses in the condition of the external facade.
- 1% had an actively deteriorating external facade; 32% had damaged construction fabric that can only be stabilized with a renovation job.
- 51% showed a minimum load on building fabric without major reasons for renovation, which could be carried out as part of a normal maintenance plan.
- 16% of the inventory was found to be free of errors.