News

Ralli Solicitors Call Out The Cowboys

Ralli who are one of the leading firms involved in the Cavity wall insulation scandal, have written an article about the cowboys that are appearing in the marketplace with a stark warning.

Basically, the very companies that promoted and installed the faulty Cavity wall insulation are now knocking on doors and offering to take it out for a price.

Our advice to you is before you sign up with any of these companies, that you take independent legal advice from a claims company or law firm that is already dealing with these cases and maybe consider having a full survey carried out by a qualified professional who can establish whether your cavity wall insulation is the cause of your problems and assess the level of damage and advise you on the best way to solve the issues.

It is worth mentioning that if you do intend to pursue a claim with the installation company or CIGA to cover the cost of removal and the remedial work to repair the damage to your home then you should not have the insulation removed until the law firm working on your behalf gives you the go ahead. It is highly unlikely that you will be able to make a claim once you have had the cavities cleared.

You can read the full article from Ralli here

THE SECOND IN A SERIES OF ARTICLES  FROM RALLI SOLICITORS LLP ON CWI CLAIMS AND THE INDUSTRY WHICH STANDS ACCUSED OF CAUSING MISERY TO THOUSANDS OF PROPERTY OWNERS AND TENANTS.

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 solve all of your problems by removing the bad insulation.

This is now becoming an area for extreme concern as homeowners are being asked to foot the bill for the extraction which can frequently exceed a couple of thousand pounds.  There is also the danger that agreeing to have your cavity wall insulation extracted may void the CIGA Guarantee.

Here at CRISAS we recognise that there are genuine operators within the industry, doing good honest work.

Companies who care about restoring affected homes and have a real desire to improve their energy efficiency. Providing warm, dry, mould free, healthy homes for cavity insulation victims.

CRISAS Advice

As with any door to door sales operations, no matter how fantastic the offer may look, please curb your initial enthusiasm and ensure that who you are dealing with a respectable company .

All door canvassing/sales teams have a legal obligation to provide the following;

  • a business name, contact details and address (if they are selling for another company, they must also supply that company’s details)
  • an address for customer complaints, if this is different to their business address
  • a description of the goods or services and a reminder that any goods must be of reasonable quality and as described
  • the total price or how this will be calculated
  • how a customer can pay
  • any conditions of guarantees, services or after sales assistance

If your CIGA guarantee is at hand, then double check all company details and director details online.

ARRANGE AN INDEPENDENT SURVEY….. whilst these may cost between £100-£500 , it could potentially save you thousands. Any removal without independent verification could null and void your CIGA guarantee or any future opportunity to claim for cost recovery.

Contact CWI consumer organisations such as CIVALLI or CRISAS , for free independent guidance.

 

How to Deal With Cavity Wall Insulation Issues

A Step By Step Guide

If you are one of the millions of homes that have had cavity wall insulation installed as part of the government drive to reduce carbon emissions and have subsequently suffered from damp, mould, mildew and cold spots as well as, in some cases, wet and dry rot, then you could well be a victim of faulty cavity wall insulation

Over 12 million homes in the UK have been fitted with CWI under an incentive driven by the government and funded by the energy companies in the last 5 years or so. It is now becoming clear that this has affected millions of properties and many of the homeowners are totally unaware that their damp problems have been caused by the CWI.

It is now becoming clear that there is a major issue with a huge number of these installations and many homeowners are still totally unaware that their damp problems have been caused by the CWI.

It is a total mess at the minute and some liken it to the wild West as some companies that have spent the last few years filling people’s homes are now canvassing and offering to take it out, at a price, of course!

There are a lot of reasons why you might need to remove the CWI from your home some of them are:

  • The cavities were not properly filled, leaving gaps which then create cold spots and condensation.
  • The property was unsuitable for CWI in the first place due to the cavities being too small or hard to fill.
  • The property was unsuitable for CWI as it is in an area that is subjected to wind-driven rain.
  • The wrong insulation material was used or not installed properly.
  • The cavities were not cleared of existing debris before being filled with insulation.
  • Air bricks and vents have been blocked.
  • The properties are steel or timber framed.

