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 meet demand.
The contractor was also tasked with attracting homeowners to the funding, so recruited commission motivated sales teams.
Quality of installation, suitability of the property and the required surveys became secondary considerations.
The lack of proper surveys resulted in the installation of CWI in to homes that were either never suitable based on location, or properties that required much more extensive repairs prior to CWI installation.
The cavity in UK properties exists to prevent water passing from the outer wall to the inner wall.
Incorrectly installed CWI can create a bridge between the two walls allowing moisture to pass across or sometimes can actually trap pockets of liquid that will eventually permeate through the inner wall.
The effects of damp in your home can be both numerous and devastating.
Damp can cause the value of your property to depreciate in some instances making it unsaleable.
Mould can damage your health, the health of your family and even the health of your pets.
Badly installed CWI can cost you several thousands of pounds to rectify.
We can expect to hear a lot more about the CWI Scandal over the next coming weeks, as another cold, wet, windy British winter ensures that damp and mould thrive in homes with walls damaged by failing cavity wall insulation.