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External wall insulation: Definitions and explanation of terms used

On-Site Survey:

In order for Warm walls Insulation to quote you properly for external wall insulation we require a full on-site survey to be carried out. This allows us to assess your home for external wall insulation and how suitable it is for your needs. This process involves drawing sketches, taking photos and carrying out full detailed measurements.


Cold Bridging:

Where cold comes in contact with an outside element of a dwelling and transfers this cold to the inside of the dwelling. This normally happens as the pathway for cold goes undisturbed by insulation. This can cause cold spots or areas with a house which can lead to mould growth. Cold bridges also allows heat to pass through an element in a dwelling to the outside thus causing heat loss. External wall insulation is one of the best methods of dealing with cold bridging, and is being specified on more new build construction.

Damp Proof course. DPC:

A damp proof course dpc is normally installed when a dwelling is being constructed and is used to stop the transfer of ground moisture rising up walls. This is usually put a finished floor level.

Expanded Polystyrene, EPS:

This is the name given to the type of insulation generally used to insulate a house with external wall insulation. It can come in 2 colours, white and grey. Normally grey is used as it gives better energy performance using a reduced thickness. For example: 12cm of white EPS is equal in energy performance to 10cm grey EPS

Mechanical fixings:

A mechanical fixing is the term used within the industry to describe the type of fixing used to fix insulation boards to the outside of walls being insulated with external wall insulation. 

Base Coat:

The term Base coat is used to describe the type of render used over insulation boards among the external wall insulation profession within Ireland. This is a light weight polymer render used as part of a composite external wall insulation render system. 

Reinforcing mesh:

Reinforcing mesh is installed with the base coat as part of a composite external wall insulation render system which gives greater impact resistance to the final render and is designed to be light weight.

Plinth Level:

The plinth level normally occurs at the same level or slightly below the DPC level (see above). It can be identified by a change in wall surface and is normally recessed by about 20mm. It also acts as to repeal rain water splashing up from the ground and reduce staining. 

XPS Insulation:

XPS stands for Extruded polystyrene insulation and is used below the plinth level as it has better resistance to ground water.

Primer Coat:

A Primer coat is used as an under coat to a Acrylic finish, and helps bond the acrylic finish to the basecoat.

Acrylic Finish:

Acrylic finish is used as a final layer and as part of a composite external wall insulation render system. It comes in a range of colours and is applied by traditional trowel methods to a thickness of 1.5mm. The acrylic render contains small stones with help give the render its texture.

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