Cavity Wall Insulation – Condition Inspection Surveys

17 MILLION homes in the UK have been installed with retro-fit Cavity Wall Insulation (CWI) which was promised to save an average of 33% on heating energy costs, and in 2023 with rising fuel costs this equates to saving around £600 per year per home, and with a promised 25-year life cycle, and in most cases installed for free under Government acknowledged schemes, what was there to say no to?

As of 2023, industry believes that there are as many as 5 MILLION UK homes which are sitting with failed or damaged Cavity Wall Insulation which needs to be removed as soon as possible.

Cavity Wall Insulation can present a whole array of problems if it is installed incorrectly or into a property which is not suitable. Timber and Steel Frame properties should not have had CWI installed as there is no BBA Certificate where the product has been tested in these types of properties, if there is water ingress which typically soaks the insulation which is next to wood or steel, there is a chance of serious structural damage being caused. However, it is known that CWI installed into tens of thousands of these types of properties.

The biggest issue as we see it with standard brick-built cavity wall properties is where a property was not suitable because of its external condition, such as damaged mortar or brickwork, rubble in the cavity or a failed or breached damp course for instance, all of these mean a high risk to the insulation becoming wet, which can rot wall ties and will allow damp to bridge to the inner walls which in turn will cause damp and Mold inside the home. As well as looking unsightly and causing internal damage to décor and furniture, it can cause rot to floorboards and ultimately end of causing a significant amount of work to put right, and money. A lack of injecting the right amount of insulation leaving voids also brings a risk of issues and the insulation should be fully extracted.

Most CWI installs came with a 25-year guarantee, but it seems that the majority of homeowners we speak with have tried to make a claim under the guarantee, only to have that claim rejected, being told a variety of reasons including a lack of maintenance to the property has contributed to or caused the failure, which leaves the homeowner to pay for CWI Extraction and to also pay for internal repairs which are never covered under the guarantee anyway.

Oscar Onsite is the UK’s Leading Authority in Cavity Wall Insulation Surveying & Extraction, having wrote the only formal NVQ qualifications for the industry and having trained and accredited over 200 independent firms all across the UK who specialise in all aspects of cavity wall insulation, as to the correct assessment, staff training, compliance and all aspects to ensure a quality of service.

Our Cavity Wall Insulation Condition Inspection Survey program has been designed by OSCAR and our Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) partners to ensure a totally independent and quality service. The full external elevations of the property are surveyed such as fascias and soffits, brickwork, pointing, windows and doors and seals, and areas of concern are highlighted which may affect the insulation, and each cavity is inspected with a borescope camera inside the cavities and photographic evidence is collected in a specially designed survey app, which is then reviewed by a Chartered Surveyor who gives his opinion and recommendations.

OSCAR Onsite have made this service available at the reduced cost of only £295.00 including VAT, and the service is available across the UK.

For those who are suffering with damp issues and believe failed CWI has caused it, these surveys are vital, as they are to those who have had a rejected claim under the guarantee, and may wish to appeal.

Given the massive hike in energy prices, and the damage that failed cavity wall insulation can cause, many are choosing to have this specialist survey undertaken to protect their home and reduce the chances of damage being caused to the property, even if they have no current damp issues presenting themselves.

With all the new Government Green Schemes there may be financial support to assist with CWI extraction and refill with the latest Therma-bead insulation, and maybe other green energy saving and carbon reduction measures.

Whether you are a Homeowner, Landlord, Local Authority, Housing Association or other, visit Oscar Onsite to learn more and to enquire how we can help you protect your property on a fabric first approach.

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The Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) is the professional body that exists to advance and promote the art, science, and practice of building services engineering, to invest in education and research, and to support our community of built environment professionals in the pursuit of excellence.

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