Watch – The Cafe – Discussion with Hamish on Wall Insulation!
23 May, 2018
Retrofitting wall insulation should be done after checking for damp and borer.
Many homes have insulation in the roof and under flooring. But what about the heat that is escaping through walls? Wall insulation makes a big difference to the comfort and warmth of your home, says Christian Hoerning, senior sector technology analyst at the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA).
About 700,000 houses in this country have no insulation in the walls, representing a significant opportunity for improvement, according to BRANZ. And insulated walls make homes warmer and healthier to live in, and they stop mould growing. There are two main ways to get the insulation into the walls. The most common method for retrofitting wall insulation involves removing the wall linings and adding insulation from the interior, says BRANZ senior scientist Greg Overton. That allows easy access to check for any dampness, borer, mould or rotten wood, which needs to be dealt with before insulation is installed. It’s important to follow best practice set out in the New Zealand Standard for installing insulation.
In older houses which may not have a wall underlay, BRANZ’s preferred method is to keep a 20mm gap between the wall cladding and the insulation, says Overton. Having this gap reduces the risk of transferring water to the inside. Hoerning says that even if you’re doing the work yourself, it’s a good idea to get a licensed building practitioner to check the cavity before the insulation is installed to ensure that there is suitable building paper covering the entire area — and that there are no tears or other damage that could let in moisture. If not, you will need to retrofit building paper from the inside to reduce the chances of water getting into the insulation material. Removing wall linings can be prohibitively expensive, so BRANZ is exploring alternatives for linings on retrofits. One alternative is the drill-and-fill method.
“Here holes are drilled in the wall and loose-fill insulation is blown into the wall space,” says Overton. “BRANZ research is exploring how this method can be used in cases where wall underlay is not present and how best to follow the principles of New Zealand Standard for installing insulation.” For this method, installers drill through the outside wall and building paper or through the inside lining and then fill the cavity. Both methods require some redecoration and remedial work to be completed.
Hoerning recommends employing a building surveyor before having drill and fill insulation to ensure the cavity is dry and free from mould, damp, rot and borer. Whether or not the insulation is injected/blown from the outside or the inside, it may be difficult to determine if the lining is in good repair through the drill holes. One way to find out is to put cameras into the holes to check. Damp comes from water ingress if the outside cladding or flashing is not in good condition or from hidden leaks in the plumbing.
Sometimes, for example, rain can pass through brick veneer, or moisture generated within the building from drying clothes or cooking can also get into the wall insulation or where there is inadequately ventilated subfloor space where the ground is poorly drained. This is one of many reasons to consider getting an expert to do the job rather than muddling through a DIY job. No matter what method you are using to retrofit insulation you may also need an electrician to check the wiring within the walls. Insulation is thermal and undersized wires can be hot, which could be a lethal combination. It’s also important to check with your local council and see if the work needs council building consent.
In Auckland, for example, you will need to apply for a building consent if you are installing insulation in an external wall or an internal wall that is a fire separation wall. You don’t need a building consent or resource consent for other insulation projects. The consent/inspection process costs money, which annoys some home owners. But there are good reasons for it. Retrofitted insulation can also affect the structural performance of homes if moisture accumulates in the wall cavity and air is not able to circulate. If the insulation gets wet, this could cause the growth of mycotoxins, a type of harmful toxic mould. It can also speed the rotting of structural timbers. It’s not the insulation itself that needs the consent, but the removing and reinstating of structural wall linings or drilling holes through studs, which require compliance with the Building Code clause B1.3.1. That means there are no specific requirements for R-value of the retrofitted wall; although there is no doubt that retrofitted insulation does improve the thermal envelope. Make sure that the insulation used is the one specified in the consent, says Mike O’Neill of ITM. Substitution of insulation materials is one of the common reasons why building inspections fail, he says.
CosyWall Insulation, like most cavity wall insulation products is often recommended as an ideal way to conserve energy and lower your monthly bills. If your trying to decide if cavity wall Insulation is right for you, take a look at some of the benefits below.
There are many advantages that come with having cavity wall insulation installed in the home.
* The main benefit is that it will make you home cosy all year round. If you get it done professionally the drywall (GIB) won’t need to be torn out and batting won’t need to be installed. The licensed wall insulation installer will simply drill very small holes in the outside (or inside) of your wall and pump the insulation through these. It’s a simple, fast and effective way of obtaining cavtiy wall insulation and it leaves behind minimal mess. Our nationwide network of installers will also ensure they tidy up before they leave.
* Cavity wall insulation of course lowers your energy consumption. The amount you will actually save will depend upon your property and the temperature you feel comfortable living at. The average home loses around a third of its heat through the walls. Insulating them can really help to keep the heat inside the home, reducing the amount of heat needed to warm it up. Not only do you get great cost saving benefits, but the home also feels warmer. This means you will be living in a much more comfortable environment all year round. Make coming home after a long day at work to a cold house a distant memory!
* Another advantage to cavity wall insulation is the fact it can reduce condensation. If you currently have problems with mould, having cavity wall insulation installed could help to eliminate the problem, helping to create a warmer, drier, healthier environment.
If you’d like to know more about cavity wall insulation contact us today!
Retrofit wall insulation to your home and start saving! Heating and cooling account for 50 to 70% of the energy used in the average home. Inadequate insulation and air leakage are leading causes of energy waste in most homes. Retrofit insulation to your home correctly with CosyWall insulation:
– Wall insulation saves money and our nation’s limited energy resources
– Wall insulation makes your house more comfortable by helping to maintain a uniform temperature throughout the house
– Retrofit wall insulation makes walls cosy all year around.
Poorly insulated homes are usually cold & damp in bed and service rooms, with occupants crowded over a heater in one area to keep warm. Homes that are fully insulated (including ceilings, floors and wall insulation) use similar amounts of energy, but keep your whole home at a healthy, comfortable temperature. And there’s no more waking up to a freezing room. The recommends living in temperatures between 18 – 22 degrees Celsius. We spend more than 90% of our time indoors, and for that reason, the indoor environment and its effect on our health are more important than is often assumed.
Many New Zealand homes share a number of inadequacies that can lead to health issues. One of the biggest problems is that our houses are simply too cold. This can lead to dampness, mould and respiratory illness. This is a particular issue with older homes, but not all new ones are exempt.
Make sure your home is well insulated. Once the energy savings have paid for the installation cost, the energy conserved is money saved – and saving energy will be even more important as prices continue to increase. A well installed retrofit wall insulation system is one of the best investment people can make in their home.
Warm healthy homes start with insulation. Heating a home without complete insulation is like trying to catch water in a sieve. It does not matter how much money you spend on high heating bills, insulation is a major part of the solution to getting a warmer, more energy efficient home. If you are tired of living in a cold or damp home get in touch with us and we are sure to find an insulation solution for your home. We also have interest free finance options, that can make the process affordable now, so there is no need to wait!
Visit the link below for more information.