Showing posts from August, 2019

Are vulnerable people entitled to free CIGA ADR still?

CIGA used to have a statement on their website which said that those identified as vulnerable would be able to go thorough ADR without charge.  It appears to have disappeared.

Someone in dire need contacted me and I suggested that they would certainly be classed as vulnerable and should contact CIGA to explain. Only I could not find any references to this scheme on the current website.
This is not nit picking. There are vulnerable people who are suffering terribly with the consequences of poorly installed, on inappropriate insulation. If they don't know about this scheme then they won't know to ask.
The vulnerability policy was also a key point in the Each Home Counts 'case study' of CIGA.

Looking at an earlier snapshot - it't is very clear.

Here is link to the arbitration information
I have taken a snapshot of the  current version of the website on Friday 30 Aug 2019. There is no mention of this scheme.

Lintels part 2

I'm not a buildings expert but since becoming a home owner, but I have enjoyed learning about the construction and history of my house and houses in general.

In an older post I talked about  lintels and cavity trays.
During my ongoing renovation I've been able to obtain deeper access to the structure.

The UPCV windows had plastic trim/architrave internally which when removed allowed a scope to be passed into the cavity.

I was expecting boot lintels but in both places I checked (the front door and toilet window) there are separate concrete lintels for the internal out external skin separated by an air gap. In fact the gap is continuous with the cavity and so should have been filled with insulation.

The lintel above the front door has a taper which would direct water away form the inner wall however due to the current position of the front door that would be inside the house. I believe doors were previously placed further towards the inside of the wall.

The following video was s…

The controversy over Cavity Wall Insulation 'topups'

In this article I talk about the practice and problems of topping up insulation when voids are discovered, why it is being done and the potential violations of building regulations.
I can only put forwards what I have understood from public documents and personal correspondence  So I welcome corrections or clarifications from the industry on this important issue for home owners and will happily update this post to reflect any inaccurate statements.

We know that 100s of topups are done every year.  From what I can gather : If the BBA have not approved these topups then the relevant local authority building control should have been notified prior to topping up as an 'off licence' use of the product.  It is not clear that the correct procedures are being followed in all cases.
Background :Voids are common A void is simply an area cavity between the walls which is missing insulation.  If a void is large enough then the insulation will not be compliant with the meter square target de…

Cavity wall insulation and sub floor ventilation

My property has a suspended timber floor and was extended at the entier rear part of the old house  with a solid concrete floor. We have been told by RICS surveyor that the airflow was already inadequate with only 3 aibricks for the whole of the subfloor and it seems as if this should have been flagged up during the pre install survey.
In fact we got a CIGA authorised remediation contractor to review the property for extraction and re-install and he said that it wasn’t suitable for reinstall but regardless we needed 4 new air bricks to meet the current regulations.

According to Technical Note 18
"Extensions built to extend across the entire rear elevation of a property also compromises this essential cross flow ventilation, raising humidity below the timber floor and increasing the potential risk of timber destroying mould growth to develop.
CIGA has seen a marked increase in recent years of timber floor board and joist deterioration caused by reduced cross flow ventilation, with t…

Chartered Surveyor's Voluntary service (Challenging CIGA's inspection reports at ADR)

In this post I explain how to apply to the Chartered Suveryor's Voluntary service (CSVS) via the Citizen's Advice Bureau. RICS describes the CSVS: "This service provides free property advice to people who would otherwise be unable to obtain professional assistance from a Chartered Surveyor.

This page doesn't constitute best advice but offers one perspective on the 'redress process' which you might to consider but please do your own research and make up your own mind.

Why you probably need a survey?

The CIGA 25 year guarantee covers defects in workmanship or materials.
It seems that if CIGA is challenged on the validity of the install or some clear industry standard violation then the claimant is likely to be prematurely referred to ADR. I say premature because the  process was always supposed to a last resort not an excuse to avoid investigating in full.

However, the premature referral to ADR is a bit of a trap. Homeowners desperate to fix damp and destruction …