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Indoor air quality and external wall insulation

External wall insulation helps to improve indoor air quality and contributes to healthy living. This is because EWI will prevent the progression of damp and mould within the home, and will keep the house in good structural condition, tightly sealed against external pollutants while at the same time allowing for the circulation of fresh air.

Outdoor air pollution is a well recognised issue in large cities and towns where traffic, congestion and closely built houses contribute towards an environment that is harmful to human health. We all know about how this kind of pollution affects our environment and the ozone layer; however, the subject of indoor air pollution is little discussed, and as a consequence it is often overlooked.

The average person will spend 87% of their working days indoors. When you think about the quantity of time that is, be it at work or at home, the amount of indoor air pollutants that you are subsequently exposed to is enormous. The problem is that damp, pet dander, mould spores and more can become trapped within your home and can lead to eventual health problems.

How will EWI improve my indoor air quality?

As we know, external wall insulation is effectively an airtight barrier that surrounds the property. This prevents heat loss in the winter and heat gain in the summer. While EWI will keep water and moisture out of your home, it will also substantially keep out external pollutants.

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again. A good EWI installer will establish a good ventilation strategy so that fresh air can circulate within the house and stale or humid air can escape. Installing EWI on your property will certainly bring closer attention to your current methods of ventilation,. Your installer will ensure that your property has several means of adequate ventilation. Most important in any ventilation strategy is that humid air has an easy escape route. This is extremely important for human health, and certainly goes towards the prevention of damp.

If you have any experience with damp in your home, you will know that it can build up on the walls, floors and more, creating a musty smell and often causing allergies and asthma. Damp poses an invisible threat in the form of dangerous spores that occupants repeatedly inhale. Moreover in some extreme cases, these spores can be toxic, and severely detrimental to indoor air quality.

Here at EWI Store, we aim to use breathable materials at every stage of an installation. This means that our systems will allow water vapour to pass through them, ensuring that the house can breathe and preventing any build up of damp behind the system.

Ventilation in EWI

If you have EWI installed and you are getting moisture on the windows, you might need to look at adding some ventilation. This is not a big investment – even fitting half a dozen vents over the house should take no more than a day, but it can make a massive difference to the moisture in the room.

There are a few different types of vents, but we broadly split them into 3 different categories:

  • Simple vents – These are holes in the wall with a plastic cover at each end. They are often found in older properties and have the disadvantage of causing draughts through the home.
  • Black hole vents – These vents have a simple coil inside which prevents the air from blowing through, but still allows air to move. These are now standard for bedrooms and living areas.
  • Mechanical ventilation – These are often necessary in bathrooms and kitchens where excess moisture is generated and cannot be dealt with by simple natural ventilation.
Standard bedroom vent
Mechanical ventilation in a bathroom

Wood Fibre insulation and indoor air quality

Natural materials such as Mineral Wool and Wood Fibre are known for their low VOC (volatile organic compound) emission ratings. VOC emissions can cause ‘sick building syndrome,’ which is known for giving inhabitants headaches and allergies. They can be responsible for numerous health issues.

One of the most common VOCs is formaldehyde. This has been found to be responsible for several indoor air quality and pollution-related health issues. Wood Fibre’s VOC levels are extremely low, as the product is of natural composition. This means that with Wood Fibre insulation, the threat of VOCs passing into the building is minimal. As a result, your indoor air quality remains uncompromised.

Give us a call and talk to one of our technical specialists about indoor air quality. We upload new content every Tuesday and Thursday here on the blog, so stay tuned for more EWI-related blog posts; answering frequently asked questions and giving you all the info about our products and systems.

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