If you believe that the problems you are experiencing are due to incorrectly fitted or faulty CWI then you need to take action. This is an extremely serious problem that, If left untreated, could do severe damage to your property and, in extreme cases, could even become uninhabitable and require major structural work to rectify it.

The governing bodies have done their best to sweep this under the carpet but, as the problem is getting more and more media attention which in turn raises awareness, leading to more people realising that they too have been affected and their combined voices are getting louder and much more difficult to ignore.

The situation has now been brought up in Parliament and although, as we all know, the wheels of Westminster turn very slowly indeed, especially when they are going to be adversely affected by the outcome.

What Should You Do In The Meantime?

You need to take action as soon as possible and there are a number of things that you need to do and that you need to be aware of.

What Information Do You Have?

  • Do you know the name of the company that installed the insulation?
  • Are they still trading?
  • Had they signed up to a Nationally recognised code of conduct?
  • Are they a member of a professional body Like NIA and CIGA?

 

It is worth giving them a call in the first instance and ask them to come and inspect your property.

A Word of Warning

Do NOT let the installation company that fitted it remove it until you have taken proper advice and had your property independently inspected as it could affect any claim you might have to recover the costs or make a claim for compensation in the future.

We will go over the different options that you have to deal with your issues a bit further on, but the first thing is to make sure that you are fully aware of exactly what the problems are.

Bear in mind that not all CWI is bad and that your damp and other problems might be caused by other issues.

What Exactly Are The Problems That You Have?

Start by making a list of all the problems you are having that you believe are caused by the faulty cavity wall insulation.

The more information that you have, at hand, the easier and faster you can determine whether it is the insulation in the cavities that is causing the problems.

Go around your home room by room making notes of the issues that you have like Damp, mould, mildew, cold spots, condensation and even the smell of damp.

Make as many additional notes as possible answer questions like: Make a not of the issues

  • Were these problems here before I had CWI installed?
  • Has it got worse over this time?
  • Have my heating bills gone up instead of down?

You can download a copy of a ‘home survey form’ here

Take Photos and Video of the Issues

Take plenty of photos and video. You should first take a wide angle shot to show the perspective of the area and then if needed, take a closer shot. Try to keep them organised and in order.

Use a screwdriver to check if the skirting boards are rotting or the plaster is coming away from the walls. You need to check all external walls upstairs and downstairs for signs of damage. Don’t forget to check behind cupboards and under the stairs.

Next, look around the outside of your property and carry out the following inspections, again taking photos and making notes where needed.

  • Check to see if the air bricks or air vents are clear and free from debris.
  • Look to ensure that the damp proof level is visible and there is nothing bridging it that could cause damp.
  • Inspect the outside walls to see if there are cracks that have appeared, or if the cement in between is loose or crumbling.
  • If the walls are rendered, check to see if it has come away from the brickwork in places.
  • Are there holes in the brickwork or cement. Maybe left over from when the cavities were filled, where moisture can penetrate.
  • Are your gutters and downpipes in good order

Note: You can download a free app called “Inventory Clerk App”. It is available for android and Apple IOS devices. The app can be downloaded from the apple or play store. It will make the surveying process very much faster and easier, creating a pdf report autmatically for you.

How To Strengthen Your Case

The companies carrying out the installation of CWI should have adhered to strict guidelines set out by the manufacturers and the trade bodies like CIGA.

The country is broken up into zones. If you live in a zone 4 area then the chances are it should not have had CWI installed at all. Especially on any elevation that is subject to wind driven rain. Check which zone your property is in here.

They should also have carried out a thorough inspection to check if a property is suitable for cavity wall insulation.

The property should have had a pre-installation survey to check for existing damage and suitability, which included looking at the size of the cavities as well as an internal inspection to look for debris buildup.

On completion, a post-installation survey should be done to check a number of things like ensuring that perma-vents were fitted, if needed, and any existing vents were left clear to allow airflow to circulate through the property.

