What is a cavity wall?
The external wall of a house is constructed of two masonry (brick or block) walls, with a cavity (gap)
of at least 50mm between the two walls. Metal ties join the walls together.
How is cavity wall insulation installed?
The cavity wall is injected with insulating material by drilling holes in the external wall,
through the mortar joint. Holes are generally of 22-25mm diameter and are 'made good' after injection.
Each hole is injected in turn, starting at the bottom.
How long does it take?
Cavity Wall Insulation normally takes around two hours to install, but the time does depend on the
size of the house and other factors, such as access.
Is my house suitable?
Before the installation, the installing firm will undertake an assessment of your property to
confirm that it is suitable for insulation. This assessment may be undertaken by a Surveyor or the
Technician before installation.
Do I have to do anything before the installation?
The drilling process does create some vibration – so it would be wise to remove ornaments,
particularly near external walls, for their safety and your peace of mind.
The Technician will need access to all walls, so he will need to get inside attached garages,
lean-to sheds, conservatories etc. The insulation can only be effective if all suitable walls are filled.
If you have a wall right on a boundary you may like to mention to your neighbour that the
Technician may need to go onto their property.
Will there be much mess?
The drilling process inevitably creates a little dust, which will be cleared at the completion of
the job. It may be wise to remove vehicles from the drive and any items that are close to the walls.
This will also give the Technician better access for equipment and tools.
Does the technician have to come into the house?
The Technician must undertake checks before and after installation, including any heating appliances,
so it is essential that they have access to the inside of your property. Apart from these checks,
all the remaining work is carried out from the outside.
My house is semi-detached, so how do they stop insulation going into my neighbour’s cavity?
Assuming your neighbour's house is not already insulated, the Technician will insert a cavity
barrier at the party wall line. This is usually a bristle brush barrier. Of course, if your neighbour's
house is insulated at the same time, the cavity barrier is not needed.
Are all systems of insulation the same?
There are several different types of insulation available. We have chosen InstaFibre
White Glass Wool, Yellow Glass Wool, Rockwool and InstaBead because they are safe, very effective
and simple to install. Note: Glass Wool and Rockwool are often referred to as 'mineral wool'.
All our systems of Cavity Wall Insulation have been tested, assessed and approved by the
British Board of Agrément (BBA) or the British Standards Institution (BSI).
All our systems have a similar insulation value.
Whichever system you decide upon, be sure that the Installer is properly approved and
can offer a 25-year CIGA guarantee.
Are the technicians trained?
All Technicians (team leaders) undergo training by the system supplier and the installing firm
to ensure they are competent to install Cavity Wall Insulation and carry a training card.
Please feel free to ask to see our installers’ training cards.
How do I know that the walls are full?
Each system has a defined pattern of holes, which has been tested to verify that it results
in a complete fill. Most systems have an automatic cut out, which actuates when the adjacent
wall area is full. There is tolerance in the injection pattern so that the material
will flow past the next injection hole.
Is the insulation 'dense'?
No, as the insulation is contained within a masonry wall, it does not need to be ‘dense’.
For insulation and other purposes, a light density is better. Before installation, the Technician
will undertake a quality test to ensure the insulation will go into the wall at the right density.
He will also note the amount of material used, to know that sufficient insulation has been installed.
Note: Drilling a hole in the outer wall and testing the cavity fill with a rod or pencil will not
provide any meaningful information.
What about the ventilation grids in the external wall?
Ventilators supplying combustion air to fuel burning appliances must be safeguarded. Similarly,
ventilators at ground level that ventilate below timber floors must be safeguarded.
The Technician will check them to ensure they are already sleeved. If they are not,
the Technician will remove them and seal around them to stop them being blocked by the insulation.
Other vents, which may be redundant, such as cavity vents or vents that used to supply air
to open fires in bedrooms may be closed off. The Technician should discuss these with you.
Redundant airbricks may also be filled.
What about filling the holes?
The Technician will fill all the injection holes with mortar of a colour to match the existing
mortar as closely as possibly. He will use a mix that closely matches the existing colour and texture.
On pebbledash finished walls, he will apply pebbles to the surface to match the existing finish.
After weathering, the holes are difficult to see.
What if my house has painted areas?
Normally, the installing firm will not paint the injection holes. Unfortunately, even
if the original paint is used, it may not match due to weathering. Therefore, it may be necessary
for you to consider painting the area, after the mortar has dried.
You should discuss and agree what will be done with the installing firm in advance.
Do I apply for the CIGA 25 year guarantee?
No, the installer or the agent will submit the Guarantee application. The Guarantee is posted
to you within a couple of months of the application being received at CIGA. - Keep it safe.
CIGA is non-profit distributing; it's only function is to stand as guarantor for the promises
set out in the Guarantee. It has the resources to meet the promises made in the Guarantee.
All professional approved installed firms are members of CIGA and can apply for a CIGA Guarantee,
for properties built with traditional cavity walls. You should insist on a CIGA Guarantee,
since nothing else can give you the level of assurance to which you are entitled.
Will my house be warmer?
Yes – if your heating is not controlled by a thermostat. However, if you have a thermostat,
it will cut out the heating at the same temperature, so you may not notice the difference
in the room with the thermostat. However, you should find that the temperature in other parts of
your house improves, for example, the small bedroom on the corner.
With CWI, you should find that the house holds its temperature for longer; therefore, the time
between heating cycles may be longer. The result should be a more even temperature throughout the
house and/or a reduced fuel bill.
Are there any maintenance or servicing requirements?
No, not to the cavity wall insulation itself, but normal building maintenance is required
How long will the insulation last?
For the life of the building – the British Board of Agrément certificate confirms this.
If I am concerned after the installation, what should I do?
Talk to the installing firm and tell them of any concerns you may have. A contract exists between
you and the installer, so they must be given the opportunity to investigate your worries.
They will help you.
Ok, I'm interested. What's the first step?
Just complete the free insulation assessment form on the right-hand side of the page and a
local Snug Network member will get in touch to arrange a no-obligation initial visit.