You can’t insulate a brick house right? Wrong!
HeatSavers is currently the only company approved under the NZ Building Code to retrofit insulation into the walls of existing brick houses without removing wall linings. What’s more, the cumulative gains of insulating brick are even better than most other types of cladding. And it’s quick, painless and really affordable.
Conventional wisdom says you can’t insulate brick houses because that cavity between the timber and the brick cladding has to be there to let water drip through (and out those holes at the bottom of the wall). But that’s where we’re wrong. It turns out; brick houses not only can be insulated… but insulating brick houses is even more effective that with other types of cladding.
Eamonn Kilgariff of HeatSavers Wellington says, “If you think of normal insulation as the ‘putting on a jacket’ equivalent for your house, then insulating in brick is like putting on a puffer jacket. The cavity in a brick house is 30% bigger than with weatherboard, so you’re getting even more insulation and all that extra benefit, when we fill that gap”.
The benefit of HeatSavers’ foam insulation is that it can be installed from the inside or the outside of a home. Kilgariff says, “For brick, we’d generally insulate from the outside. Although it’s entirely up to the home owners, external installation can mean less disruption for them. That entails drilling small 16mm holes, injecting the foam and remortaring the outside for a seamless finish. We don’t need building paper because the foam naturally pulls away from the veneer providing drainage”.
Craig Cargill of HeatSavers Auckland says, “People invest a lot of money in machines; heat pumps and ventilation systems when the reality is they can get most of that gain from insulation. For us, it’s about getting the basics in place. And our technology really delivers”.
But what about that water? Tony Naidu, Executive Director of HeatSavers explains, “One of the perceived problems with brick is that it’s porous. So in addition to the drainage the foam naturally provides, what we’ve been able to do is waterproof that brick using nanotechnology so that problem simply disappears. Actually the whole system is very clever, and is one of the reasons why we’re the only company in New Zealand to have gained Council consenting to insulate brick homes”.
“Brick actively creates damp”, says Cargill. “In Auckland part of the problem is that the brick draws dampness up from the floor of the house. Our process puts a stop to that overnight. And suddenly customers find their heat pumps and ventilation systems start to work properly. They get lower power bills and a far more comfortable home from the outset.”
The final extra waterproofing process, he says, is straightforward. “After we have finished remortaring the outside we spray the exterior with our patented sealant which uses nanotechnology to effectively embed waterproofing an inch deep into the brick exterior. The sealant is entirely invisible but provides powerful wind and water erosion protection – a good thing in any case. It dries in about an hour and water just beads off the brick straight away.”
As Naidu puts it, “Cost is an important factor for home owners. Our process costs a third to a quarter of traditional insulation methods… and it’s a cost readily redeemed in lower power bills and potential resale value; not to mention the increase in health benefits and standard of living”.
Kilgariff and Cargill agree. “We’re talking with home owners all the time, and the feedback has been tremendous”, says Kilgariff. “People only wish they’d done it sooner”, says Cargill.
So if you’re living in an uninsulated brick home or know someone who is, perhaps it’s time to arrange a free, no-obligation home inspection with HeatSavers. For health, wealth and well-being, we’re the team to trust.