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Our Guide To Insulating Your Walls

There is a range of effective home insulation methods that can significantly reduce heat loss, whilst lowering your heating bills. We’re going to be exploring how to insulate your walls and floors.

Roughly a third of all heat lost in an uninsulated home escapes through the walls. If you have a typical house with cavity walls, you could save up to £150 per year in heating bills, just from insulating your walls. You firstly need to identify what type of walls you have.

Cavity & Solid Walls

A cavity wall is made up from two walls with a gap in between, this gap is known as the cavity. The outer leaf is usually made of brick, and the inner layer of brick or concrete block.

A solid wall has no cavity, each is a single solid wall made of brick or stone.

Working Out Your Wall Type

If your house was built after the 1920s, it most likely will have cavity walls. Older houses are likely to have solid walls.

If you see a regular pattern to your brickwork outside the house, this will usually mean that your home has cavity walls.

If your home has solid walls, the bricks will have an alternating pattern.

How Do You Know If The Brickwork Has Been Covered?

You can tell if the brickwork has been covered, through measuring the width of the wall. Examine a window or door on one of your external walls. If a brick wall is more than 260mm thick then it most likely has cavity. Whereas a narrower wall is probably solid. Stone walls may be thicker still but are usually solid.

Solid Walls

Solid walls let through twice as much heat as cavity walls do. Luckily, solid walls can be insulated. They can be insulated either through the inside or the outside. The cost is greater than insulating a standard cavity wall, however the savings on your heating bills will also be greater.

Internal or External Insulation?

In order to insulate your walls internally, you’ll fit rigid insulation boards to your wall, or build a stud wall filled in with insulation material such as mineral wool fibre.

External insulation can be achieved through fixing a layer of insulation material to the wall, then covering it with a special type of render (plasterwork) or classing. The finish can be smooth, textured, painted, tiled, panelled, pebble-dashed, or finished with brick slips.

Here are the advantages and disadvantages of both:

Internal Wall Insulation:

1. Cheaper to install than external

2. Will slightly reduce the floor area of any room in which it’s applies – insulation thickness of roughly 100mm

3. Is disruptive, but can be done room by room

4. Requires skirting boards, door frames and external fittings to be removed and reattached.

5. Can be difficult to fix heavy items internally

6. Needs any problems with penetrating or rising damp to be resolved first.

External Wall Insulation:

1. Can be applied without disruption

2. Doesn’t affect the floor area of your home

3. Renews appearance of outer walls

4. Improves weatherproofing and sound resistance

5. Fills cracks and gaps in the brickwork, which will reduce draughts

6. May need planning permission – check with your local council

7. Requires good access to the outer walls

8. Is not recommended if the outer walls are structurally unsound and cannot be repaired.

If you have any more questions on insulating your home, contact us on: 01562 745881

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