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Use Cavity Closers to Fix Heat Loss in Buildings

Most of the heat loss from buildings occurs at the windows as the heat passes through the glass. This can be minimized with high performance double or triple glazing.

The next problem is that heat loss also occurs around the window. This is where cavity closers come into their own.

In cavity walls, the inner and outer leaves of the brickwork have to be closed at the reveal, the recess around window and door frames. But if this is closed with more bricks and mortar, it may create a thermal bridge for heat to escape from the property.

Bricks and other masonry blocks are extremely poor thermal insulators. Cavity closers are used to close this gap without creating a thermal bridge or allowing the passage of water. Instead, they create a thermal break, improving the building’s insulations and even reducing its carbon dioxide emissions.

Insulating foam closers can be installed at the head and sill positions as well as the side reveals. Different styles of closer can be installed during the construction of the property or some time later when the opening is completed. These cavity closers work in a very simple and efficient way. They consist of a foam core that is insulating, acoustically as well as thermally, and also prevents any thermal bridging. The closers are housed in highly insulating material such as un-plasticised PVC containers that will form both a positive damp proof barrier, and also provide a key for any future application of plaster. They can be made from recycled PVC from uPVC window frames or PVC waste from manufacturing processes. Some cavity closers are also made of expanded polystyrene (EPS).

Cavity closers such as YBS Insulation Cavity Closers are manufactured in a number of standard widths to fit most cavity walls. However, in those cases where the door frame or window jamb (the vertical portion of the frame)  is not wide enough to cover the cavity closer in its entirety, it could be possible to line the reveal with a plaster board or a thermal backing. These boards should be accredited by the British Board of Agreement (BBA) and should be 30 minute fire resistant.

Extruded plastic has become a common method of closing cavities over recent years. This type of plastic cavity closer has an insulation infill. Its installation requires a series of plastic ties to be built into the internal and external leaves of the cavity walls. The advantages of this process is that it does not need specially sized blocks to be cut or a separate vertical damp proof course (DPC). It also reduces condensation and mold growth. However, one of the downsides of this system is that any future window replacement would be quite a complicated process.

A cavity closure system will create an accurate window aperture and give it a good, engineered appearance. It is important to ensure that all the measurements of the brickwork and window sill are accurate. The ideal cavity closer has to be air tight and it should be flexible enough to give a perfect fit around the cavities.

Insulating your home or office with cavity closers will not only reduce your building’s energy consumption but it will also cut your fuel bills and reduce harmful CO2 emissions.

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