Copies of these reports should have been given to you with the other paperwork after the completion of the work.

Unfortunately, very often the surveys were carried out by unqualified people or worse still, they were not done at all and the installer just ticked the relevant boxes on the forms without carrying out the actual checks.

Once you have completed your survey form

The next thing is to gather all the paperwork that the installer gave to you.Installers details

  • The following is what you might have.
  • First contact letter or appointment card.
  • Initial suitability Assessment Document.
  • The Contract or Agreement signed by the homeowner.
  • Receipts for any monies paid to the installer by the homeowner.
  • The CIGA Guarantee Certificate – (Cavity Insulation Guarantee Agency).

The more documentation you have the easier it will be to assess and pursue your claim.

However, don’t worry if you don’t have all of the papers listed above. Even if you don’t know the name of the installer or, as is now quite often the case, the installer has gone out of business or disappeared, you can find their details on your CIGA guarantee.

Note: If you do not have your CIGA certificate then you can request a copy by emailing them at info@ciga.co.uk, calling 01525 853300 or you can make a request in writing from CIGA, Vimy Court, Vimy Road, Leighton Buzzard, Bedford LU7 1FG.

Are the Issues Caused By Cavity Wall Insulation?

Armed with the information you have collected, it will be a fairly easy to establish whether your property has been affected by the installation of cavity wall insulation or whether there are other issues causing the problem.

We Highly Recommend That You Get and Independent RICS Survey Carried Out Rics surveyor

Whatever steps you take, it is highly recommended that you call in a qualified RICS surveyor to carry out a full inspection of your property. Their independent report will give you confidence in the knowledge that the issues are a a direct result of the Cavity Wall Insulation and will also provide a lot of weight when dealing with the installers or CIGA to get your situation resolved.

What To Do Next?

You first need to approach CIGA who have guaranteed the work for 25 years.

Deal With It Yourself

The next stage is to decide how to go about dealing with your situation. If you have the time and inclination then you can deal with the issues yourself.

Seek Legal Representation legal-advice

The cost of repairing your property could be extremely expensive and it is important that you get it right. Employing the services of a good solicitor to help you will be money well spent. And, like the surveyor, could well be worth their weight in gold

There are 3 options.

Use your one solicitor

You can use your own solicitor to help ensure that you get a good deal and that you dont sign anything that could affect your rights to have the remedial work done and also, the installers and CIGA are more likely to pay attention if they know there is legal representation.

no-win-no-feeUse a No-Win – No-Fee law firm

There are about 5 law firms who will work on a No-Win – No-Fee basis. As the scale of the problem becomes clear then we will see this number grow very quickly. These companies will work on your behalf and will wave their costs should you lose any litigation case should it go to court. These law firms work hard to get the best deal as they will look to take a percentage of any payments that you are awarded as a success fee and this can be up to 25%.

There can be unforeseen costs when dealing with these companies and not all of them provide the best deal and you could end up paying more than you first thought so you should make sure you read the small print before signing up with them. If you are unable to pay a solicitor then this is definitely something worth looking at but take time to check them out See more information on no-win – no-fee firms here 

Use a Specialist Law Firm

There  are law firms that specialise in this type of case and may well be more suited to represent you than your usual solicitor. You will have to pay for their services but, if you are can afford to make payments up front, then this could well be the best way for you to move forward and the most cost effective way to go.

Here are the CIGA guidelinesciga_logo

The CIGA Guarantee covers defects in materials or workmanship and any concerns will be investigated and defects rectified free of charge.

  • Any claim under the Guarantee must be notified to CIGA within 25 years of the installation date.
  • All problems relating to the installation must be reported to the installer as soon as practicable and CIGA must be informed if the matter is not resolved satisfactorily within 2 months.
  • The guarantee is not valid if the insulation has been altered or disturbed.
  • The guarantee remains valid for subsequent owners or occupiers of the property.
  • The maximum value of rectification work is currently £20,000.

