The Cavity Wall Insulation Scandal
Millions of properties in the UK have been left damaged by cavity wall insulation work, which was carried out to meet government energy targets, according to Arfon MP Hywell Williams.
The cavity wall insulation government scheme, funded by a ‘green tax’ on household gas and electricity bills, was introduced to make homes more energy-efficient. However, many homes were simply not suitable for a cavity wall insulation, others were in parts of the UK where weather conditions should have stopped its use and a lot were installed incorrectly.
Instead of seeing lower heating bills, many homeowners have said their bills have increased since having the cavity wall insulation work done. As well as this, these properties have suffered from dampness and mould, causing problems such as crumbling plaster and stained walls. In some cases, some homes across the UK are now unmortgageable.
A lady from Cornwall, whose farmhouse suffered such serious damage after a cavity wall insulation was installed, she was told that the repairs needs would cost her £30,000. The insulation should have never been carried out at her property, this is because the location of her home was on a hill in a high exposure zone. This meant that rainwater soaked into the new insulation, which lead to a chronic damp problem.
Another homeowner who suffered damage after a cavity wall insulation said that he had it installed under an energy saving scheme seven years ago, however, a year later, cracks started to appear and the brickwork was coming out, so much so, the cavity was exposed.
Nonetheless, homeowners have experienced difficulties getting sufficient compensation from the Cavity Wall Insulation Guarantee Agency (CIGA), which was set up to pay for repairs to defected work.
A cavity wall insulation is pumped into walls via holes drilled into the exterior brickwork of a property. However, contractors have been incorrectly installing them into people’s properties and weren’t taking into account the property type. Stephen Hodgson, of the Government-Endorsed Property Care Association, stated: “Contractors were desperate to mop up vast sums of money made available by the energy firms on the back of the Government green targets”.