According to the Department of Energy , a combination of inefficient technologies and poor insulation contributes to higher heating and cooling costs, especially in houses built prior to 1930, where precious little thought was given to matters of insulation.
In these cases, a retrofit insulation system is usually required, with spray foam proving the professional product of choice, due to its unrivalled thermal performance properties, which don’t deteriorate over time.
Retrofit Insulation Systems: Key Considerations
Always Keep Airtightness In Mind
When planning a retrofit insulation system, air-tightness should always be accounted for. Although air leakage can occur throughout a building, the key places to prioritise are: gaps around windows and doors, exposed openings around rafters, and the underside of floors.
Even buildings which appear adequately insulated require closer examination, as quantity doesn’t always translate into quality-especially if the current materials are outdated, resulting in impaired efficacy overall.
Intense scrutiny is required, with accumulation of moisture between fibres and sagging the main signs of wear and tear. If left unchecked, this can lead to long-term air leakage, and radically reduced internal temperatures as a result.
Prepare To Repair
There’s no denying that property renovation can be a long and laborious process, but if approached with long-term aims in mind, you’ll reap the rewards of your labour for many years to come.
One of the biggest benefits of embarking on a retrofit project is that it forces you to address persistent problems, and make the required repairs. This action alone goes someway to enhancing systems efficiency , and ensuring stringent safety levels are attained.
Replace existing wiring if needs be, and ensure that the overall framework of your property remains structurally sound. You should also mark out existing cracks and crevices that need sealing with tape, and insulate said places accordingly.
Strike A Successful Balance
Like most things in life, striking a balance is key-and a retrofit system is no exception. Material and labour costs should always be weighed up against performance and practicality, especially if relining work is required.
In many retrofit cases, areas not immediately visible (such as the underside of existing floorboards) remain left unchecked, despite being one of the key areas that heat can escape from.
Although it’s best to insulate the space in its entirety, those on tighter budgets can still benefit from the addition of spray foam. In these cases, insulate priority areas, such as gaps in the roof space and rafters.
Increasing Resale Value With A Retrofit
Even if insulation appears fully intact, chances are that if it was installed over 20 or more years ago, it’s in desperate need of an upgrade. To increase your property’s EPC rating substantially, replace conventional materials with spray foam.
Providing a fully breathable system, spray foam adheres to the latest building regulations, with each application leaving a 50mm air gap between the foam and the frame, enabling air to flow freely, consequently curbing condensation and moisture.
Indeed, the only instance where you can spray directly to breathable felt is when the roof has been counter battened, with the 50mm air gap on the outside of the roof instead.
Ready to get started on your retrofit? Transform your historic home into an energy-efficient investment to be proud with the help of spray foam insulation.
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