Today’s thermal insulation techniques

The different properties of different insulation materials

Sprayed polyurethane foam (as the name suggests) is an insulation technique that is applied to the surface in sprayed form. It can be used to various types of buildings, residential or commercial alike. Sprayed polyurethane foam is a plastic insulation foam that is applied in a liquid form then it expands up to 100 times to its original volume, creating an excellent airtight layer of insulation. Sprayed foam insulation can be used in many different forms, from soft/half-rigid to high density roof insulating foam that can withstand the weight of a person as well.injection, insulation works background

This technology is capable of not only filling gaps, but due to the specially developed two-component material it uses, it also creates a perfect thermal and damp insulation layer. It is applied with an industrial machine that can only be operated with the appropriate qualification. The foam is applied to the surface with a high-pressure spray gun, this creates a perfect insulating layer, that will fill the tiniest gaps as well. As the spraying method is continuous we will be able to create a homogenous layer.

Sprayed foam is applied with a pressure between 150-200 kPa, ensuring the aforementioned continuous layer, therefore the resulting insulation value will be excellent. Insulation boards are incapable of preventing condensation or maintaining surface temperature, this can only be achieved by closed-cell foam that will not absorb heat from its surfaces, eliminating heat bridges – creating perfect insulation between the external and internal space.

Types of sprayed foams:spray foam instalation

1.Closed-cell foam

Has very tight structure, creates much denser and more rigid layer than the open-cell foam.

Recommended application: on surfaces where thermal and damp insulation would both be necessary (e.g. screed where traditionally thermal insulation is installed on top of damp insulation), however closed-cell foam can replace these two layers by itself. (find further details here) Also by footing walls where both thermal insulation and damp proofing are indispensable, facades or roofs where the thermal insulation is exposed to humid air, internal/external underground insulation where the humidity is present in the surrounding soil. Poliurea can create a 100% water tight layer.

2. Open-cell foam1

This is less dense foam than the closed-cell. Has a better thermal insulating value than the closed-cell foam, however it is not watertight. Can be applied to any kind of surface and will eliminate draft. Excess material (once the foam is cured) is easy to cut so the surface is prepared for installing drywall. Its features are quick application, short curing time and no heat leakage.

Recommended application: internal insulation of roofs. Also for insulating cavity walls, internal walls (used for its sound-proofing feature), and joists above fitted ceilings. Insulating light gauge frame buildings’ walls, joists and various other areas in industrial buildings.

3. Poliurea coat/cover2

Poliurea is an excellent coating/covering system that is very versatile in application. Its most common application is for creating a watertight layer on concrete and steel structures, but it also acts as wear-proof coating. Its biggest advantages are fast application, versatility and excellent material properties. It is usually applied in sprayed form but it can be injected or poured as well. Because of its excellent physical properties it is used to coat/cover surfaces that need to withstand extreme wear. The application of poliurea coating has increased by 70% in the last 5 years in Europe because of its outstanding properties and versatility.

Recommended application: insulating flat roofs and pools due to its water tightness, UV resistance, flexibility, wear resistance and its ability to withstand chemicals. Also can be used for waterproofing basements, fixing ruptured pipes or covering balconies, terraces. Combining it with closed-cell foam we can achieve excellent thermal insulation and water tightness.

As always, do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or just feel like sharing your thoughts.

(Quote the following code in your enquiry and we grant you a 10% discount of the price of your next project! NTIT)

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About our articles in the “Blog” tab

First of all I would like to thank you for all the positive comments, feedbacks on our articles.

Let me reply to that most common question that we receive.

“Who writes our articles and how is it that the discussed topic (though being quite professional) is so easy to read?”

  • Eco news articlesOur “blog” was / is / will be intended to be a “News” tab that communicates useful information to our customers.
  • The articles are not written by a freelance copywriter.
  • They are written by the diagnostic engineer of our company (who also happens to be the director of the company) using his own experiences, expertise.
  • We aim to use “layman terms” where possible, the articles are intended to give customers, non-professionals relevant information about economical building solutions.
  • Prior to publishing the articles are revised by a non-professional (just to make sure every bit of information “reaches” our readers the right way).
  • The main idea is to help the decision making process of our customers; we aim to provide enough information so the topic is readable, understandable yet not too “dry”
  • Also we noticed that by having these information our customers have a better understanding of the refurbishment / extension project ahead of them.
  • These articles will provide a picture about us as well, about our ideas and expertise.
  • Often we will aim to destroy some of the “ancient”, false ideas of building (e.g. mould treatment) – we believe in the success of our method.

We would still like to hear from you, so do keep sharing your thoughts, remarks, critiques even.

And ask for our on-site diagnostics that is still free in March.

(Quote the following code in your enquiry and we grant you a 10% discount of the price of your next project! NART1)

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Let’s talk EPC 4.

How to improve your home’s EPC rating

In the previous part we talked about what important pieces of information we can learn from a property’s EPC certificate. If you have read all 3 previous parts of this article series, by now you are aware that a building’s EPC rating does not necessarily depend on the age of the building or when it was last refurbished.

