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How To Stop Thermal Bridging: The Definitive GuideBy admin
Monday, 2 September 2019
Hankering after expert advice on how to stop thermal bridging? You’ve definitely come to the right place!
Put simply, thermal bridging is where an area of an object, or in this case a building, possesses a much higher heat mass than nearby areas, leading to an overall decrease in thermal insulation.
The consequences of this can vary. There can be an internal temperature differentiation, heat wastage, and the risk of condensation when internal, toasty air meets any potential cold surface.
This tends to occur more frequently in previously constructed buildings, especially those with poor insulation or minimal window glazing.
However, in newly constructed projects, thermal bridging can still occur due to shoddy quality of design and construction decorum. This can happen when the natural elements in the air, penetrate the insulated fabric.
Still no clearer on how to stop thermal bridging? The following guide is sure to fill in the blanks…
What is the Current Legislation?
What is thermal bridging in relation to legislation? BR 497 is referenced within the English Approved Document L2A (non-domestic, section 5.7) and L1A (domestic, section 5.12).
It is also included in the Scottish Technical Standards (Section 6 Energy), for both non-domestic and domestic properties.
If details subvert to the Government Accredited Construction Details, then the thermal quality and performance overall should be concluded using simulation software.
As a whole, the industry heavily relies on having thermal performance figures calculated and distributed from trusted, reliable sources, to guarantee accurate figures.
These are then incorporated into the NCT (National Calculation Tools) such as SAP (Standard Assessment Procedure) and SBEM (Simplified Building Energy Model).
Performance Is Key!
In cases of extremely well insulated properties, the outcome that thermal bridging offers on thermal performance can potentially be crucial. In a recent study, results have told us that thermal bridging can be the culprit of up to 30% of a property’s heat loss.
How to Prevent Thermal Bridging
It is important to realise that external property insulation is a clever way of halting the thermal bridging process. Most importantly, you will be preventing heat from travelling up and out of your property, therefore increasing the thermal performance overall.
Keeping the warm air inside also allows you to stop rushing to the thermostat, and reduces your dependence on central heating, meaning you can have it turned off for longer periods.
When you look at it from this perspective, the first thing that should come to mind is the financial benefits you could take advantage of. If this ticks all your boxes, take a look at our insulation recommendations, to find which one suits you best.
This should help settle any fears or doubts when it comes to how to stop thermal bridging from occurring.
What Else But Wall Insulation?
If you are in the position where you have poorly insulated walls, then you are pretty much encouraging the process of thermal bridging to take place. This is very much the case when it comes to properties or buildings with solid walls.
If you have cavity walls then you are in a slightly better position as they do a better job at keeping heat within the home, due to the gap placed between the dual-layer of brickwork.
We are currently living in times where energy tariffs are altering by the day, and heating bills continue to soar. With this in mind, you cannot risk losing precious energy from your home.
If you live in a property with a bit of history behind it, you are even more at risk. It is vital that you have a building inspection conducted regularly to maintain top notch efficiency.
This is where external wall insulation comes into play. Not only will it improve your home’s overall thermal performance, it will also deny moisture the opportunity of entry and keep dirt off your façade!
Now that we’ve given you all the information you could ask for, let’s talk about how it actually works, and how to stop thermal bridging in its tracks for good.
Despite the science involved, the process and explanation is quite simple overall! To start off with, the insulation material is sprayed or painted on to the external walls of your home. At first glance, it may look like a layer of vanilla ice cream, or something else with a similar colour.
However, within minutes, feast your eyes on how the product will begin to melt and ooze within the masonry, much like moisturiser on your hands, until it finally becomes invisible. It’s not a trick, we promise!
Invisible Barrier of Protection
This then creates a barrier across the surface area of the application which can penetrate within your brickwork up to 17mm deep. Home Logic Wall Insulation withstands over 95% of water absorption.
Now, here comes the science! The composition that is seeping within the masonry cream bonds chemically to the substrate to protect it from micro-organisms, dirt and water.
Dry Walls Over Wet Walls
It’s crucial to remember that dry walls are much more efficient thermal insulators than wet walls. This is down to the fact that heat travels much quicker across cold and wet areas, rather than dry and warm surfaces. Isn’t science fascinating?
Just a single application of Home Logic Wall Insulation will prevent water from attacking your masonry to prevent moisture build-up and improve the overall thermal efficiency.
But worry not! Your home will still be able to breathe as normal due to our choice of insulating spray being impermeable by water. However, it is permeable by air and vapour – the perfect combination!
How Effective is External Wall Insulation?
Exterior wall insulation spreads from the windows to the wall, right up to the roof, and right down to the floor, ensuring each element of your building’s surface area can be as energy efficient as is physically possible.
We have worked within this industry for a long time – been there, done that, got the t-shirt! We’ve watched and witnessed dozens of insulating products come and go in the market within a relatively short space of time.
Home Logic Wall Insulation is by a country mile the most promising product we have had the honour to work with. So if you’re asking for a conclusion as to which external wall insulation product to recommend, this one comes top of the list!
Insulation with Benefits
- Keeps the heat in
- Reduces condensation and moisture
- Safe to use and be around once applied
- Enjoy those peaceful nights again
- Improves the sound quality within
- 20 year protection guarantee
- Your home gets the makeover it deserves
- Withstands the British weather, come rain or shine
What is Thermal Bridging in Construction of Solid Walls?
What is thermal bridging in construction when it comes to solid walls? Exactly the same, if not a bit quicker than within a cavity wall!
As mentioned above, when it comes to wall insulation, we’ve been around the block a few times. We’ve seen that solid walls are limited in choice of internal insulate or an external coating.
For a peaceful, efficient and economically viable process, opt for external wall insulation. This will repel water absorption and prevent heat loss enormously. A coating is applied to the external walls of your home.
This special coating halts moisture from entering your masonry, shielding it from the British elemental weather, for many years to come.
This is by far the most effective practice of insulating a solid wall, particularly within structures that are reaching a century in age.
What About Cavity Walls?
Insulating a cavity wall externally can be just as effective, even with the fact that cavity walls carry insulating benefits already. When you apply a coating of external wall insulation you can actually improve the cavity wall’s ability at trapping heat in!
There is another way to insulate a cavity wall – simply fill the cavity with a form of insulating material. Usually, this involves beads or a type of spray foam.
It has to be said though that this approach has been known to highlight some disadvantages, the most frequent issue being moisture related.
Inserting a material or substance in-between the outer and inner shell pretty much creates a bridge for any moisture to crawl across at will, rendering the cavity moot. This is thermal bridging at its finest!
In order to prevent any long-term complications, we recommend strongly against this method of application. This approach can cause some structural consequences and could even lead to an increase in heat loss from your home. Why take the risk?
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