Can insulation cause condensation?

An insulated building is comfortable and energy efficient. But can making your building warm and air tight cause condensation problems?

To answer this question, it’s important to first understand how condensation is formed.

Warm air can hold more moisture than cold air, and condensation occurs when warm water vapour in the air meets a cold surface. This is because as the water vapour cools down, it condenses back into liquid form.

So, in theory, the warmer your home is, the better the conditions are for condensation to occur.

However, it’s not solely the insulation that causes condensation, in fact, lack of insulation can also be a factor that causes condensation.  It’s several factors, that when combined, create the right conditions for condensation to form.

Consider the two key factors below before getting your home insulated to help prevent condensation problems.

Lack of ventilation

The number one factor to consider before installing insulation is whether your home has enough ventilation. Ventilation allows water vapour to escape from the building, and condensation to quickly evaporate. From air vents to extractor fans, condensation is less likely to occur in a home that is well ventilated.

Type of insulation

If you decide to insulate your home, make sure you’re well informed about what type of insulation is suitable for its structure and climate.

There are now plenty of types of insulation available to choose from, breathable or water vapour resistant options can be effective at preventing condensation.

At Metropolitan Insulation, our spray-applied insulation foamseals your roof to prevent air leakage and keep your home warm. Our foam is water vapour resistant and is installed at rafter level to prevent condensation build up.

Posted by admin in Improved Insulation, Insulate Your Home, Insulating Your Loft, Metropolitan Insulation, Soundproofing, Soundproofing Commercial Property, Spray Foam Insulation, Type of insulation

What is the difference between surface and interstitial condensation?

Condensation is an annoying and potentially damaging household problem that most homeowners will encounter at some point.

Signs of condensation include water droplets on windows and walls, damp patches, and mould. Condensation can look unsightly, cause damage to your home, and create unhealthy living conditions.

How is condensation formed?

Condensation is caused when warm water vapour in the air hits a cold surface. The cold surface cools the water vapour to a temperature that is below its condensing point, turning it from a gas back to a liquid. 

Interstitial condensation versus surface condensation

There are two different types of condensation, interstitial and surface. The main difference between the two is where they occur. 

Whilst surface condensation appears on the surface where it is visible, interstitial condensation occurs inside the layers of your building’s walls, roof or floor where it cannot be seen.

Of the two, interstitial condensation is usually the more damaging problem. As this type of condensation occurs within your building’s fabric, it may have caused considerable deterioration of your building’s internal elements before you notice the signs that there is a problem.

Top tips for banishing condensation

A few simple ways to reduce levels of condensation in the home include:

  • Open vents, windows or doors when steam from washing or cooking is present.
  • Keep the temperature in your home consistent.
  • Ensure your home has adequate ventilation.
  • Ensure your home has adequate insulation.
  • Insulate your home using a water vapour resistant material like our spray-applied polyurethane foam.

For more information about how insulating your home with polyurethane foamcan help to tackle condensation, give our insulation experts a call on 0800 028 4042.

Posted by admin in Condensation, Home Insulation, Improved Insulation, Metropolitan Insulation, Sound Absorption, Sound Insulation Ideas, Soundproofing, Spray Foam Insulation, Thermal Insulation

Points to Consider When Soundproofing A Historic Listed Building

If you own a listed building then you will be well aware of the constraints this puts on development work and even basic maintenance. Even soundproofing will require a certain degree of planning so as not to alter the character of the building. So how do you best approach insulating and soundproofing your listed building?

The first place to start is a survey of the building. This will give you all the technical details you need so you can plan the project and adhere to building regulations. The survey will also tell you what materials to use.

Once you have gained this information you can then put together a plan of the work you intend to do and submit it in order to get planning consent. This is critically important as anything that alters the character of a listed building or replaces existing materials with materials of inferior quality or that will cause deterioration in other parts of the building will be deemed unsuitable.

If you are not confident of managing this process yourself it is highly advisable to seek expert help even if the soundproofing you are installing will be largely hidden from view.

Posted by admin in Metropolitan Insulation, Sound Absorption, Sound Insulation for Old Houses, 0 comments

3 Simple Sound Insulation Ideas

These simple sound proofing ideas will be ideal for most properties and in some cases even for historic listed buildings if you don’t wish to go through the planning permission process.