You can find details of CIGA’s Guidelines here 

CIGA will try to limit the amount that they payout and are not known for their generosity when it comes to covering remedial works or payong compensation which it sis well worth taking legal representation to help ensure that you get the best deal for you and your family

Contact the Installer

In the first instance, if the company that installed the insulation is still trading, CIGA will ask you to contact them. They are obligated to send a representative to check your property and provide a report withing 2 months.

Full Inspection is Required

You want to make sure that they do a full boroscope checks of the property not just a visual inspection. You also want to receive a copy of the report including video and phot images.

Notify CIGA

At the same time as you contact the installation company, also write to CIGA, explaining the problems and including a copy of the correspondence that you have sent to the installer.

Keep CIGA Informed At Every Step

Keep CIGA informed of the date that the installation company are due to inspect your property and let them know when they have been and the date that you receive the written report.

If the installation company fail to turn up or have gone out of business then CIGA should arrange for someone to call and survey your property.

They Agree That The CWI Is Causing The Issues

If the installation company agrees to rectify the problem then you need to understand what it is they are going to do and what level of compensation you are going to receive.

These are some of the costs that you should be entitled to recover:

  • Extraction of the faulty CWI and clearing of the cavities.
  • Repairs to the exterior walls where needed.
  • Repairs to the interior walls including re-plastering and redecoration.
  • Replacing wall voids in brickwork and other external damage.
  • Replacing wall ties if required.
  • Re-filling the cavities (if this is something that you want to do).
  • New EPC certificate
  • Independent survey

You could also seek compensation and damages for:

  • Health issues.
  • Lost energy savings.
  • Carpets and Furniture.
  • Out of pocket expenses
  • Compensation for Inconvenience and stress

Whilst CIGA set a limit at £20,000 a Court could well award you considerably more should it be proven that the cost of repairing your property and relevant compensation justifies the amount.

Where can you find more information

Cavity Insulation Guarantee Agency CIGA

National Insulation Association (NIA)

Stroma Certification

 

 

 

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.

If the outcome of the case results in you being the losing party, your solicitor will take out on your behalf a policy of legal expense insurance. This policy will pay for the other parties costs.

Hence ‘No Win, No Fee’.

A Cautionary Note Regarding the Legal Expense Insurance

As with all insurance policies, the underwriters will have included all the necessary no win no fee CWI legal adviceclauses to protect themselves from fraudulent claims.

In particular, should there later be found that you have deliberately withheld information that would have indicated to the solicitor and underwriters that you had a less than 50% chance of winning the case, your insurance could become null and void.

A good claims solicitor will always be very thorough in studying the case prior to accepting it and will also be very happy to explain the terms of the policy.

It Isn’t Called ‘Win, No Fee’!

Should you be the winning party, then you have to accept that a percentage of the monies allocated will include the fees for your solicitors time and any related expenses they will have incurred such as professional surveyors costs.

It is also possible that the solicitor that you have chosen is also eligible for a Success Fee.

Solicitors can take up to 25% from you. You need to be careful and sure of what you sign, as once it is signed the contract is binding and you cannot go back.

If you have a cavity wall claim and the total cost of removal repair and redecoration comes to say £12,000, if  from the outset you have agreed the solicitor can take a success fee of 25% the solicitor can come back for £3000.

It doesn’t matter that the £12,000 has been accounted for in the cost of building and decoration works as you are still liable for it.

As with all trades that you may wish to hire, solicitors are no different. Shop around!

Should you want advice or feedback on a particular Law Firm, please do not hesitate in contacting us HERE

Further reading and examples of issues with ‘No Win, No Fee’ can be found on the following link to the Legal Ombudsman

 

Before entering into a contract it is important to seek independent legal advice

 

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.damp and mould caused by botched CWI

Of the 250,000 homes investigated by thermal imaging experts IRT Surveys Ltd, approximately half of the homes were already affected by failing CWI.

In contrast, a defensive Amber Rudd speaking on behalf of the Government, implied it could be as little as 1%!

