The Vale of Aylesbury Housing Trust is a Buckinghamshire based housing association with a housing stock of more than 7,000 properties. A significant number of properties in the Trust’s stock have had incorrect cavity wall insulation installed over the years.
Having poorly fitted cavity wall insulation product installed can lead to water being absorbed into the insulation material, causing it to slump in the cavity creating a cold bridge. As rain penetrates the brick, the water works its way through the inner leaf of the wall causing damp, mould and/or condensation in the property.
There are also many installations that have been poorly installed; a common fault is an uneven fill of the cavity. This can be caused by such factors as failure to remove rubble in the cavity which causes empty areas, which are termed as voids in the insulation. This again causes cold bridging, which (as in the example above) results in damp, mould and/or condensation in the property.
The Aylesbury Vale team had experienced issues of damp with one of their properties, which were particularly complex. The house had at one time been semi-detached, but due to subsidence, the adjoining property had to be pulled down. The elevation that was originally neighbouring the Trust’s property had been insulated using an external wall insulation system. The rest of the property had been insulated using a cavity wall insulation product. There was a damp issue in the property, which the Trust needed to locate and eradicate so decided to seek the independent expert advice of CIT.
CIT surveyor Brendan O’Brien attended the site along with a senior member of the Trust’s staff in 2018. The survey showed that there was an amount of rubble in the cavity, which had caused voids in the insulation fill in the cavity areas. There were also secondary problems whereby a downpipe was leaking, and a hose pipe was in direct connection to the outer leaf of the wall, potentially causing damp to penetrate the property. The Trust were then able to remedy the issues and have subsequently worked closely with CIT, awarding CIT surveys at six more of their properties.
Are you under pressure to tackle problems associated with property installations? CIT offer independent expert advice, plus valuable training to keep your team well prepared for the challenges that can arise in this sector. CIT provide skilled services that are self-regulated to Local Authorities, Housing Associations, Government Departments, Legal Practices, Property Speculators, Home Dwellers and anyone dealing with the repercussions of unsuitable installation retrofits or poorly fitted insulation products.
 Cold bridges occur when water works its way through the inner leaf of the wall which causes damp, mould and/or condensation in the property
Published 8th January 2019