Insurance Sector

CES Northwest are a Specialist Contractor in the field of Insulation, Ventilation and Building Fabric with UK wide coverage.

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Assistance in Building Insurance Claims – Specified Perils

A large proportion of our services are to the Insurance Sector, assisting insurers, principal designers, principal contractors, restoration companies and policyholders following specified perils such as escape of water, flood, fire and impact damage.

Cavity Wall Insulation Systems:

Damaged cavity wall insulation is very rarely dealt with properly and all aforementioned perils can damage existing insulation systems. It is quite often omitted from the redress and design process leaving the insured exposed after refurbishment.

Most Insulation Systems carry a 25 Year Guarantee, should the insulation systems be affected by the action of the specified perils, this will invalidate the insulation system guarantee therefore the insured will not left in a pre-loss condition.

Removal and reinstatement of insulation systems safeguards the insurer and their supply chain from breach of duty and professional negligence claims. If the insured are left exposed without the 25-year guarantee, they are not able to apply the guarantee should a fault occur post insured refurbishment work.

Removal and more specifically, the reinstatement, comply to Building Regulations Section 23 – Thermal Elements - Part L1(a)(i).

Flood Damage

Flood Damaged Homes can cause immediate deterioration to cavity wall insulation systems offering undue weight to the material. This causes the product to slump inside the cavity essentially causing a downwards effect leaving voids at higher areas leading to cold bridging not to mention penetrative damp.

It is the air-pockets contained within the insulant that retains heat, when excess moisture comes into contact with the material, the air-pockets become closed therefore losing its thermal conductivity.

Typically, air dryers and blowing fans are introduced in an attempt to dry the insulation in vain. Cases have been seen where blowing apparatus have been operational for weeks sometimes months and the cavity wall insulation still remains saturated. In addition, the insulation could be contaminated with harmful bacteria.

Remedial Action for Cavity Wall Insulation damaged by Flood:

The insulation system should be removed followed by decontamination and sanitisation inside the cavity walls. If the cavity condition is suitable, reinstate the insulation system and apply a new 25-year guarantee.

Escape of Water/burst pipes

Escape of Water can be from above, below or midway and can enter the cavity walls from damaged fixed apparatus/pipes.

These entry points offer an opportunity for the insulant to consume the moisture. As the moisture is soaked into the insulation, this sometimes can offer resistance of the water therefore damp issues may not transpire immediately. As with Flood Damage, excess moisture in contact with insulation will naturally cause closure of the air-pockets, cause slumping of material and subsequent insulation failures.

This is also a direct breach of Clause 2 in the insulation guarantee and subsequently a loss to the insured.

Remedial Action for Cavity Wall Insulation damaged by Escape of Water:

The insulation system should be removed followed by decontamination and sanitisation inside the cavity walls (if required). If the cavity condition is suitable, reinstate the insulation system and apply a new 25-year guarantee.

Fire Damage

Typically, it is deemed that there is not enough oxygen in a cavity to combust although heat stress can have an adverse affect on the insulation causing shrinking and subsequent thermal bridging. Cold bridging typically manifests in adverse weather conditions (winter/summer) therefore, transpiring issues may not be palpable for some time following fire damage.

Water used to extinguish fires can enter cavity walls via the external facades (bricks are porous) and into the cavity heads saturating the insulation system. The effect of this will be similar to Flood Damage and Escape of Water causing slumping of the insulation and closing of air-pockets therefore decreasing the thermal conductivity of the product.

Smoke particles can also contaminate the insulation which could be a cause of risk to health.

Remedial Action for Cavity Wall Insulation damaged by Fire:

The insulation system should be removed followed by decontamination and sanitisation inside the cavity walls. If the cavity condition is suitable, reinstate the insulation system and apply a new 25-year guarantee.

Theft/break-in or malicious damage

Damage by Theft can quite often have a negative impact on a cavity wall insulation system. Cases have been noted that entry points have been used by removing masonry or by removing windows. As both areas are remediated, insulation has been compromised leaving areas uninsulated resulting in voids leading to thermal & cold bridging.

