The Government’s Green Deal and Energy Company Obligation (ECO) schemes will result in a large increase in the number of homes being insulated in the coming years. Whilst this is to be commended, it is important that any insulating measures are carried out in such a way as to avoid causing or exacerbating dampness problems in the buildings to which they area applied.
All types of insulation materials will have an effect on the dynamics of moisture and vapour flow in any buildings to which they are applied and it is important that that this is understood by designers and installers of insulation systems if dampness issues are to be avoided. Typical dampness problems that can be caused when insulation measures are applied to existing buildings include
- Rising damp – height of rise will be increased by reduced potential for evaporation of moisture from wall surfaces covered by insulation panels
- Condensation – e.g. water vapour condensing behind poorly-sealed internal wall insulation (IWI).
- Penetrating damp – e.g. incorrectly installed cavity wall insulation allowing rain to penetrate into the inner leaf.
Of these, Stormdry is primarily used to treat or prevent penetrating damp (although it also has a minor role to play in reducing condensation problems). Used in this way, Stormdry can allow insulation measures to be installed in situations where they would otherwise be unsuitable – e.g. allowing the use of cavity wall insulation in certain types of hard to treat cavity wall.
Because walls treated with Stormdry continue to be breathable, any moisture already inside the wall structure is able to evaporate. Stormdry’s deep penetration properties provide a further benefit when compared with other masonry water repellent products – providing protection from UV and other forms of environmental degradation.
Rising Damp and Condensation
Information on the prevention and treatment of rising damp and condensation can be found on the website of Stormdry’s manufacturer, Safeguard Europe, at www.safeguardeurope.com