Frequently Asked Questions
Please feel free to contact us if you need further advice or have questions that have not been answered in this FAQ.
Cavity Wall Insulation
What is Cavity Wall Insulation?
Is My House Suitable
The external walls of most houses are constructed of two masonry (brick and block) walls, with a cavity (gap) of at least 50mm (2") between the two. Metal ties join the two walls together.
The cavity wall is injected with insulation 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.
The whole process usually takes around two hours to install, but the time does depend on the size of the house and other factors, such as access.
Will There Be Much Mess?
Before the installation, we 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.
Does the Technician Have to Come Into the House?
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 things close to the walls. This will also give the Technician better access for equipment and tools.
My House is Semi-Detached, is this a Problem?
The Technician must undertake checks before and after installation, including any heating appliances, so it is essential that they have access inside the property.
Are all the Systems of Insulation the Same?
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 length of bristle brush. Of course, if the neighbour's wall were to be insulated at the same time, the cavity barrier would not be needed.
How do I Know the Walls are Full?
There are several different types of insulation:
Bonded bead (white polystyrene beads)
Glass wool (yellow or white in colour)
Rock wool (grey/brown in colour)
Urea formaldehyde (white foam)
Note: both glass wool and rock wool are known as 'mineral wool'
All systems of CWI have been tested, assessed and approved by the British Board of Agrement or the British Standards Institution. All are suitable for their purpose.
Except for Urea Formaldehyde foam, the systems can be used in all parts of the UK. All systems have a similar insulation value.
Is the Insulation 'Dense'?
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.
What about the Ventilators that are in the External Wall?
No, as the insulation is contained within a masonry wall, it doesn't 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 Filling the Holes?
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 investigate them to check 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 air bricks may be filled.
Do I Apply for the CIGA 25 Year Guarantee?
The Technician will fill all the injection holes with mortar to match the existing as closely as possible. he will use a mix that closely matches the existing colour and texture. On pebble dash finishes, he will apply pebbles to the surface to match the existing finish. After weathering, the holes are difficult to see.
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. So 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 us prior to the work been carried out.
Will My House Be Warmer?
No, the installer or the agent submits the Guarantee application. The Guarantee is posted to you within days of the application being received at CIGA - KEEP IT SAFE.
CIGA is a non-profit distributing; its 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 installing forms 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.
Are there any Maintenance or Servicing Requirements?
Yes - if your heating is not controlled by a thermostat. However, if you have a thermostat, it will cut out the heating a 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.
How Long will the Insulation Last?
No, not to the cavity wall insulation, but normal building maintenance is needed.
If I am Concerned after the Insulation - What Should I Do?
For the life of the building - the British Board of Agreement say so.
Talk to us and tell us your worries. A contract exists between you and the installer, so we must be given the opportunity to investigate your worries.