Avoiding Rogue CWI Extraction Companies

For many of us, our cavity wall insulation problems started with a simple knock on the door. A sales person or canvasser explaining that as part of a ‘government sponsored scheme’, we may be entitled to subsidized or even free insulation. Sound familiar? Well guess what? After years of damp, mould and inflated energy bills….that same canvasser could be strolling along your street right now…..but this time, he wants to remove your insulation! The number of requests for cavity wall insulation removal following Building Surveys for mortgage purposes or complaint investigation, are at an all time high. Unfortunately, the removal of botched cavity insulation and the cavity extraction companies that carry out the work is currently completely unregulated. Rogue companies are now reported to be springing up all across the country claiming to be expert extraction companies. Many of these companies are reported to be employing the same people who were claiming to be expert installers and who were responsible for carrying out the defective installation work in the first place. In other words, the guys that installed the insulation in the first place (and did a bad job!), are now knocking on doors under a different guise saying that they can

signing a claims agreement

NO WIN, NO FEE – What To Look For When Choosing A Claims Lawyer.

The conditional fee arrangement more commonly known as ‘No Win, No Fee’ has become increasingly popular across the UK as access to Legal Aid has diminished. However, you need to take care when entering into an agreement and ensure your understand all of the implications before signing on the dotted line. In simple terms, it is a funding arrangement between solicitor and their client which will allow the solicitor to be paid for his/her services depending on the outcome of the case. This facility enables people who may otherwise not be in a financial position to afford it, to still make personal claims. Typically, it is used to  fight for personal injury claims and unfair dismissal, for example. For these reasons,  this type of agreement is to be welcomed. If you wish to make a claim, the solicitor will carefully consider the risks involved. Should you lose the case, your solicitor will not be able to charge you their fees, but the defending party will be able to claim back all the costs incurred whilst defending themselves. On that basis, a solicitor is only likely to accept a case that he/she feels that they have a good chance of winning.

botched CWI Rallying Cry

Botched CWI Rallying Cry!

Rallying Cry  Noun-definition – something such as a word, phrase, event, or belief that encourages people to unite and to act in support of a particular group or idea  We are all aware of the story of David versus Goliath. Against all odds, the small but courageous David defeated the much stronger and bigger Goliath. Here at CRISAS we are contacted daily by individuals, fighting alone for their rights, health and homes. The might of the Cavity Insulation Companies, the Cavity Insulation Guarantee Agency, the Big Energy Suppliers and even the Government, all stand in their way. We feel that the time has come to stand together. To establish a united campaign to prevent this scandal from being swept under the carpet. As the saying goes there is ‘Strength in numbers!‘ The trade bodies have tried to keep a lid on it, denying the issues and burying their heads in the sand and have only recently begun to take this seriously after it was debated in Westminster due to years of campaigning  and dogged perseverance by Pauline Saunders of CIVALLI. Who Is Affected? The size of the CWI scandal still remains a matter of some debate. Of the 250,000 homes investigated

Hywel Williams CWI scandal

Pioneering MP Spearheads the Drive To Expose the CWI Scandal

Hywel Williams Plaid Cymru MP for Arfon, Hywel Williams has raised an Early Day Motion to draw attention to the CWI Scandal. Hywel Williams, renowned for his interest in social policy, proposed this EDM on the 1st November. An EDM is a formal submission for a debate in the House of Commons. Whilst many EDM’s do not actually reach the debating stage, they often highlight a particular cause or issue. Mr Williams first raised the issue of botched CWI back in August 2015. In a press release from that month he was quoted as saying “Thousands of people installed cavity wall insulation, misled that this was a government scheme. Now the insulation is failing, letting in driving rain and leaving them with damp, mouldy homes, high heating bills, and an industry guarantee scheme under great pressure as large insulation companies go to the wall. Will the Prime Minister take a personal interest in this matter and make sure that older and disabled people in particular are not left to carry the burden of government and industry failures.” Hywel Williams MP added, “As far as I’m concerned, the consumer redress process has so far been ineffective, with a ‘closed shop’ mentality

Mould and Pet Health

Pets Gets Sick and Die Due to Damp and Mould

Many people are aware that a damp and mouldy home is an unhappy and unhealthy environment, but did you know it could also cause serious damage to the health of your pets? Black mould toxicity in pets can often be quite slow to develop and difficult to spot. It affects pets that live in homes where there is a substantial growth of black mould  over time. Exposure over a mid to long term, results in your pet inhaling large quantities of black mould spores . As with humans, this can lead to can lead to a range of respiratory and allergic reactions, including  a persistent cough, noisy or laboured breathing, red and itchy eyes and a general reduction in enthusiasm for exercise. Over a sustained and longer term exposure, the mould will actually start to weaken your pets immune system, resulting in them being much more susceptible to other illnesses and problems, and making it considerably more difficult for them to recover when they do. As with humans, longer-term exposure, will allow the spores to actually weaken the capillaries within the lungs of your pet, leading to eventual hemorrhage and  internal bleeding. This can ultimately prove fatal, as the pets

