Our MD Bryan Hindle was on hand last week to present the Property Care Association CPD session on Dampness Related to Cavity Wall Insulation. This was via CPD Essentials, who are quickly establishing a great reputation for their regular CPD offerings around the country.
When it comes to damp diagnosis the PCA and its members are among the first to be called for advice on up to date best practice. To underline this technical strength in-depth, PCA asked a small number of members to present these CPD sessions.
Sheffield is in Brick-Tie’s back-yard so Bryan stepped-up for this one. He was glad he did; “It was great to see so many familiar faces in the room at Tankersley Manor Hotel; there’s always a few people you see at every CPD opportunity and Wednesday was no exception” said Bryan. “Surveying is similar to other professions, there are those who attend CPD because they need the points, then there’s an enthusiastic core of people who really strive to attend everything they can. I know which professional I’d rather have surveying my house.”
After a brief introduction from Philip Santo, Bryan took delegates through a short guide on the wonderful benefits of traditional cavity construction. Following this, it was time to outline how late 20c and early 21c refurbishment methods and social changes have contrived to dilute these benefits. The results of this were illustrated with slides from real surveys, which highlighted:
The PCA have members all over the UK, who see and diagnose these issues every week. Bryan’s no exception; he used some of his own local site images to help illustrate the most common problems associated with retro-fit insulation. Naturally, to aid understanding he used an interactive psychrometric chart and a thermogram to pick-apart how a ‘cold bridge’ raises relative humidity, as well as increasing heat loss.
Images taken inside an insulated cavity wall through the boroscope were included too. Moisture meter profiles that can be indicative of a CWI induced issue were covered. Moreover, those profiles and visual evidence which point elsewhere were underlined.
The session was not about bashing CWI, which is crucial as part of our common fight against global warming and combating the scourge of fuel poverty. As is often the case in the built environment, the devil is in the detail. Poor design, delivery and workmanship are in large part to blame for these problems. However, PCA (and Bryan), are convinced that the financial model for the delivery of large scale retro-fit insulation projects is flawed. How so? The rush to meet carbon emission targets has spawned an ‘Insulate first and worry about it later’ attitude; as a result, we are now seeing the unforeseen damage wrought by that lack of foresight.
Local surveyors and damp specialist companies cannot turn the clock back. But, PCA, working with government agencies and stakeholders can modify the delivery. We can do this by publicising the defects caused up to date; engaging with those who have influence on government strategy and by consulting with individuals and bodies who can work together to get it right.
What can RICS surveyors and the rest of the industry do? We can make sure that tenants, owners and buyers of homes with CWI installed get the best advice, without scaremongering or generalised solutions. The CPD session on dampness and cavity walls will help surveyors in Yorkshire to do this. That’s why Bryan was there.
The remaining sessions offered by CPD essential on the day were excellent, covering a broad range of topics. With experts like Philip Santo and Tom Littler on hand, it was always going to be good. Bryan left knowing more about septic tanks than he ever thought he would – thank you Tom!
Do you need the best advice on damp diagnosis and damp control? If you are in Yorkshire – contact us.
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