External Wall Insulation systems are often misunderstood to be maintenance free. The systems are designed to be “low maintenance” (not no maintenance!) requiring basic housekeeping measures to uphold the quality of the finish. The natural process of rainfall will remove surface dust and some airborne carbonisation. However, stubborn stains or biological growth should be treated with regular cleaning.
Biological growth (or algae) is often the reason behind green or black stains on render. Although all organisms need different environments to grow, rural areas are at an increased risk of micro-biological build up. A rural area has moderate to high levels of vegetation, often located near to environmental features. Open fields, open water, wooded areas, coasts and bodies of standing water are all influencing factors. Algae growth is due to these uncontrollable environmental circumstances, and not related to the quality of the product, or the application.
It’s important to observe any changes in the appearance of the system and to treat any issues if they arise. If you have signs of algae growth, we advise that you act before the problem has the chance to proliferate across the system. If left untreated, algae can spread very quickly. Over time this will not only impact the appearance, but also the performance of the system.
Algae isn’t the only factor that can impact the finish of External Wall Insulation. While urban areas are less likely to see algae, high volumes of traffic and busy roads can result in pollution stains and a risk of graffiti and accidental damage. Maintenance in these areas may not be needed as often, but a regular cleaning and damage assessment is recommended to ensure the system is up-kept.
The appropriate cleaning process is dependent on the severity of the issue. Small areas of discolouration can be removed fairly easily using a specialist cleaning product. However, in circumstances where algae has been allowed to multiply, cleaning can become an extensive process. It’s important to understand that cleaning an external wall system requires care and attention to detail. Serious damage can be caused to the system by incorrect cleaning methods. So seek professional advice before attempting this yourself!
We recently worked with a couple who were struggling with the size of their home. They didn’t want to move, so they decided to look at ways to gain more space. They had a lot of unused space in their garden, which they felt was being wasted. The obvious solution was to turn some of the unused outside space into much needed indoor space.
These images show the house and garden before the project started, during the construction stages, and after completing work on the garden room and garden.
After discussing ideas, our team produced designs for a Garden Room Eco-Extension.External wall insulation was installed to maximise the energy efficiency of the space. As keen garden lovers, it was important to keep an outside feel within the extension. This was achieved by introducing lots of light into the space with bi-folding doors. The bespoke roof was designed to mimic the shape of a leaf to maintain an organic appearance.
After the designs were agreed, the customers decided to use the opportunity to redesign their garden. As a part of the redesign, we were able to suggest simple, yet effective energy efficient ideas. This involved incorporating a rainwater harvesting system into the garden.
Cobalt provided a professional service and were conscious of satisfying our needs for the Garden Room which was built in a small space.
The end product is a spacious, light and airy room which brings the garden into the room. They had the imagination to realise what we couldn’t and were very thorough every step of the way.
Cobalt minimised the inconvenience of having building work carried out in our home during the Winter months. Thank you.
Like most Victorian and Edwardian properties, this home had poor insulation, poor ventilation and suffered from severe Rising Damp.
These factors caused considerable damage to both the interior and exterior of the building. This resulted in damaged walls, rotting skirting boards and Black Mould on window frames.
To solve the damp issues, Cobalt Carbon Free installed a new chemical damp proof course and re-plastered the internal walls. Repairs to the chimney were made to stop leaks and to fix the penetrating damp caused by water ingress.
To remove the chilly, damp atmosphere, external wall insulation was installed. This was followed with a high-performance render, solving the existing render issues. In turn, transforming the appearance of the property.
Finally, to improve ventilation and reduce condensation, an Envirovent extract fan was installed. The Cyclone 7 extract fan controls moisture and humidity levels, using the lowest energy consumption.
Issues like these are commonplace in properties with solid walls built before 1920. These properties have no wall insulation and are prone to cold, damp environments. By installing External Wall Insulation, any rising and penetrating damp issues affecting external walls are solved. The insulation will ensure the property retains heat far more effectively. By minimising heat loss through EWI, your home’s energy efficiency is significantly improved and energy bills can be reduced by roughly 25%*.
*25% reduction in energy bills figure is based on Cobalt Carbon Free customer feedback.