Epc- planingHow can you turn your house into a healthy, economical, energy efficient home, or how can you make nearly double the profit when selling your property?

As we said in the previous part, a property’s market value can be increased by approx. 15-20% by refurbishing it (regardless of its EPC improvement). Taken into account the invested amount (the cost of the refurbishment) one will realise a profit of 6-8%; in some cases this may be as high as 10%.

Below you can see some of the added benefits of economical refurbishment:

  • Healthy building, (mould-free environment – can mean 10 extra years)
  • Economical operation of the building, you can save up to 50% on utility bills
  • Better EPC rating means another 8-15% increase in the market value – this can almost be converted into profit completely (total profit after economical refurbishment: 16-18%)
  • Reduced carbon footprint (less energy required) – environmentally friendly building
  • Increased comfort level
  • The property will be on higher demand, will sell quicker, easier
  • A well-planned scheduled refurbishment means saving time and money – a highly profitable investment that creates additional value

The increase in the EPC rating can be predicted when the refurbishment process is planned thoroughly, consciously.

epc - main steps of refurbishmentThe main steps are:

  • On-site inspection, diagnostics
  • Energetic calculations, project preparation, implementation schedule
  • Strict supervision in implementation, daily documented progress
  • Quality checked materials and technologies
  • Attention to deadlines
  • Accountability upon and after completion – even for the structure
  • Ordering new EPC certificate from independent firm
  • Repeated survey (if required), even for control purposes

As always, do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or just feel like sharing your thoughts.

(Quote the following code in your enquiry and we grant you a 10% discount of the price of your next project! NLTE4)

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Let’s talk EPC 3.

EPC rating in relation to comfort level

First of all, let me thank you for showing your interest in this rather dry but absolutely vital topic. EPC rating cannot be ignored during today’s energy prices and pollution.

  • Is your house due for a renovation? Would you like to make it cosier?
  • Would you like to sell your house quicker with bigger profit?
  • Or you have just purchased one, and you would like to redecorate it prior to moving in?

If you are in any of the above three groups, you should definitely keep reading.

High EPC rating property on the market

Everybody knows that renovating a house will increase its value (if done properly). Depending on its location and the quality of the material used during the refurbishment project, a property’s market value can go up by an average 15-20%. We can safely say that two adjacent, similar-sized houses (one of which has just been refurbished) will sell with a minimum difference of 15% in price. If the renovation included a heating system upgrade as well, your EPC rating may go up by a few points, but the house is likely to remain at the same EPC level. It is because this change has not been done purposefully to improve the EPC rating, it just so happened to improve it. The amount invested in the refurbishment will not bring the desired improvement in EPC rating. For example EPC 68, the score mentioned in our previous article, can be increased by 5-6 points only by having an upgraded heating system. With that, we can achieve Level C rating in EPC, but other main features of the building have not been changed, so the building is still uneconomical. The only difference is, now it is uneconomical with a modern heating system installed.

A modern, economical heating system should be the solution to all these problems, wouldn’t you say? After turning on the heating, the house should get warm quicker, and the fact that the unheated areas of the house (lounge, hall, kitchen, etc.) get cold during the night should not bother us at all. Isn’t that right?

mould

  • What one probably does not realise while staying inside the house: a significant part of the heating energy escapes through the poorly insulated walls, floors (remember, we are talking about a house with level C or D EPC rating) – this is very uneconomical.
  • No matter how efficient your heating system is, because of the high humidity and the damp cold walls, mould will appear in the corners. Your home is a little more modern now, but it is still an unhealthy environment.
  • Most of our customers wanted us to look into the following issues: draught (around the windows even “through” the walls, but most commonly through the floors) they can feel the chilly effects of the cold wind inside their houses. This happens because of the ventilated flooring. This system is still used today, although it is a faulty concept.

A modern heating system on its own is not able to tackle the above mentioned issues. Now you have a nicely refurbished home, with a fairly modern heating system that still does not provide the comfort level you are after.

Unfortunately these factors that ruin the comfort level are present in the new properties as well. It is very hard to face the fact, for new property owners that even though they have just purchased a new home, they will still need to invest more money into it in order to turn it into a cosy home.

thermal image

Before you purchase a new house or flat make sure to check its EPC diagram. It will tell you everything you need to know about the building (energy efficiency-wise). If the rating is below 75, you can be almost certain that you shall live with mould. And no, painting will not solve the problem. The problem originates from the structure of the house. Even if your EPC score is between 75-85 you are likely to have mould in your house. Poor ventilation, cold surfaces and the ever present humidity, together can result in mould occurrence.

It can be very upsetting when in order to resolve all of  these issues, one needs to spend an extra 8-10% of the price of a recently purchased property.

Ask for our expert advice, calculate and you will see, it will be worth investing money in order to save money. When it came to valuable properties, it used to be location, location, location. Now, it is more like EPC, EPC, EPC.

It is still not the end, in our next article we will talk about why it is important to carry out diagnostics prior to purchasing a property and how to solve all these issues related to poor EPC rating.

To be continued…

(Quote the following code in your enquiry and we grant you a 10% discount of the price of your next project! NLTE3)

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