Cavity walls were introduced in the late nineteenth century. They were invented as a method of preventing wind-driven rain from penetrating solid brick walls of homes located on the west and southwest coasts.
They became popular in general construction, when it was found that the gap between the internal and external walls provides an element of thermal insulation for properties.
Using a lighter aerated block instead of brick on the inner wall was a sophisticated development in the use of cavity walls. In the 1980s all new houses were built with extra insulation within the cavities to improve the thermal retention.
In accordance to this, the government implemented a retrospective installation grant to the general public for the installation of cavity insulation in older properties. Unlike the plans for newly built homes, the installation process of insulating older properties was completely different. The insulation is a full fill of the cavity, whereas in a newly built home the cavity is only insulated on the inner wall and the insulation is away from the outer wall which leaves a gap. The gap is left to stop fluid transferring from the exterior wall into the insulation, which subsequently stops it from proceeding through the inner wall.
This is where these issues start to begin, and the result of some of these can be catastrophic.
In the majority of cases, the damage caused by installing cavity wall insulation incorrectly or to an unsuitable property is usually the cause of damp marks which can result in discoloured walls whether they have been painted or wallpapered. However this can cause further issues, for example crumbling plaster or even worse wood rot within the foundations of the walls.
In some situations, this can cause a serious detriment to the health of the tenants, especially for individuals with underlying health problems such as asthma. Black mould which is commonly a result of extreme dampness can cause or exacerbate skin conditions like eczema. If you have/ or are currently experiencing any of the above you may be entitled to make a cavity wall claim.