Roger Bisby pays a site visit to see the Ultrotherm Insulation system being applied
It has always been possible to insulate a wall from the inside, but often it means that you have to take off skirtings and make other alterations to things such as radiator pipes. Homeowners are also understandably reluctant to reduce the dimensions of a room by adding thick insulation, however effective. The beauty of Ultrotherm’s flexible mats are that they are just 12mm thick, so you can often butt them up against skirtings and architraves. Obviously, the thinner the insulation the less effective it will be, so you are not going to achieve the same insulation as you would by fitting a thicker PU board or laminate plasterboard, but I was surprised by just how effective Ultrotherm’s mats are.
I don’t want to quote, or argue the figures, because there are lots of factors to take into account, but the heat loss calculations have been carried out by various independent bodies and these are available through the Ultrotherm website. At the very least, the addition of the 12mm thick tiles and a skim of plaster will warm up the internal surfaces to improve thermal comfort and reduce condensation. Whenever people start arguing about the effectiveness of insulation I always suggest that they go and stand outside on a cold day in their shirt sleeves and then see the difference a relatively thin coat makes. All insulation works by trapping air, and Ultrotherm’s cell construction is highly effective in this respect when it is backed by the adhesive and faced with plaster.
There are millions of properties in the UK that could benefit from Ultrotherm. I am thinking in particular of all those houses with solid walls and rear kitchens with a room above. Most of these properties can be completed in a day or two.
For a small builder, or a plasterer, this is a source of rapid turnover work that can be fitted in around bigger jobs but, quite honestly, if you could find a couple of jobs a week like this it might be all you need. The value of the job is not in the square meters but in the lack of disruption and the instant transformation. From my perspective it is also a great way of dealing with ropey old walls – sure you could simply skim them but this is added value.
The tiles are made with a special graphite foam, which is very thermally efficient and has a class 0 fire rating. The system comes with plastic thin coat angle beads, adhesive and expanded metal mesh plates for reinforcing areas around sockets and switches.
The job itself couldn’t be easier:
For further information on Ultrotherm visit www.ultrotherm.com