There is a plethora of different insulation materials out there, and your home could be any number of construction types, so what can you do?

The best thing is to contact an independent professional for advice. It’s crucial to have some understanding of building physics and how adding insulation might change the way your building performs.

A potted history through the ages
Here’s a very simplified history of wall construction in Britain…

Prior to 1900, buildings were generally constructed using thick solid walls. These thick walls (up to 600-700mm thick) used their mass to absorb the rain and wind and they generally dried out slowly. Made predominantly from stone, they used their thermal mass to retain heat. Any condensation was mostly eradicated due to the leaky windows, doors, floors and roofs!

In the post-war era cavity wall construction appeared more widely and this meant thinner overall wall thicknesses and quicker construction. The purpose of the cavity was to form a break against moisture and vent it out, however without the density of the stone they were unable to retain heat as well and so, in recent years retrofitting insulation has been suggested.

What does that mean for your home?
Depending on the construction of the property, choosing the right type of insulation, thickness and location is critical to ensuring your property is warmer and the addition of insulation doesn’t cause unintentional damage to the structure.

In homes built with solid wall construction, it is important to understand how the walls originally performed and to implement good designs that don’t lead to unintended consequences. Hint: There are many breathable insulations on the market such as wood fibre, hemp fibre and sheep’s wool. For cavity wall construction, again it’s important to understand why the cavity is there and ensure you don’t inadvertently cause moisture to be trapped somewhere it shouldn’t be or you could end up with a condensation issue.

Can we help?
This is just a snapshot and adding insulation is just one way to make your home warmer.
We have many years of experience in retrofit, new build, contemporary construction as well as historic buildings, so if you’d like our advice, get in touch – we would be happy to help!