The benefits of external wall insulation

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It may come as a surprise to learn that your home’s solid walls can let twice as much heat escape as the cavity walls do. External Wall Insulation can cut your heating costs considerably – for example, if you live in a detached house, you can reduce heating bills by a massive £455 a year by doing so.

It’s mainly older properties that have solid walls, rather than cavity walls. Homes built prior to 1919 are likely to have solid walls. A cavity wall is one which is made of two layers, which have a gap (cavity) between them. A solid wall, with no gap, lets more heat through.

One simple way to check if your home has solid or cavity walls is to measure the wall’s width. Check round your windows and if the brick wall is thinner than 260mm, then it’s probably a solid wall. If you live in a house made from timber-frame or steel, the process of insulating is different. Find out from us how to go about doing this.

In order to insulate a solid wall, it’s necessary to fix a layer of insulation material to the exterior wall and then cover it with a special render or cladding. The finish can be textured, smoothed, painted, panelled, tiled or pebble-dashed.

The benefits of external wall insulation are many. The actual work won’t disrupt your household and the process won’t reduce your home’s floor area. It also refreshes the appearance of your outer walls and improves soundproofing and weatherproofing. Any gaps and cracks in the brickwork are filled in, reducing draughts and increasing the life of your walls. External wall insulation also reduces internal wall condensation and helps prevent damp.

Although it costs more to have your external walls insulated than it does for cavity wall insulation, the savings on heating bills will be considerably bigger too, which compensates for the extra cost. If you also have loft insulation, you’re on the way to much cheaper heating bills.

Check with your local council before starting any work, in case you require planning permission for external changes and ensure there’s good access to your outer walls in order to complete the work effectively.