Newport homeowners have recently become victim to old cavity wall failure leaving them left with damp, mould and condensation problems throughout their homes. After inspection from BBC Wales’ Consumer Programme X-Ray, Wetherby’s Epsicon system was then required to rejuvenate the property back to an efficient standard.
Around 250 homes have been reported to be affected all of which are currently owned by Newport City Homes (NCH) housing association. NCH took over all the cities council houses in 2009, however, it is believed the cavity wall insulation (CWI) was installed in all of these 1930’s properties prior to this take over and all are now experiencing the same problems.
Mr & Mrs Symonds were one of the affected homeowners on Libeneth Road, Somerton. Their home had CWI installed a number of years ago and since the installation was carried out, the property has suffered structural issues and dampness throughout. The couple stated “The house is full of cracks because the wall ties in the cavities have rusted away. We’ve had water coming through the walls. The render and plaster continually falls off resulting in re-rendering and re-plastering.”
The Symonds decided it was time to approach the media in a bid to raise awareness of their problems by appearing on BBC Wales’ consumer programme X-Ray. They hoped that by bringing this to the attention of the public it would result in enough funding being awarded for not only their property but the rest of the affected community.
After a long battle they were finally awarded funding through CIGA (Cavity Insulation Guarantee Agency) for the removal of CWI and the structural repairs required to their home.
Gerry Miller, chief executive of CIGA, was reported to have said “problems with installation are rare.” However, they have now commissioned independent engineers to look at the Symonds house and will put right any problems directly caused by CWI up to a maximum of £20,000.
Based on the age and construction of their home, external wall insulation (EWI) was identified as the best solution. CIGA approached Wetherby Building Systems for guidance on a suitable EWI system that would also provide the Symonds with improved thermal performance.
Following on from initial site visits and consultations with the Symonds and Gerry Miller of CIGA; Wetherby created a specification for K5 Phenolic insulation with a dry dash finish. This system was chosen as it offers higher levels of adhesion, impact resistance and durability. It has good thermal insulating properties due to the very low thermal conductivity of phenolic foam allowing specified thermal performance targets to be achieved with minimal thickness of insulation. Approved Wetherby installers, A Class Builders were appointed to carry out the work. The system was completed with a red & white dry dash finish making a dramatic improvement aesthetically to the property leaving the homeowners delighted with the end result. The Symonds have since confirmed that the internal walls have dried out and there have been no further signs of reoccurring damp.The Symonds now have a thermally efficient and low maintenance home!