A little introduction to solid walls first…
These are the type of walls that are made of one wide layer of bricks with no gap inside. The best way to tell if a wall is solid brick is by looking at the brick pattern from the outside. If the pattern is long brick-short brick-long brick-short brick, then you will know the walls are solid. In Britain, this is the case for properties that were built before 1920.
Because there is no gap inside the solid walls, the heat escapes very quickly through the walls which require a longer time to warm the house and therefore, more Rendering Manchester emissions and more money spent on heating bills. Actually, through a solid brick wall, the heat escapes twice as fast than it does through a cavity wall, which means that insulating them will save twice more money than cavity wall insulation (according to the Energy Saving Trust, an average size gas heated UK property can save up to £475 per year by insulating the solid walls).
How do you insulate single brick walls if there is no cavity to fill?
That is a very common question we hear from our clients. Solid wall insulation can be done either internally or externally, by attaching insulation boards on the walls.
While it’s cheaper than the external insulation, it will actually reduce the floor area of the room in which is applied and requires any fittings and door frames to be removed. It also needs any problem with penetrating or rising damp to be fixed first.
There are two ways of doing internal solid wall insulation – either with rigid boards or attaching a stud wall.
In regards to attaching rigid boards, the insulation boards are fixed straight onto the wall using continuous ribbons of plaster or adhesive. Extra fixings hold the boards firm, and joints between boards are sealed to prevent air leaking out.
Insulating solid walls with a stud wall is done by attaching a wooden or metal studwork frame to the wall and filling it with mineral wool. It can be covered with plaster or even rigid insulation boards, for more effective insulation. The filling needs to be at least 120mm.
External wall insulation is done by fixing insulation layers to the walls with mechanical fixings and adhesive and covering them up with render or cladding. Similar to internal insulation there will still be necessary to remove some other parts such as pipes, fittings or extending window sills or roof overhang.
Before installing external insulation any problems with rising or penetrating damp must be fixed first.