Clearly, this huge discrepancy and this is partly due to the fact that no systematic research has been carried out by the government to assess the level of the problem.

Any property or home fitted with CWI, that is currently suffering from cold spots on the walls, damp or mould…could easily be a victim of botched CWI.

It really is that simple.

Whilst there are some obvious external factors which would indicate a higher risk of CWI being the cause of damp and mould, such as

The vast majority of problems with failed or botched CWI are often hidden and more difficult to spot;

  • Incorrect size of wall cavity
  • Debris between the external and internal walls
  • Insulation material obstructing the ventilation blocks
  • Not enough material used

The list is both long and extensive. What Can Go Wrong With CWI

So just remember this simple formula

CWI + Damp & Mould = You could be a victim of the CWI scandal

Botched CWI Rallying Cry – What We Want To Do

Help Us to Help You

Whilst the issues are now getting some attention and have been brought up in Parliament with an ‘early day motion’  recently, we still need to keep the pressure on and now is the time to push even harder to ensure that it gets the attention and more importantly the ‘action’ it deserves to help the millions of homes and families that have been affected.

We need YOUR help to build a picture of just how big this problem is and make sure there is enough of us involved to drive it forward to a positive conclusion and as the numbers grow and our voice gets louder the government, trade bodies and energy companies will have no choice but to deal with it sooner rather than later and understand that it is not going to go away.

 

How Many Homes Are Affected

We want to be able to speak with confidence about the number of people who are suffering due to this ill-conceived, Government sponsored scandal.

If you are a homeowner, tenant or a landlord and have suffered from the effects of faulty cavity wall insulation then we want to hear from you.crisa logo botched cwi

Please complete the short survey below to add your voice and support to the campaign to get justice.

CWI Scandal Survey

I have been affected by faulty cavity wall insulation.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s fight this together.

 

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 whereby vulnerable people are left in damp and damaged homes. Ultimately, it is the government which is responsible for this mess. They pushed energy companies to meet targets but failed to set up proper regulation. No wonder there seems to have been wide spread abuse.”

Mr Williams also joined the campaign for victims of cavity wall insulation and helped take their fight to Whitehall.

The meeting with the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) resulted in the launch of the Bonfield Energy Review.

The purpose of the review was to investigate the CWI scandal fully.

Despite calls for the Report to be published, the government have repeatedly made excuses as to why the Review, due to have been published in May this year, is still delayed.

Hopefully Mr Williams’ EDM will bring the focus back on the government and force a reaction.

EDM number 633 reads as follows;

 ‘That this House notes that cavity wall insulation (CWI) has been installed in millions of homes in successive government-backed schemes, but that in many cases the insulation has failed, acting not as a barrier to keep heat on the inside but as a bridge to allow water penetration from the outside; further notes that the actual number of failures is unknown and that the consequential damp and other related and very serious problems have blighted the lives of householders for years; notes that many victims are older, disabled or vulnerable people; notes that many installation companies have gone out of business and that the industry guarantee scheme has serious failings, including a defensive and sometimes hostile attitude to claimants and provides a guarantee not compensation; notes that successful extraction of CWI is difficult and sometimes poorly completed, leading to further problems; commends the tireless work of Civalli, the victims support group; and calls on the Government to institute measures to actively identify potential victims, rectify failed installations and provide proper compensation.’

For further information and references , please use the following links;

Civalli

Bonfield Review

EDM number 633

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 lungs become full with blood.

What is certain is that mould which grows as a result of damp,  even at surprisingly low levels can hugely reduce the quality of your pets life.

They become lethargic, go off their food, stop enjoying walks and exercise, get ill more often and recover slower and in the worst case, can ultimately lead to their death.

For more detailed information about this post and advice about what to do if you feel your pet may be suffering from any of the health issues mentioned above, please read this excellent article from Pets4Homes.

Black mould toxicity in dogs

 

 

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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 to proceed with the funds.

Thus resulting in the selling process grinding to a halt.

