Is your cavity wall insulation defective?
Starting in the 1990s, cavity wall insulation became highly popular, as a way for people to save money on heating bills. However, if not carried out properly, or if done on the wrong kind of building, cavity wall insulation can result in significant issues for homeowners, including damp and mould. Some of the types of house which should never had had cavity wall insulation installed include:
- Homes which are regularly exposed to high levels of wind and driving rain e.g. coastal properties, especially western UK
- Houses which are in exposed locations, not protected by other buildings, trees or landscape
- Homes with brickwork in a poor condition e.g. cracks in walls or rendering
How can cavity wall insulation cause damp?
With a normal cavity wall, there is a gap between two layers of brickwork (also known as skins) that form the wall. As masonry is an absorbent material, whenever it rains, some of this moisture is absorbed by the wall. The gap allows the outer wall to draw rainwater in, but stops the moisture from reaching the inner wall. There are small holes in the outer wall and above windows for the water to drain harmlessly away.
If cavity wall insulation is installed in the gap between the two skins, it can bridge the two walls, allowing water that should drain away to instead reach and soak into the inner wall, causing damp and mould. For the majority of houses, having cavity wall insulation should not cause damp because the amount of moisture that the outer skin absorbs is fairly low and should still drain away without reaching the inner skin. However, if the house is on the receiving end of lots of driving rain e.g. you live on the coast on another exposed area, then the amount of moisture absorbed will be much higher, which is what causes the issues with damp and mould.
Damp and mould don’t only look unsightly, they can also cause, or exacerbate health issues in the people living in the home, such as asthma, bronchitis and other respiratory conditions.
Cavity wall insulation compensation claims
If you live in a home which has had cavity wall insulation installed, despite it being unsuitable for this type of work, and you have experienced serious damp or mould issues, or even health problems as a result, you might be eligible for compensation.
The goal for a cavity wall insulation claim is for the house to be returned to the state it was in before the cavity wall insulation was installed. This may include things such as removing the insulation, replacing belongings damaged by the damp and redecorating any areas that have been affected by unsightly damp or mould.
Mis-sold cavity wall insulation
Sometimes, there are additional things that can be claimed for when it comes to defective cavity wall insulation, including those who were mis-sold the product. Many people who had it installed were under the impression that it was free, under a government grant, when in fact they were to later discover that they had unknowingly taken out a loan. The loan repayments were applied to their utility bills in many cases, so instead of the insulation saving them money, it actually cost them a significant amount, and then also caused damage to their property.
Cavity wall insulation personal injury claims
If you also wish to make a cavity wall insulation personal injury claim for health issues or injuries caused by the defective installation, you may be eligible for compensation if there is evidence that the issues caused by the installation have caused or worsened any medical conditions, resulted in suffering or reduced quality of life.