Cavity Wall Insulation Company Gone, And Insulation Too It Seems

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Thunderchild | 12:01 Sat 29th Aug 2015 | Civil
12 Answers
I bought my house five years ago. When I got all the documentation from the solicitor it included a guarantee certificate for the cavity wall insulation.

Recently I had reason to drill a 20 mm diameter hole in my wall from one side right through to the other. Well unless you class in a as cavity wall insulation there is nothing there. I have looked at the house wall and cannot see any sign of holes being drilled in from the outside and with cement which is usually how insulation is installed.

The company `the installation is "Dixon insulation" and it would seem they no longer exist very conveniently as of 1994 which is the year the work was done.

How do I go about finding out if I really don't have any insulation and how do I chase anybody responsible down to get it to putting or is it just a dead loss?


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Are you sure the guarantee was transferable? I am sure some say it is only between the original purchaser and the supplier
Retrospective cavity wall insulation is a bit of a hit and miss operation. There are likely to be hollow spots where the insulation just didn't flow. You may well have found one of these with your drill.

You're right. There are usually tell-tale holes in the outside masonry. About the only thing I can think of is to have a look in the roofspace at the point where the roof sits on the walls. If the cavity has been closed at the top, you won't see anything. If not, then you should see some overspill at the top of the cavity.

These companies never last long. I doubt if you have any recourse now unfortunately.
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There is no mention of it not being transferable but as the builder says they are long gone 21 years ago so not much chance of catching up with them.

There are air vents in the walls, would these be pipe through the cavity ? as they all still pass air.
Yes, air vents should have liners. Clay ones in some houses. Modern homes have plastic liners.

Older houses often didn't have sealed cavities. They may have no liner at all.
Installers should insert barriers at these points to hold the insulation back.

See if you can shine a torch into an airbrick, or poke a bit of wire in to see if there is a liner. If none, then it does suggest that cavity fill didn't take place.
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How do I find out if the walls are insulated ? the front wall has a ro of holes that are cemented up a couple of bricks below the 1st floor window.
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The hole I drilled was 20mm in diameter, and there was no sign of insulation, I also don't understand why they would not seal the cavity at the top, surely this defeats the object of a cavity or is it just to make the wall thicker for structural purposes ?
The cavity is an air gap, originally put there to prevent damp on the outer wall migrating to the inside. Air does act as an insulator but foam is much better as it prevents air moving in the cavity - it is trapped in air bubbles.
Cavity installers on retrofit installations drill 20mm holes in a pattern typically one metre apart, then pump foam in, using the next hole as one means of judging if enough is inserted.
It could be a small void, or it could be the whole job was faked. If you can't see evidence of foam at the top of the cavity by the eaves, and there is no cavity closer, the job was faked.
To be sure, try drilling near one of these holes you found. No foam equals faked job.
You have no chance of redress really, unless from the guy who did the EPC for the previous owner before sale. What does the EPC say about wall insulation?
To add to Dogs' post............ polystyrene granules were also commonly used. It was quite normal to leave the top of the cavity unsealed with these.

The reason for sealing cavities was nothing structural. It was brought in simply as a fire precaution. As you can imagine, fire will roar up a narrow enclosed space. Without cavity closing, timber windows would easily catch fire as well.
If at all possible, you might try to trace the owner at the time of installation of the insulation to ask if he/she witnessed any of the work (explain you are simply trying to establish facts, not proposing to chase them in any shape or form lest you frighten them). It would be odd if nobody saw the work done - in my case I took an active part in the installation and saw every step of it.
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My neighbor said she did not think much to it, i have no idea why she thinks so. Maybe oter houses in the block were done too and were found to be faked. I'll drill a few holes and if I find nothing get it done
Our house was built in 1931 with cavity walls. We had cavity wall insulation installed a few years ago and I watched the guys doing it.

A year or two ago I had the floor boards up in a cupboard off the hall to run a cable into the porch through an air brick. I found quite a bit of insulation granules lying on the dirt and the air brick was blocked. When I finished I went round all the air bricks poking a rod through every hole to ensure they were all clear.

It's anybody's guess as to how much insulation is actually in the cavity.

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