Summary of Selling Property

  1. The potential buyer makes you an offer
  2. A surveyor the values the property and inspects for structural issues
  3. Surveyor identifies damp and notifies the buyers mortgage provider
  4. The lender will usually make an offer in principal as long as the damp is rectified
  5. You get the damp cause treated and fixed and remedial wok completed
  6. The surveyor will inspect your property again and finally approve that it is structurally sound
  7. The lender will release the funds to your buyer and the sale can complete.

Damp problems can easily delay the sales process by up to 2-3 months. This risks your purchaser deciding to buy something else.

Any hints of damp, mould and mildew…..any suspicions of failing cavity wall insulation, must not be ignored.

Failing cavity wall insulation could leave you feeling trapped and out of pocket, leaving you unable to move up the property ladder.

Contact CRISAS for free and impartial advice about the cavity wall insulation scandal and how it could affect you.

For further reading and a more detailed analysis, please use the following link.

How Damp Can Stop You From Selling Your Property

 

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.

cavity-wall-insulation-problems-damp-water-moisture

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 span less than 50mm
  • Cavities bridged with debris and fallen mortar
  • Evidence of uneven fill, gaps and slumping from the initial installation
  • No evidence of pre installation checks
  • Little indication that the guidance available at the time of installation was being followed.

The Consequences

The entire affects of the botched CWI/EWI are yet to be fully realised, but the report did highlight 27 ‘unintended consequences’. These included;

  • More damp and mould
  • Drop in internal wall temperature
  • Compromised electrical safety
  • Increased levels of respiratory illness
  • Fuel poverty
  • Structural failure and decay of walls
  • Increased threat of both dry and wet rot to timbers and floors
  • High levels of toxins in the air

Perhaps the most disturbing aspects of the report are the financial and environmental impacts.

This ill-conceived government scheme could cause chaos for decades to come. The CWI scandal is risking the health and wealth of millions of UK people.

To extract the damaged CWI costs nearly 5 times what it originally cost to install.

The removed material is not biodegradable and is being buried in landfill sites.

Certain types of extracted material emit fumes which are toxic to both humans and animals.

The energy needed to heat a home with failing CWI exceeds that of the same property before installation.

In conclusion, this report shows us how important it has become for a much more rigorous and widespread investigation.

It also begs the question, why are parliament still dragging their feet and failing to act?

Pressure from action groups, MP’s, victims,environmental experts and now the BRE still hasn’t produced a satisfactory response.

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 zones 1 and 2, which are mostly in the Eastern side of Britain, are generally considered suitable CWI . These zones suffer least from wind driven rain.

The scale however, does not take into consideration individual properties. Some may have little surrounding cover or particular walls may be more vulnerable than others.
Zones 3 and 4, which includes the West of Scotland, the North West coast, Wales, Cornwall, Dorset and Somerset and numerous other locations, are considered to be inappropriate areas for the installation of CWI.
Check this map and determine in which zone you are located.

british-standard-rain-index

2. Type of Property

Certain house builds such as precast concrete, timber-framed and steel framed buildings will not accommodate standard CWI.
Combinations of these builds, such as an extension or garage etc added to an existing home may also make a property unsuitable for standard Insulation.

3. Signs of Damp, Mould or Mildew

Any signs of damp, particularly on external walls should be investigated promptly and is a common sign of incorrectly installed or damaged insulation.

4. Increased Fuel Bills

Damp walls or walls with cold spots can often make warmth management particularly difficult. You may find your heating bills are steadily escalating and are certainly costing more than those of your friends and neighbours.

5. Smell

A house will often smell damp way before it shows signs of mould. So rely upon your senses!

6. Respiratory and Skin Complaints

If you notice that you or your family are suffering more  winter colds and flu-like complaints than their friends and peers, this can sometimes be a symptom of the spores that are created by mould.

If you suspect that any of the above affect your home then now is the time for action.

There are a growing number of companies that will be happy to supply you with a free self-assessment form and some friendly advice.

The link below will take you to a free download.

It is easy to follow and will help you to asses the risks for yourself.

Botched CWI Home Check List