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Blown in Wall Insulation Problems and How To Fix Them

Blown in Wall Insulation Problems and How To Fix Them

Properties across the UK and Ireland have had cavities between walls as standard for the best part of a century, to stop rain driven by the wind from entering living spaces.

These are frequently retro-fitted with insulation that is ‘blown-in’ through a hole or uncovered area, into the empty cavity itself.

However, if this isn’t done correctly by a trained and accredited professional, you could discover blown-in wall insulation problems that negate the effectiveness of the insulation and render your investment wasted.

We look at these problems and how best to solve them to ensure your blown-in wall insulation is as efficient as possible…

Problem: Cellulose insulation bridges damp into interior walls

Cellulose insulation is a common form of blown-in wall insulation, made primarily out of recycled paper and materials.

Whilst cellulose insulation is mixed with water-resistant chemicals and materials, it’s not 100% effective in blocking out water, and can, inadvertently, bridge the gap between the exterior and interior walls for moisture, thereby enabling damp to enter, and encouraging mould to grow.

This compromises the quality of the insulation – it is rendered almost entirely ineffective when wet – and allows for harmful pathogens and spores to enter the environment of your home as the damp and mould thrives.

Solution: Use a water-resistant blown-in insulation

Opting instead for a blown-in insulation that is entirely water-resistant, such as spray foam insulation, will act as a barrier to even the smallest trace of residual moisture in the air.

Keeping water out enhances the insulation properties of the cavity wall, as well as promoting a cleaner and healthier air quality within the home, free from irritants and pollutants.

Blown in Wall Insulation Problems and How To Fix Them

Problem: Gaps in blown in insulation leave draughts through the home

Cellulose and other common blown-in insulation products settle over time and don’t always equally distribute when installed. This can leave gaps in the coverage of the insulation, particularly around awkwardly sized or shaped areas that stay without any insulation.

Gaps in coverage allows for draughts and colder areas, as well as risking damp and leaks coming through.

Solution: Install an insulation that fills all the space around it

When spray foam makes contact with the air, it expands up to one hundred times its original size, before adhering to the surface on which it’s sprayed, before drying out and solidifying.

As a foam rather than a material that will drop with gravity, and settle in place, it instead fills all available space – leaving no gaps or draughty areas through which cold air can flow.

Problem: Ants and insects infest poly-bead insulation

Poly-bead insulation is prone to becoming a foodstuff and home for insects, bringing unwanted insect guests into the home and presenting an insect infestation that can be difficult to treat.

Solution: Replace poly-beads with an insulation that won’t become a foodstuff for pests

Chemical spray foam insulation is impervious to pests and insects, and won’t deteriorate or become food for such critters.

This combined with the tough seal it provides against holes, gaps and nooks and crannies means that not only will pests not be able to find a home and infest within the insulation, they shouldn’t be able to enter the property at all.

Problem: The blown in wall insulation was done cheaply and isn’t as effective as it should be

Whilst not ideal for a DIY job, most blown-in insulation can be bought and installed quite cheaply by tradespeople who have a side interest in insulation.

This unfortunately means that it isn’t always installed completely correctly, and can result in the longevity and efficiency of the insulation being compromise.

Solution: Hire properly accredited experts to install insulation

Spray foam insulation is a specialist chemical mixture, and so can only be installed by expert technicians. These specialists have full British Board of Agrement (BBA) accreditation.

When installed by a specialist technician, spray foam insulation is guaranteed by a manufacturer’s warranty for a minimum of 25 years – and even then, will only require top-up sprays if desired, and not an entire replacement.

You can rest assured that with spray foam, your property will be worked on by only the most qualified and passionate tradespeople.