The majority of properties that were constructed out of stone or brick within the last one hundred years were built with two layers of external wall, which have a cavity between those two layers, whilst many older properties were constructed out of solid stone. Neither of them was made with any built-in insulation.
What both of the older types of external wall also have in common is that they are liable to heat loss, resulting in colder houses and unnecessarily high energy bills. In order to solve this problem, most people with these older properties need to invest in some form of wall insulation and in this article we examine how this particular home improvement can save money, help to keep your house warm and contribute to the maintenance of the environment.
Cavity Wall Insulation
The insulation of this type of property, against the loss of heat through the external walls, is comparatively straightforward. Basically, cavity wall insulation entails the injection of a layer of insulating material, which is resistant to heat loss, into the cavity between the two wall layers.
This layer of insulating material, which is injected into the cavity through holes that are drilled into the external layer, helps to keep the heat inside the walls of the house. Because all of the drilling is to the exterior, it does not damage the interior of the property.Solid Wall Insulation
Insulating solid walls, which are even more likely to cause heat loss, is not quite as simple as cavity wall insulation. There are two basic methods of insulating solid walls – internally and externally.
Internal Solid Wall Insulation
To insulate a solid wall internally involves a process of attaching a set of rigid boards that have a covering of insulating material. As an alternative, stud boards, which are filled with mineral wool fibre, which is resistant to heat loss, can be fixed to the interior walls. One of the principal downsides of this method of insulation is that it can result in a significant loss of floor space, particular where the walls are not straight or are out of symmetry.External Solid Wall Insulation
This block of flats benefits from external wall insulation after renovation
In certain cases, either because a home owner does not want to lose floor space through internal wall insulation or because it is not possible, solid wall insulation is achieved by treating the exterior of the walls. A layer of special rendering material, which is designed to provide a high degree of protection against heat loss, is applied to the walls. The walls should be prepared by the removal of any existing render, any other wall covering and any loose mortar. This will allow the new layer of render to adhere to the wall properly. There are several types of cement based renders that have been developed, which have special heat retentive qualities.
When applied by a specialist rendering and building contractor these external renders can have real benefits.
Wall Insulation – The Benefits
The first and obvious benefit of wall insulation is that it saves on fuel consumption, which has a corresponding effect on the amount of the household energy bills.
A second benefit is that, largely because of the savings on energy bills, prospective buyers of a property are likely to see it as more attractive than one that has no insulation.
Finally, because wall insulation has the duel effect of reducing the amount of the emissions from a house, whilst at the same time reducing its energy consumption, it represents a real contribution to the obligation that we all have to cut down on carbon emissions for the benefit of the environment.
Although, wall insulation may not appear at the top of the list of popular home improvements, it is hoped that this article demonstrates that it is nevertheless one that is well worth undertaking, both for our own benefit and that of our environment.