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Cavity wall insulation

Anyone who knows me, knows that I know nothing about buildings so please forgive what will for many of you be a simple question.

We have a small end of terrace - loft is insulated but the walls aren't (built around 1900). Is cavity wall insuation for the gable end suitable?

That wall had the chinmey breast that was damp and I don't want to cause further problems.

If it isn't suitable then how best can I insulate it?

Call these guys:

They'll give you the details of someone in your area who can come and give you advice on wall insulation and, hopefully, a free quote if it is suitable.

Aren't they just going to tell me that I need it regardless?

Someone told me ages ago that not all houses were suitable for cavity wall insulation - even though it could be done Confused

The first question is whether or not you have cavity walls. At that date, I think its a definite maybe... ie see what you've got! Looking in the attic at the tops of the walls is non-destructive, and sometimes easy!

If you have cavities, then it's actually pretty cheap (after getting the grants sorted) to have them insulated.
And it shouldn't add to any damp problems (though those really ought to be sorted), and there might be other awkwardnesses like electric wiring being naughtily run in the cavity.

However, I'm not sure what *grant* help you might get if you don't have cavities... it'd basically mean either re-plasterboarding inside with appropriately special high insulation board, insulating behind it, and losing a few inches of each room... or adding an extra skin to the outside, which is typically more expensive, changes the appearance, etc, but doesn't cost you internal space...

I've just been through the process.

Many houses before the 1930's didn't have a cavity.
A good guide is the thickness of your walls- open a window or door and find out. If its thicker than 12", chances are you've got a cavity.

Thats not a dead certainty, so next thing is to phone up your energy provider and tell them you want to have cavity insulation fitted. They ask you all sorts of questions about your house and your income, then they give you a quote. This is the total amount you will have to pay.
They'll send a company around who'll check properly (shouldnt cost anything)

If its a go-er, then this company will then organise the installation. They do the work & charge you what the energy company quoted.

The energy company works out how much it can claim back of the government, so the price you pay the insulation firm includes all your discounts.

For us, in a semi-dettached, both people working (so not too skint and probably not much discount), it cost 400.

If you can't get that done, then your best off dry-lining the wall with a foil backed plaster-board. Dry lining is were you make a new plaster-board wall right infront of the old one. I'd consider building a wooden framework and attaching the plasterboard to it, then pouring loose rockwool fibre down into the cavity (all stuff you can get from B&Q). Then plaster over the top. Job done!

That being said, its tricky doing anything about insulation if you've got damp. If the chimney breast is damp at the moment, get this sorted out first. Dont try and insulate your way out of it, because you may end up with more damp, not less. Chimney are often damp if they're not well maintained up at the top. Thats a "get a bloke in" job, but reasonably straight forward.

Thanks Cool I got up into the loft just long enough to find and fish out a bunch of carpet from the top of the chimney (it was capped yonks ago). I hope that the increased air flow might sort out the damp patch on the chimney breast. It is looking better already (I also cut a little ventilation hole in the upstairs fireplace.

Next job is to find out if there is a cavity Very Happy
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