This is a direct breach the Cavity Wall Insulation Guarantee in place therefore invalidating the policy.

Remedial Action for Cavity Wall Insulation damaged by Theft:

The insulation system should be removed and if the cavity condition is suitable, reinstate the insulation system and apply a new 25-year guarantee.

Impact Damage

Impact Damage whether it be vehicular, falling items or internally-activated; all can have adverse affect on cavity wall insulation systems both on-construction and retro-filled when the remediation measures take place.

When the outer-whythe of the property is removed and re-built, the insulation system will be altered and disturbed invalidating the insulation system guarantee.

Remedial Action for Cavity Wall Insulation damaged by Impact:

The insulation system should be removed and if the cavity condition is suitable, reinstate the insulation system and apply a new 25-year guarantee.

Cavity Wall Insulation System Designer - Energystore

Cavity Wall Insulation is installed as a System. The manufacturer of the insulation product is known as a System Designer. It is a requirement of their System Designer Accreditation issued by the British Board of Agrément that they approve, train, vet and police the installing company that will install their specific system (in this case, Energystore). They will also carry out on-site audits to ensure that the system is being delivered as per the accreditation and system specification.

Suitability of Energystore EPS Bonded Beads

Energystore EPS Bonded Bead is the best performing insulation available. The thermal properties of bead insulation satisfy u-values outlined in building regulations and the method of installation ensures a full-fill across the cavity walls that stops water passing to the inner leaf.

See the video which shows how the bonded spherical beads allow water to pass down through the cavity to be syphoned out of the wall at the damp proof course. This movement of water out of the cavity ensures no water breaches the cavity eradicating dampness and mould issues associated with insulation that has less water-resistant values.

The Benefits of Energystore EPS Bonded-Bead Cavity Wall Insulation

  • Grant funding available to certain households
  • Annual Savings of up to £275
  • Uninsulated homes lose up to 35% of the heat through the walls. The Energystore product offers a complete fill with no gaps and consistent density across the cavity ensuring maximum heat retention.
  • The bead product is fire resistant, waterproof and the bonded finish allows water to pass down the cavity without crossing it- ensuring no damp or thermal bridging.
  • Suitable for install in areas of high wind-driven rain and bad weather ensuring a warm home year-round with dry inner walls.
  • Fast and clean installation - all equipment is brought and taken away by our Technicians and the process takes just a few hours.

Can we leave cavity wall insulation systems in-situ following any specified perils?

By not removing and reinstating cavity wall insulation systems, this can open counter claims from the insured on the grounds of breach of duty by professional negligence leaving the insured not in a pre-loss condition.

Invariably, by leaving the cavity wall insulation in-situ, this would lead onto further technical problems for the insured by way of penetrative damp and thermal bridging. The removal and reinstatement of cavity wall insulation systems safeguards insurers (including their supply chain) leaving the insured confident that the program of work includes items that cannot be physically seen by the insurance supply chain.

Will an Infrared Thermal Image reveal all the information we need regarding insulation?

Typically, producing an Infrared Thermal Image will only provide information that further invasive investigation will be required to clarify the IRT. Whilst in some cases this may be necessary due to the non-invasive nature of the Infrared Technology, it can be an expensive process that can lead to necessary further investigation by way of invasive inspections.

Are there any technical issues by removing part of a cavity wall insulation system from a property that has been affected by an insured peril?

Removing insulation in one area of a wall/property will leave a void (gap) within the breached material which will then lead to thermal bridging. Should insulation be removed from part of a wall, this creates a cold bridge (areas of the same wall that are now not-insulated and other areas that are insulated). Internal heat will seek its least path of resistance to exit the property (the un-insulated areas) and with conflicting temperatures from the inside of the property (typically warm) and the temperature outside (typically colder), this can allow hot & cold temperatures to meet which creates moisture (condensation). Cold bridging often does not manifest until adverse weather conditions are met where internal temperatures are somewhat different to the external temperatures; this can be sometime after any refurbishment work.

