Cavity wall extraction is the removal of the insulation from cavity space between your wall using specialist equipment.
Cavity wall extraction is needed when it becomes inefficient. It can be caused but the most common reasons are:
- Old less effective insulation materials which weren’t covered by the same firm BBA certification licenses and didn’t have the same guarantees.
- Insulation getting wet due to flooding, bad fitting, faults in brickwork or burst pipes
- Less weather resistant materials in areas at risk
The modern materials used all come with a 25-year guarantee to help you remain carefree whilst cutting your energy bills and removing potential damp.
Why might I need cavity wall extraction?
Cavity insulation didn’t use to have the same strict BBA certifications which it now needs. This meant some businesses used less efficient materials which had a much shorter lifespan.
Main causes of inefficient insulation are:
- Replaced windows may disrupt the insulation in the cavity, allowing for water to enter creating damp. If not addressed this can cause further problems.
- Flooding is a major cause as the water gets into the material and creates damp allowing water to pass from the external wall into the home.
- Incorrect installation means the effect on your home is less than what is should be or non-existent. This can happen if the drill holes to insert the insulation were incorrectly spaced and would lead to cold spots.
- Incorrect materials were used, such as urea formaldehyde. This breaks down and could release harmful chemicals into the home.
How can I tell if I need my cavity wall extracting?
It is often hard to tell if your insulation is causing problems and can sometimes even take years to become obvious. However, there are some things which might give you concerns:
- Your energy bills seem to be more expensive than they should be
- Feel like your house isn’t retaining heat
- Have cold walls/ areas on walls
- Damp areas
- External walls have been damaged
- Your area has had flooding
- Be unhappy with the original work
If you have any concerns due to these things, you can give a reputable insulation company a call and they will come and investigate. They should create a heat loss survey using thermal cameras which will help determine whether your insulation has been rendered ineffective.
The surveyor will also make a small hole in an external wall allowing them to look inside of the cavity using a borescope to be completely sure that the insulation needs removing.
How is the insulation removed?
The process is relatively straightforward but labour intensive. We use specific machinery that is designed for this purpose and is only used by OSCAR accredited technicians who adhere to the established method statement.
Prior to the works being executed a property technical survey is carried out to identify the issues. This forms the basis of the work that is due to be carried out.
A purpose-built insulation removal system is used to collect all the insulation that occupies the cavity. It works like a vacuum cleaner but on a much larger scale, using air pressure to suck up the insulation into a bag making it a clean and efficient solution.
How long will it take?
It usually takes up to 2 days to complete with two technicians and a separate labourer to ensure it is done safely.
You do not need to be out of the house for the extraction to take place. However, the machinery is loud and can be disturbing so it may not be very comfortable to remain at home while the technicians are carrying out the works. It may be worth letting your neighbours know of the work as well.
Are there risks of getting cavity insulation removed?
The cavity insulation is removed using machinery specifically designed for the job. By using this machinery we can ensure there are no dangers in removing insulation from your home.
Before we begin work on a property, we first do an inspection on both internal and external walls. Because of this careful and detailed plan, there is no risk with getting cavity insulation extracted. It will also result in a cleaner and safer cavity by removing any debris left by builders during the process.
Benefits of getting cavity insulation removed
When cavity wall insulation gets wet, damaged or ages it reduces the insulation to your house increasing energy consumption and making for a colder less comfortable house. Having this inspected and removed will reduce the chance of any health problems coming from damp that it can cause.
We would always recommend replacing it with the modern materials used, as when done correctly it can:
• Reduce heating bills
• Make your house warmer
• Reduce chance of damp/easier removal
• Increase house value