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This Old House – Energy Efficient Exterior Paint


Homes built in the UK before the 1920s will generally have solid walls, as opposed to cavity walls.  For those who own older homes, this can mean that heat loss is a recurring issue.

Cavity walls are built using two ‘skins’ of brick or stone with an air gap in between – which acts to add a layer of natural insulation. Solid walls are pretty much self-explanatory and their ability to lose heat is much greater.

Both types of construction are different, but can, however, be insulated and an increasingly popular product: energy efficient exterior paint.

With that in mind, we’ve compiled the following guide to energy efficient exterior paint, including what it is, how it works, and how you and your home can benefit from having this premium performing product installed…

Internal Or External Insulation: Which Is Best?

Solid walls can easily be insulated either internally or externally; in terms of costs, it’s likely to be more expensive than cavity wall insulation. External is the way to go too, as this is much less intrusive, and, in most cases, a lot more effective!

The savings, in terms of energy bills, will also be larger. Needless to say, in these days of rising energy costs, environmental concerns, and economic uncertainty, that’s no bad thing.

Internal wall insulation is achieved by one of two methods; either fitting solid insulating panels to the internal walls or by fitting ‘stud’ walls. This latter method is sometimes also known as dry-lining.

External insulation options vary; energy efficient exterior paint, renders or cladding can be applied to the exterior of a building, to provide greater thermal efficiency.

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Internal vs External Insulation: How Do They Compare?

Internal and external wall insulation both come with their own advantages and disadvantages, and each may be more or less suitable to different types of home. So, should you choose internal or external insulation? Here are some of the main pros and cons of each one:

Pros And Cons Of Internal Wall Insulation

  • Internal wall insulation will often be the cheaper option – although modern exterior treatments are becoming increasingly competitive.
  • Both forms of internal wall insulation will reduce the area of each room. Stud-wall insulation will reduce the area more than solid panels.
  • Most fittings will need to be removed to install internal insulation – skirting boards, door frames and other fixtures.
  • Internal wall insulation will be disruptive; although it can be installed room by room, the process will inevitably interfere with your daily life for some time.
  • Fixing heavier items to the new surface may not be possible, without specialist fixings.
  • Before fitting internal insulation, any existing problems with damp – penetrating or rising – must be fixed, which can add to both the times and costs.

Pros And Cons Of External Wall Insulation

  • External wall insulation doesn’t reduce the area inside your home, which is likely to be an important consideration in smaller properties.
  • Disruption is minimal – the work is carried out externally, and with modern energy efficient exterior paint, or spray on insulation, it can be conducted rapidly.
  • External wall insulation will improve the external look of your home – contractors will prepare surfaces by repairing any damage.
  • The waterproofing qualities of energy efficient exterior paint means that weathering and damage will be minimised, reducing the need for maintenance.
  • Cracks will be filled, and this can reduce draughts, and add to the overall effectiveness of the insulation.
  • By increasing the thermal resistance of the walls, external wall insulation can also reduce condensation, damp and mould build up on internal walls. All of which have significant benefits, including health ones.
  • External wall insulation, unlike internal, may need planning permission. This is most likely to be the case in conservation areas or other specially designated landscapes such as National Parks.  Listed building consent may be required if your home is listed, and, in some cases, building regulations may apply.

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This Old House – Energy Efficient Exterior Paint

Energy Efficient Exterior Paint: Important Details

Whichever form of insulation you choose, it’s important to confirm with your contractor that the product being applied is ‘breathable,’ to reduce the risks of build-up of moisture within the construction material.

Modern energy efficient exterior paint and coatings are generally designed with this in mind, which reduces the risk of damp and associated damage to the building’s fabric.

The Real Cost (Savings)

Based on figures from the Energy Saving Trust released in May 2017, the energy saving costs of wall insulation for solid walls are pretty interesting reading – even if you don’t normally enjoy financial reports! For an average flat, the annual saving is estimated to be £120.

However, for larger properties, the savings are even more interesting; an average semi-detached home should benefit by around £255 a year, whilst a detached property can expect savings in the region of £425.

Compared to the costs of installation – especially when using the latest products like energy efficient exterior paint – these savings will make sound financial sense for many people who own older properties.

Contact Our Team Today!

For more information on how energy efficient exterior paint can help cut the cost of running your home, contact one of our friendly advisers today. 

Call 0800 1700 636 to speak to one of our experts, or email [email protected] to arrange a free site survey and no-obligation quote.  One of our friendly representatives will get back to you as soon as possible.

Alternatively, click the button below to start cutting your costs today!

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