Badly Fitted Thermal Insulation – Part 2 – The systems

A Certified Thermal Wall Insulation fitted professionally, is one of the best investments that you can make to your property. The system makes a huge difference to your comfort and standard of living. The temperature is being controlled within the property, compared to an uninsulated property. It further protects your property`s external walls from the elements and not only saves you money on heating and cooling, but also on the maintenance of the exterior.

Back in 2008, when we established our company, Exterior Thermal Wall Insulation was an entirely new concept in Cyprus. Simply there were no certified systems available on the island. Exterior Thermal Wall Insulation Systems have been used very successfully for well over 50 years in the UK and for many years in Europe. However, we all understand the very different climate and seismic conditions that exist between various countries. Therefore, attempting to fit systems designed for one country`s climate to another country with a very different climate is a probable recipe for disaster.

Over the last few years, we have seen the effects of this, where properties have had inappropriate Thermal Wall Insulation Systems fitted. Damp and cracking issues were discovered in many properties we have come across, where thermal insulation was not appropriately fitted.

The following pictures are a combination of the wrong materials used and poor fitting standards:

  • Cracking between sills – Resulted from incorrect nylon mesh specifications

Cracking thermal insulation

  • Cracking at wall junction – The problem occured due to incorrect boarding. However, it is likely the adhesives do not have correct specifications and the final finish top coat is certainly not fit for purpose

Cracking thermal insulation

  • Boards cracking above window – Results of incorrect boarding. But also the materials used are not fit for the Cyprus climate.

Cracking thermal insulation 

  • Major gap left behind the thermal board and wall – We can see there were no base tracks fitted at all. Which should be part of the system.

Major gap between thermal insulation Major gap between thermal insulation

Recommended External Wall Insulation Systems:

Exterior Thermal Wall Insulation Systems should consist of a component compatible system, and it should include all required components that make up the full system. In essence, this means base tracks, thermal boards, appropriate pins, mastics, thermal glues, meshing, various beads, primers and acrylics renders. We often see many so-called ’’systems’’ are only materials pulled together. These are clearly substandard, and the materials are not compatible with each other.

Here are some very basic questions you should ask your contractor:

  1. What certification the Thermal System has got?
  2. Which country was the system designed for?
  3. It may be certified but for what climate?
  4. Is it a fully certified system?
  5. Do they install base tracks?
  6. Are the Thermal Boards open or closed cell?
    • What is the thickness of the boards?
    • Do they use the same boards on all walls?
  7. Do they install netting mesh? What type of netting mesh is used?
    • Fibreglass, Nylon or none?
  8. Do they install corner beads?
    • Are these metal or plastic?
  9. Do they install window beads? (there should be various types)
    • Are these metal or plastic?
  10. What kind of pins are used? (there should be various types)
  11. Are the Mastics compatible?
    • Builders Silicon and Polystyrene do not mix (incredibly important)
  12. What kind of Thermal Glues are used?
    • How flexible are these?
    • How long is the guarantee on adhesion?
  13. Finishing Coat: never consider flat paint. It should be a coloured acrylic render as part of the system.
    • Is it water repellant?
    • To what extent?
  14. Is there a guarantee provided? What is the guarantee against cracking or flaking?

Moreover, we suggest the following important notes to be discussed with your contractor too. Ask how long ago his company started fitting Exterior Thermal Wall Insulation. Visit a property that has the system recently installed. Also more importantly visit another property, that was completed at least 5 years ago or preferably over 10 years ago. Always ask to see the Contractors Certification for the actual system he is promoting. It should look something like this below. One of the systems we fit is ‘’Kelyfos’’ and we were certified on this system back in 2009.

Here at the Renovation Group our Thermal Insulation Installation comes with 25 years Thermal Adhesion Guarantee and 10 years Anti-Cracking Guarantee.