Where is heat escaping from your home and how can you fix it?

Reducing heat loss from your property has many benefits; as well as lowering your energy bills and carbon footprint, it will also make your home warmer and more comfortable.

If your home lacks insulation you will find that your energy bills rocket during the winter months as you try to keep your house at a comfortable temperature.

The cost of insulating your home will vary depending on where you are losing the most heat from. Whilst it can be expensive to insulate your home, it is an investment that will soon pay for itself with the money you save on energy.

Finding out where the most heat is lost in your home can help you to prioritise where you install insulation first.

Roof– Because heat rises, a lot of heat is lost through uninsulated or damaged rooves. On average, 25% of heat loss occurs through the roof. Insulating the roof is a simple and affordable way of dramatically reducing heat loss from a property. There are many different roof insulation materials available including glass fibre, plastic fibre, sheep’s wool, cork, rock wool, and spray foam. Spray foam roof insulationis a highly effective solution for both sealing and insulating as it is applied directly to the underside of the roof to bond the tiles to each other and to your roof’s structural timber.

Walls– On average, a huge 35% of heat loss occurs through uninsulated walls. The type of wall insulation that you will require depends on your wall type. Cavity walls can simply have insulation injected into the cavity in the centre of the wall, but older buildings with solid walls are a little more difficult to insulate. Solid walls will need to be insulated either internally or externally. Insulating your property’s walls can be expensive, but it is one of the most effective ways of reducing heat loss from your property. 

Floors – Uninsulated floors can be draughty and uncomfortably cold under foot. On average, about 10% of heat is lost through an uninsulated floor. Insulating the area under your floorboards is a simple and effective way of making your home more energy efficient and comfortable. You may also wish to invest in thick, high quality underlay if you have carpets to further reduce heat loss.

Read more about our spray foam roof insulationproduct or speak to a member of our team to find out if it is a suitable solution for your requirements by giving us a call on 0800 028 4042.

Posted by admin in Heat escaping

Tips for protecting your roof from pests and vermin

Attic spaces are warm, sheltered, and infrequently disturbed, making them the ideal environment for pests and vermin.

If pests enter your home through your roof, they can multiply and cause significant damage to your roof’s internal structure and items being stored in the loft before you even realise that they’re there.

If you notice any of the following signs that you may have a problem with pests, it’s important to investigate and act swiftly to minimise damage.

Signs that you may have a problem with pests

  • Droppings
  • Bad smells
  • Damage to the roof’s structure
  • Bite marks or damage to belongings in the loft
  • Noise

Preventing pests from entering your roof

Birds– Birds roosting or nesting in, on, or around your roof, eaves or chimney can cause a lot of mess with their droppings.

Gel-repellents and spike strips can be applied to the roof to deter pigeons from landing on it.

Rats – If rats enter your home through your roof, they can spread disease, leave droppings, and cause damage to items stored in the loft and to your roof’s structure.

To make it more difficult for rats to gain access to your roof, remove any creeping plants from the walls and cut back any tree branches that overhang your roof. Any gaps or holes in or around your roof should be covered with wire mesh or filled with expanding foam.

Insects– Insects like bees, wasps, moths, and beetles can all find their way into your loft and cause significant damage. 

To keep insects out of your roof you need to fill or repair all cracks and holes that they could gain entry through. 

Protecting your roof from pests using spray foam

A simple way of sealing your roof to prevent pests and vermin from entering is to have spray foamapplied to the underside of your roof. Spray foam bonds slates and tiles to each other and to your roof’s structural timber to effectively seal all routes of entry.

As well as protecting from pests and strengthening your roof, spray foam is also an excellent source of insulation and soundproofing.

To find out more about spray foam insulation or to arrange a free consultation, give our team here at Metropolitan Insulation a call on 0800 028 4042.