Acoustic blinds or curtains
If your building is poorly insulated against noise from outside, then acoustic blinds or curtains can go some way to reducing the amount of noise entering rooms. It is important to remember however that insulating your room this way will be good at reducing echoes in a room but only when they are closed which is ok at night but you will need other sound proofing measures for daytime.

Synthetic grass
Fake synthetic grass is popular with gardeners that like the low maintenance aspect of it but it is also being put to use as a form of insulation. Whether it is laid on floors or walls it has proven to be a good soundproofing material if you like your spaces green and natural looking.

Acoustic panels
The beauty of acoustic panels is they are effective at insulating sound coming through walls and they can be decorative. But if your property is listed you may still need planning permission to install them.

Posted by admin in Acoustic blinds or curtains, Acoustic panels, Metropolitan Insulation, Sound Insulation Ideas, Synthetic grass, 0 comments

How Improved Insulation Could Cut Those Troublesome Fuel Bills

The percentage of households classed as being in fuel poverty in England is 11.1% according to a recent report by BEIS. The figures for Scotland are even more alarming with nearly 25% in fuel poverty according to the country’s housing condition report.

So if you find yourself struggling with your heating bills or even feeling the pinch you are certainly not the only one. The fuel poverty figures will be disappointing to a government that needs to increase awareness of energy efficiency to cut down on emissions.

Homes are classed as being in fuel poverty when more than 10% of their income is used to pay fuel bills. In colder climates such as those found in Scotland, people will generally require more energy to heat their homes than warmer parts of the country which perhaps partly explains why Scotland’s fuel poverty levels are higher.

One way to cut down spending on heating is to inspect how well your attic space is insulated. Insulation can degrade over time and damage to roof tiles may go unnoticed making the problem worse.

While the cost of insulation can seem high relative to the bills you are getting, over a period of time, upgrading your insulation will pay for itself and save you money on those heating bills.

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Asbestos in a Commercial Property? Here’s What You Need To Know

If you own a commercial property have you ever thought that about asbestos? While asbestos hasn’t been used in construction since way back in 1999 it remains present in many buildings dating back before this period. The penalties for those maintaining a building and ignoring the risks of asbestos exposure are severe as well as the potential consequences for those exposed to fibres so it is worth understanding what needs to be done if there is the risk of asbestos exposure present in your commercial property.

Much of the legislation on asbestos refers to Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 (CAR 2012) and Asbestos Regulations 2006 (CAR 2006). If you are the landlord and owner of the building, responsibility for dealing with risks posed by asbestos will be in your hands and anyone occupying the building as a commercial tenant must also comply with any action that needs to be taken.

Asbestos becomes dangerous when it is disturbed and dangerous fibres are released. These fibres enter the lungs and cause various cancers and other illnesses. Proper assessment of a building suspected of containing asbestos should include an inspection to see if the material is present, the creation of records and an assessment the condition of the asbestos. Anyone carrying out works must also be notified of its presence.

Removing asbestos is a difficult and expensive tasks due to the risks involved. A cheaper and easier way to deal with asbestos is via encapsulation which essentially seals in the material so that it doesn’t pose a risk.

Posted by admin in Asbestos, Asbestos Encapsulation, Asbestos in a Commercial Property, Insulate Your Home, Insulating Your Loft, Metropolitan Insulation, 0 comments

Is Your Insulation Fire Rated?

You may be starting a new insulation project or considering replacing the insulation you have as the cold winter months set in but have you thought about the fire resistance of the material you’re using? Before fitting insulation, it is important to consider how it might behave in a fire to ensure you are making the best choice and don’t end up with a material that catches fire easily or readily emits toxic smoke. With this in mind here are the most common insulation types together with information on how resistant they are to fire.

Mineral is regarded as one of the best materials when it comes to fire resistance. It is able to withstand heat more than 700 ºF above that of the average home fire.

Spray Foam
Many people assume spray foam to be flammable but it actually contains fire retardants. The material also fills air gaps more effectively than other insulation types cutting off the air that is a major ingredient allowing fires to spread.