Example borescope images of retrofit insulation in cavity walls following some of the specified perils.

In each case, the insulation had to be removed and reinstated.

FLOOD DAMAGE

Mineral Fibre

ESCAPE OF WATER

Rockwool

FIRE DAMAGE

Formaldehyde Foam

FIRE DAMAGE

EPS Bonded Beads

Technical Consultancy & Reports

Our extensive reporting mechanisms detail any possible damage to insulation systems identifying the causation as to whether it should be insured or whether there was an already existing defect.

Typically, an invasive inspection is initially carried out within 48 hours from instruction and full report provided. In some circumstances, an Infrared Thermography report will need to be introduced by our specialist staff although our invasive inspections can provide visual images of any deficiencies.

Our specialist reports are CPR 35 compliant offering full confidence with respect to any recommendations or necessary appropriate actions. The Report is bespoken to the individual project and any subsequent recommendations are also bespoken with a detailed RAMS provided along with a Construction Phase Plan.

Working with you every step of the way….

We are often drafted in to create a resolution to insurance disputes and have been involved in some high-profile cases. Each program is project managed with regular updates to our clients with the continuing performance of the project adhering to given time-frames.

To couple our initial CPR35 Report, a full Work in Progress (WIP) Report is produced mid-project and upon completion before reinstatement, an approved Post Insulation Removal Report provided offering visuals of the entire project journey. This is also followed by our Guarantee and Certification of Insulation Removal.

Applying full compliance to CDM Regulations 2015 whilst engaging our experience to some of the most complex removal and reinstatement projects, make us the first-choice specialist contractor following any disaster.

Decontamination & Sanitation inside Cavity Walls post Flood/Fire etc..

CES Northwest have designed a system specifically for the Insurance Sector to inject and atomise a germ eradication solution inside the cavity walls and sanitise all areas that are hard to reach and that cannot be seen.

Our system negates the need for the property to be watertight as other ‘fog’ systems on the market allowing the decontamination process to take place immediately after insulation removal. Once decontaminated, the sanitising process can take place with swab samples taken and sent away for laboratory testing and subsequent approval.

Why Decontaminate and Sanitise Cavity Walls?

Once a property has suffered a peril such as Flood or Fire, there are unknown contaminants contained within the flood water or in the case of fire, smoke particles. Flood water can contain bacteria from sewerage and/or animal waste with the cavity wall insulation providing itself as a vehicle to spread the contaminated water around the property. As the inside of cavity walls cannot be seen, these areas are very rarely treated correctly.

The Process

Our bespoke mobile injection unit operated under compressed-air allowing us to inoculate inside of areas not seen by the human eye (inside cavity walls) by atomising a germ-eradication solution into the air pressure holes created to remove the cavity wall insulation (or in new air pressure holes created if no insulation present).

The fast-acting solution begins to work immediately with the curing time taking a matter of hours; swab tests can be taken in various areas and sent for laboratory inspection. Once the results have been received as satisfactory (normally within 48 hours), the sanitisation process can take place.

Our Technicians use full PPE and have been trained in the safe and correct use of the solutions we use coupled with the bespoke compressed-air injection plant.

Certifications & Guarantees

CES hold numerous accreditations required to operate in our sector from Health & Safety, Data Protection GDPR Compliant through to External Approval from a UKAS Approved Oversight Body following actual on-site examinations of our work and practises. The on-site examinations are conducted throughout the year periodically on an ad-hoc basis to all of our Technicians to ensure quality of work is maintained the highest standards. Annual Office Audits ensure our Quality Management Systems are upheld and compliance to current industry legislation.

All of our work carries Guarantees however the length can be dependent on the activity involved. Most of our work carries Insurance-backed Guarantees offering our clientele full confidence of longevity assurance in the rare occasion’s faults occur.

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