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If you have an old house with solid walls [not cavity walls or timber framed etc.] and you want to make it a bit more toasty we hope this article helps.

Internal insulation appears to be the default thermal upgrade by most property owners. But, it is very important that different technology is used for solid walled buildings, usually buildings built before 1880-1900. As a general rule of thumb a ‘breathable’ construction is needed to let water vapour dissipate through the walls otherwise condensation can build up. Don’t use rigid insulation board [Kingspan, Celotex etc.] and gypsum plasterboard as these are not vapour permeable. Use a breathable insulation board, such as wood fibre or cork + a breathable plaster such as traditional lime plaster.

Make sure you do it correctly though or it can backfire and create an unhealthy environment with increased levels of condensation and poor air quality. We highly recommend specialist calculations are performed that work out the optimum thickness of insulation required to suit your specific property and also reduce the risk of condensation occurring.

However, we don’t think internal insulation is the best way to upgrade overall energy performance, watch out for future updates as we will tell you what the single biggest gamechanger is to improve energy efficiency.

If you want to upgrade your old building then essential reading is the Old House Eco Book, 2nd edition, by Marianne Suhr and Roger Hunt. https://www.spab.org.uk/shop/product/old-house-eco-handbook

Other knowledgeable building stores who specialise in this sort of stuff are:

https://www.lime.org.uk/applications/retrofit-insulation-systems-for-old-buildings/internal-wall-insulation-system.html

https://www.ecologicalbuildingsystems.com/UK/Products/Gutex/Wall

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