Damp Stops You Selling Property

Selling Property. How Botched CWI Can Stop You

Every day, TV schedules include many programs about buying and selling property. We are all pretty familiar with the main factors that influence house prices. All the ‘do’s and dont’s’, neutral colours and carpets that won’t give buyers a headache. Location, size and age are just some of the factors a valuer will consider when valuing your home. What we often fail to realise when selling property, is there are some less obvious issues that can greatly reduce the value of our home. Some can make it very difficult to sell at all. The most important of these factors are damp, mould, damage to structural timbers and condensation. All symptoms of failing cavity wall insulation! Should your house currently be on the market, then you will be aware that a survey is required before any potential buyer will be granted a mortgage. If you are lucky enough to find a buyer for your property then you would like the purchase to progress as smoothly as possible. Should your buyers lenders see the words ‘damp’, ‘mould’ or ‘rot’ in any building survey then their mortgage provider will certainly require that any problems relating to this be fixed before they are prepared

Image of the Welsh Coast. CWI scandal

Evidence Exposes The CWI Scandal

Further evidence adds fuel to the fire of the growing CWI scandal. The long awaited BRE Wales report commissioned by Constructing Excellence in Wales, has now been released. The report provides conclusive evidence supporting the claims made that the CWI scandal is set to rival that of mis-sold PPI. What follows is a summary of the key points of the report. The full document can be found HERE The report is focused on housing stock managed both privately and by housing associations. The homes inspected all suffered from some level of damp thus meaning that it does do not represent a nationwide average. What the report does highlight is for a more detailed National Survey to determine the full extent of the problem. The report has shown that the 100’s of houses surveyed all had failing CWI, some of which had failed in less than 10 years. BRE highlighted the fact that CWI had been installed in homes deemed ‘unsuitable’, with little regard for ‘best practice’. The Mistakes The CWI had been installed in to homes suffering from at least one or more of the following factors; Located in areas exposed to severe levels of wind driven rain Cavities with a

Exposure zones and homes with CWI

Was Your Home Suitable For CWI?

Exposure zones, type of property and state of repair. Was your home unsuitable for CWI? A brief guide about what to look for first, if you suspect incorrectly installed Cavity Wall Insulation is damaging your house or health. Here at CRISAS are always happy to help you identify the causes of damp and mould in your home. Before you contact us, there are a number of key indicators that you can investigate yourselves. The effects of botched CWI installation can take a number of years before they manifest completely, so it is essential that you try and spot the risks early.Ignoring it can make the issues difficult and expensive to fix. Some factors may be tricky to recognise, particularly if you bought, rented or inherited your home after the CWI was installed. Hopefully this short article will point you in the right direction. At the very least we think it will allow you to determine if you should seek professional advice. 1. Exposure Zones and Location The location of your property and it’s exposure to wind-driven rain is usually the first factor you should consider. The British Standard Rain Index Map divides the UK into 4 distinct exposure zones. Exposure

Wind Driven Rain Exposure Zones Explained

Despite the repeated claims of CWI installers and their guarantors that cavity wall insulation can not allow the transfer of moisture across across the space between the inner and outer wall of a property, this has now been discredited by the Building Research Establishment (BRE). BRE are a world leading, scientific research centre, dedicated to improving the built environment through innovation and technology. In their publication BRE Good Building Guide 44 part 2 , they state; “There can be an increased risk of rain penetration if a cavity is fully filled with insulation, ie moisture is able to transfer from the outer to the inner leaves resulting in areas of dampness on internal finishes. Rainwater, under certain driving rain conditions, can penetrate the outer leaf of masonry leading to wetting of the cavity insulation, a reduced thermal performance and damage to internal finishes.” The guide provides detailed and technical information regarding what types of insulation are to be used in buildings in the four variants of exposure zones. The Exposure Zone Guide acts as a template to determine the potential measurement of wind driven rain that a property is likely to be subjected to. In summary, Zones 1 and 2 spread from

The Story Of The Cavity Wall Insulation Scandal

For the last two decades the retrofit insulation industry has expanded rapidly and then contracted  inline with the ebb and flow of government inspired subsidy. This ill conceived but well intentioned initiative, formed the background of a series of measures expected to reduce the UK’s emission of greenhouse gases by the year 2020. In hindsight, it is now generally believed that this scheme may have produced the reverse results and almost half of the homes altered now require more energy to manage heat and damp. The financing of this project was passed to the major energy suppliers as a legal requirement for them to provide energy efficient technologies to their customers. A failure to do so would lead them to face hefty fines, in addition to possible restrictions applied to any contracts then in place with the UK Government. To achieve the targets set by the Government, the energy companies switched from subsidized offers, to free installation. As contractees, the energy companies tendered the work to insulation providers. The promise of vast amounts of funding created a ‘gold rush’ mentality amongst speculative contractors. Firms knew that they had to act quickly to attract the cash. This resulted in rapid expansion to