Foam Board
Foam board might be cheap and readily available but it certainly isn’t a good performer when it is subjected to heat from fires. Add to this the toxic fumes you get when it burns and you may need to reconsider installing it

Posted by admin in Fireplace, Home Insulation, Insulation Fire Rated, Soundproofing, Spray Foam Insulation, Thermal Insulation, 0 comments

Tips to Consider When Choosing Insulation

Once you have decided you need insulation for your home or other type of property the next step is to consider which type of insulation is best.

There is certainly no shortage of choice in stores and online making it difficult to decide which way to go. Some types of insulation will be better at absorbing sound while other types offer better thermal properties.

So, if you are having problems deciding on the best material here are some handy tips to help you.

The cost of insulation will vary widely. Some materials may seem cheap but as we will explore in the next point, the cheapest insulation isn’t always the easiest to install.

Ease of fitting
Insulation can come in a variety of different forms. Most commonly you can buy it in a role but it is also manufactured as solid boards and can come in spray form too. Some types such as spray foam will require specialist equipment and breathing apparatus to install and is usually applied by a professional.

Environmental impact
Often overlooked the environmental impact is an important consideration when choosing insulation. While you will save energy installing insulation it is worth finding out what the impact is to the immediate environment as well as externally.

Posted by admin in Choosing Insulation, Home Insulation, How To Soundproof Doors, Insulate Your Home, Metropolitan Insulation, 0 comments

The Relationship Between Climate and Insulation

Most of us know that insulation is an important part of any building we occupy and increasingly so now that we are being forced to consider how much energy and consequently money we are wasting.

Money is also a factor in the type of insulation people choose for their homes. Often there are attempts to go it alone and do a DIY job to save even more. After all there are plenty of helpful videos available on Internet or advice from friends to teach you. What often cannot easily be gained from watching other people’s experiences is the insulating materials and methods you’ll need for different types of climate.

Climate is one of the key considerations when choosing insulations and depending on where you live in the UK some insulation types can be better than others.
If you live in western parts of the UK the climate is often wet and windy for a large part of the year as this part of the country takes the brunt of weather coming from the stormy Atlantic. That said, temperatures don’t usually fluctuate too rapidly.

The east side of the UK can get very cold with temperatures fluctuating wildy at times as the cold North sea often exerts its influence. Weather in the east is also drier than the west.

In the South East, the weather is particularly dry through summer and also war
mer with hotter summers.

So if you live in a colder climate keeping out cold will be the priority whereas in the warmer parts of the country keeping out heat while also protecting against the cold will be the priority.

Posted by admin in Climate and Insulation, Commercial Property, Home Insulation, How To Soundproof Doors, Insulate Your Home, Metropolitan Insulation, Soundproofing, Soundproofing Apartments, Soundproofing Commercial Property, Spray Foam Insulation, Thermal Insulation, 0 comments

How Long Can You Expect Your Insulation To Last?

Most people will ask about how long things like roof tiles and flooring will last but few people consider insulation. One thing is certain, no matter what insulation you use, it won’t last forever and certain types of insulation are known to last longer than others. So let’s look at the different types of insulation commonly used and compare their lifespans and durability.

Spray foam insulation
Spray foam insulation has increased in popularity due to its excellent durability and ease of application. It is also much better at resisting mold growth and sealing any air leaks than alternative forms of insulation. You can also look forward to low maintenance over its lifetime. The only drawback is that its lifespan is around 80 years but this is a minor one unless you expect to still be around 80 years from so you can still technically say it will last you more than a lifetime.

Fiberglass Insulation
Fibreglass is the type of insulation you will find in most homes. The material is also extremely durable and provides an excellent defence against humidity. It is also cheaper than most alternatives which is why you will still find this type of insulation in most homes. This type of insulation is expected to last 100 years but wear and tear can take its toll and reduce lifespan if it isn’t inspected regularly.

Recycled Paper Insulation
Recycled paper is another excellent choice and the main thing it has going for it is its limited impact on the environment. This type of insulation can last for 100 years although it is less commonly used than other materials such as fibre glass and spray foam.

Posted by admin in Home Insulation, Hotel Soundproofing, Insulate Your Home, Insulating Your Loft, Insulation To Last, Metropolitan Insulation, Sound Absorption, Soundproofing, Soundproofing Apartments, Soundproofing Commercial Property, Soundproofing for musicians, Spray Foam Insulation, Super Materials, Suspended Ceiling Soundproofing, Thermal Insulation, 0 comments