Posted by admin in Home Insulation, Improved Insulation, Insulate Your Home, Insulating Your Loft, Metropolitan Insulation, Soundproofing, Soundproofing Commercial Property

Common places to find asbestos in commercial buildings

If you own a commercial property that was built before the year 2000 then there could be asbestos lurking inside.

Up until 1999 asbestos was a common building material that was used for a variety of purposes in construction. After it was found to be linked to a number of serious health conditions it was banned from use and legislation was put in place to regulate its management.

The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 state that it is the dutyholder’s responsibility to determine whether asbestos is present in a building and then ensure that it is managed safely.

As the owner of a commercial property, you should ensure that a survey is carried out to assess whether there is any asbestos present in your building.

Where could asbestos be lurking?

Key areas of your commercial property that may contain asbestos include:

  • Sprayed interior coatings
  • Water tank
  • Insulation
  • Partition walls
  • Ceiling tiles
  • Vinyl floor tiles
  • Textured decorative coatings
  • Roof, gutters and downpipes

Asbestos insulating board is a fireproof material that was commonly used in ceiling tiles, partition walls, fireproof doors, and lift shafts. To the untrained eye, it is difficult to tell an asbestos board apart from a non-asbestos one.

There is also a risk that the exterior of your building could feature asbestos cement. Asbestos cement is simply normal cement with asbestos mixed in. It was often used in the construction of roofs, downpipes, gutters, soffits and flues.

What to do if asbestos is found in your commercial property

If a survey does find asbestos present in your building, then you will be required to take measures to manage the risk to protect yourself and the building’s tenants.

The correct action to take will depend on the location of the asbestos and its extent and condition. Options for management may include monitoring, maintenance, removal or encapsulation.

To find out about how our spray foam can be used to encapsulate asbestos in commercial properties,give us a call on 0800 028 4042.

Posted by admin in Asbestos, Asbestos Encapsulation, Asbestos Exposure, Asbestos in a Commercial Property, Choosing Insulation, Commercial Property, Common Soundproofing Myths, Metropolitan Insulation, Sound Absorption

Asbestos encapsulation versus asbestos removal: which is best?

If you find asbestos lurking within your property, it’s important to consult an expert before deciding what to do with it.

Asbestos was a popular building material until it was found to be a dangerous substance and subsequently banned in 1999. It was discovered that fibres of airborne asbestos posed a significant health risk when breathed in.

If you discover asbestos in your property, then it is your responsibility to ensure that it is safely managed.

A couple of options available for managing asbestos include complete removal and encapsulation.

Encapsulation involves covering the asbestos with an impervious material that protects it from damage and prevents any fibres from becoming airborne.

Asbestos removal or encapsulation: which should I choose?

According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) any asbestos in your property is safe unless it becomes damaged. Damage can be caused by drilling, sawing, sanding, tearing down, or otherwise disturbing the material so that fibres become airborne.

The right course of action will depend on the condition and extent of the asbestos in your property and a risk assessment should be carried out by an expert prior to any work being carried out.

Advantages of encapsulation

If encapsulation is deemed to be an appropriate course of action, then it has several advantages over removal including:

  • Can usually be completed quicker than removal.
  • Causes less disruption.
  • No need to dispose of hazardous material.
  • Affordable.
  • Minimal risk as asbestos is disturbed less.

If you discover asbestos in your property you should never attempt to remove or encapsulate it yourself. The Control of Asbestos Regulations require this work to be carried out by a trained and licensed professional contractor.

To find out more about how asbestos can be safely encapsulated using our spray foam solutions, give our team of experts a call on 0800 028 4042.

Posted by admin in Asbestos, Asbestos Encapsulation, Asbestos Exposure, Asbestos in a Commercial Property, Metropolitan Insulation

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.

Posted by admin in Asbestos, Asbestos Exposure, Asbestos in a Commercial Property, Improved Insulation, Insulate Your Home, Metropolitan Insulation, Soundproofing, Soundproofing Apartments, Soundproofing Commercial Property, Spray Foam Insulation, 0 comments

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