CAN I REMOVE AND REINSTALL CAVITY INSULATION?

Did you know that most homes built after World War II have been built with cavity walls?

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If you only have a vague idea of what a cavity wall is, it’s two layers of brick or concrete block (forming the exterior and interior walls of a house) that has a hollow space between them. The two walls are tied together but separated by the hollow space to prevent moisture from seeping into the house. It also protects the home from natural elements such as rain, snow, ice and wind and helps to regulate the temperature of the internal environment.

Starting in the 1970s, laws and regulations were implemented requiring homes to become more energy efficient. Since then these regulations have been continuously updated to keep up with the changing times.

The most common and cost-effective way of achieving this is through cavity wall insulation.

Proper insulation in a home is very important for the health, comfort and well being of the inhabitants of the house or building. Insulation helps to regulate heat keeping it warm in the winter and cool in the summer. If your home is properly insulated you will save a bundle on your yearly energy consumption and bills.

The type of insulation and the method of installing it will vary greatly on the location and type of home you have. Although it doesn’t happen often, sometimes things do go wrong and you wonder whether it’s possible to remove the original cavity insulation and reinstall it with the least amount of fuss.

The answer is yes.

Jeff’s Note: We got new insulation in our house last summer, and it has saved us a ton of money and heartache the last 12 months. Previously, our house used to get higher than 85 degrees on most summer days, and this summer it hasn’t gotten above 82 inside yet. We were able to get most of this paid for after having an energy audit done by our utility. This is a part of our strategy to plug energy leaks and save money.

Some reasons why you may need to remove the insulation are:

• If for whatever reason the material you used for the insulation is defective, this can lead to the release of toxic gasses. This is especially true for foam insulation from years ago. If you live in an old house with very old or defective insulation, it is highly recommended that you extract it.
• If your house is damaged through flooding or a fire, your cavity insulation will be affected. Damaged insulation usually translates to ineffective insulation and can also lead to the growth of mould and mildew.
• Insulation that has been improperly installed should be removed and reinstalled otherwise it can also lead to condensation and problems with dampness.

You’re always better off fixing something right away rather than waiting for the problem to get worse, especially when it comes to something that will have an impact on your health.

The extraction process is quite simple and depending on the size of your house will take anywhere from 2 to 5 days.

How to extract insulation?
• An industrial high pressure vacuum machine will be needed to remove insulation;
• Position the nozzle using the original drilling pattern;
• The insulation is sucked out from the cavity, bagged and taken away.

How to reinstall insulation?
• Pick the right type of insulation for your home and your needs;
• The insulating material is injected into the gap between the two walls through drilled holes;
• This is done from outside the home and shouldn’t take more than a few hours to complete;
• Fix any bricks etc. that have been disrupted because of the work.

It is recommended that you have insulation installed by a certified contractor.

As you can see removing and reinstalling cavity wall insulation is quite a simple process and will be beneficial to you in the short and long term. You will able to see the positive effects of a properly insulated home almost immediately.

If you know that your insulation should be replaced, then don’t delay and get it done right away. The best part is that many funding options through the government is available to cover the cost of installing insulation. So take advantage of these offers and live in a healthier and more energy efficient home.

Any efficiency upgrade you can make will pay off in spades by permanently lowering your monthly expenses, and as a bonus, you’ll use less resources.

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