Showing posts from November, 2018

Lintels, weep holes and render

I found the notion of lintels in cavity trays difficult to visualise.
The reason I'm looking into lintels is that there is a damp patch that runs along the lintel over the front door.

Brick houses built today will have cavity trays and weep holes inserted into the design.
You will spot weep holes these as either gaps in the mortar or where the mortar is replaced with a perforated plastic insert as below.
CIGA state that no water should enter the cavity is properly maintained building. If that is so then why does building control mandate a cavity tray.

The purpose of a cavity tray is to ensure moisture that gets in the cavity when driven through the mortar joints or other means is directed back to the outside wall and out of the building.
If you didn't have a cavity tray or some sort of damp proof course then moisture would collect on the flat lintel and then flow off the sides of the lintel or soak into the internal wall causing wet spots on the internal plaster.

So what about…

Overspill into flat roofs

I managed to get my endoscope under the flat roof and found overspill of insulation which is visible in the distance int he photo.
This indicates that the cavity isn't closed at the top which is a requirement of cavity wall insulation though not much is mentioned in CIGA's guides about how you would inspect the top of a flat roof.
It makes me worried that the other flat roofs segments of the house are filled with this crap as well.

I have already established that the installers were incompetent and didn't check the wall on the gable end of the pitched roof as it overflowed into the attic but this was much harder to spot.
Overflowing CWI into a flat roof space can cause problems. Apart from forming patchy insulation which can lead to cold areas, in this case it fills the whole height of roof space between the joist and blocks of ventilation.
impedes ventilation and stops areas of timbers from shedding moisture adequately which leads to rot.
The other problem is that depend…


According to Ofgem on the topic of 'Oversight'. Under the ECO (Energy company obligation scheme the installer must be registered with a certification body. You can try contacting the National Insulation Association which has procedures for complaints against registered members.  You can also search on the  Green Deal Oversight & Registration Body website where you may be able to find details of your installers’ certification body.   
The National Insulation Association have a rudimentary, often poorly written website which doesn't tell us who the  board members are but does give us useful unbiased information such as :
or the delightful :
I reported the former statement to the BBA.
Update 27/11. BBA replied that it is stated in individual certificates under "Durability" which when I checked on some certificates is true that it says that the insulating…

Utilities in the cavity

With my trusty endoscope I am able to look in much more details at the issues with the bodged insulation. It's pretty clear that the wall that is suffering the most from damp is is poorly filled with variable density fill and some large voids and bridging mortar. However, not all cavity obstructions are brick/mortar. I have a certificate which proves that the electrics were rewired 4 years prior to the cavity insulation and the electrician decided to use our narrow cavity as a conduit as seen in the photo below. The cavity is so narrow that the insulation filling has been stopped by the wires, leaving a large void running up the wall. Some parts of the wires are completely encased in insulation.

As far as the CWI is concerned this is a pre-existing obstruction and bridging of the cavity which should have been picked up on a pre assessment. The size of the void makes this insulation in-compliant to the BBA certificate.
A pre existing damp problem caused by the electrics or presenc…

CIGA and conflict of interest

Radio 4 Today programme on 9/11/18 carried an item on botched insulation and lack of industry. Absolutely vital bit of reporting which emphasises the importance of investigative  journalism when justice is left to an industry.
Item can be listened to here

It ended with a vapid statement from CIGA.  "CIGA maintain that it is independent and these members bring vital experience and knowledge to its board."  
I think it's important to highlight why the public should be concerned about CIGA's independence particularly when the government, ofgem, local building control, BBA defer all complaints to the 'guarantee provider'.
Here is a table of directors and/or council members:
NameRoleOther interestPotential Conflict of interestsDONOHUE, NigelSecretary

Secretary Director CIGA LIMITED (dormant company)
BELTON, Danielle LouiseDirectorDirector SAVING ENERGY LIMITEDInstaller
Remediation contractorDavid John BURTONDirect…