Outside your home...
Free guides and quotes for all external work.
Last Updated on December 29, 2019 By Jon
Is it us or are winters getting colder? We’re fairly sure we’re not imagining it. With snow in spring, Beasts from the East and temperatures plummeted far below zero, our cosy little homes are no longer as warm as we once thought. Yes of course there are things we can do to remedy this, such as turn the central heating up higher and use electric heaters too. But all this does is make our energy bills soar to dizzying heights. Being cold is unhealthy, even dangerous for some, so we need to make sure we stay warm inside even when we’re watching the pennies.
Many of us are also trying to reduce our carbon footprint and using more energy in and around our homes is not helpful to this endeavour. So what exactly are we expected to do? Obviously if we’re cold we aren’t expected to just put up with it, there are lots of things we can do to make our homes more snug as the icy chill of winter sets in. One alternative that’s growing in popularity is External Wall Insulation.
In a nutshell, external insulation exists in two forms, the first is when another layer of temporary wall is built around the existing structure (or part of) your home. Essentially is makes your walls thicker and creates a new insulated layer of protection that traps in heat, allowing your home to stay warmer for longer as less heat escapes. Think of it as wrapping a big warm blanket around your home.
When you’re in bed and you put a big fleecy blanket over your duvet, this creates another thick layer on top of you that not only traps the warmth between it and the duvet (so you feel the benefit below), but also is designed to not let that heat escape. This is the same principle, but for your walls.
This form of wall insulating is more like a series of panels than an actual wall. When people first read about it, they imagine someone building another layer of bricks around their home, this is not the case. The panels are unobtrusive and don’t take up much space or make the house look any bigger or thicker than it already is. The panels are specially designed to trap heat within and funnel it into the home instead of outside, this helps keep the home warmer for longer.
The second type of external insulation is similar to the above but makes use of a device that pumps insulation foam into cavity wall space. This adds another layer of warmth and stops breezes and drafts from blowing through the walls. This isn’t the only material that can be blown into the wall either. It’s worth pointing out that it is more difficult to remove should the customer require it. It would probably need removing from inside of the house like internal insulation.
Standard wall insulation is installed within the wall itself; it’s often referred to as internal wall insulation’ for this very reason. Once installed internal wall insulation is generally permanent or needs to be removed the same way it was installed; by opening up the wall. Insulating exeterior walls doesn’t require any of this, the main difference is it’s installed outside of the property. It can be uninstalled as quickly as it is installed should the customer require it. No intrusion into the existing wall needs to be made meaning there is no disruption inside the house.
There are a range of benefits to using this approach to keep warm. Apart from the obvious benefits mentioned above, here are some additional benefits:
It’s important to point out that grants may be available for some people to help them afford insulating their walls. It largely depends on where they live in the country and various other factors such as:
The cost depends on how big the job is and which provider you use. The size of the house will have an impact, as will the time of year. Any form of insulation tends to cost more in winter. As will how the structure is build and of what material. Some structures don’t lend themselves well to the insulation of exterior walls.
We would recommend never attempting to do it yourself. This is because it usually requires specialist equipment to be done correctly and safely. It also takes a degree of experience and qualification to fully understand the task and perform it at a high standard.
The risks to attempting it on your own without professional help don’t outweigh the savings you’ll make. Not only are there dangers to health, such as inhalation of fibreglass shards, the trigger of allergies and many others. There is also human error to consider and the costs one mistake could result in. When installing anything on or within a wall there is always the risk of causing structural damage.
It’s also difficult to know how much insulation to install. Installing too much will cause ventilation issues, installing too little may have been a pointless endeavour. We would always recommend using a professional company who have experience with such tasks.