It is estimated that one third of UK households have solid walls, usually in buildings constructed before the 1920s. As the name suggests, solid walls are made of solid bricks, meaning there is no space between the bricks. This makes insulating solid walls a different process compared to the more modern cavity wall.
The cost of insulating a home with solid walls is more expensive than insulating cavity walls. This is because the process requires more materials and manhours to complete, while the construction process is also much longer.
However, insulating a home with solid walls can save hundreds of pounds in heating bills yearly. Over several years the savings become significant, so investing in solid wall insulation is certainly worthwhile for many homeowners, while it’s possible to apply for funding to cover some of the costs.
It’s not always obvious if your home has solid walls. The easiest way to determine this is to inspect the brick, providing it’s exposed. If possible, check the brickwork to see if there are alternating long and short bricks across the wall, as this is a sign it’s a solid wall.
Cavity walls usually have even patterns on the brickwork, so be sure to inspect it to determine what wall type you have. If the brickwork isn’t exposed then you can check to see if you have solid walls by measuring their thickness – solid walls are usually no thicker than 260mm.
Because there is no space between a solid wall you need to add a layer of external or internal insulation. There are some notable differences between each one, so be sure to consider your options.
Internal Solid Wall Insulation
Internal wall insulation is usually the cheaper of the two options and can be done on a room-to-room basis, allowing you to add the solid wall insulation at different times to keep costs down.
This process involves adding a layer of insulating material to the inside wall, making it quite disruptive. Expect to lose some floor space and need to remove things like the skirting, fittings, and other wall fixtures.
A good way to keep the costs of solid wall insulation down is to add it whenever you redecorate a room, as it costs less to insulate one room at a time.
External Solid Wall Insulation
External solid wall insulation involves insulating the outside wall and then adding a protective layer on top of it. There are various options for decorative layers that can be added to the insulation, including different colours and finishes, and these can often improve the exterior appearance of the property.
Because the work is done to the outside of the house there is far less disruption, while the fact you don’t need to redecorate like with internal walls saves a lot time and effort.
Given the significant construction work needed to insulate a home with solid walls, you’ll need to contact a reliable company that can complete the work. Like any tradespeople, it helps to research reliable candidates before hiring anyone – be sure to ask for personal recommendations and checking online reviews.