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External wall insulation?


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(@jordan_zimmerman)
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Does anyone here have any experience adding external wall insulation to an existing house? Did it help? Was it worth the money/headaches? Can you recommend any contractors that do this in the greater Lisbon area?

Obrigado!

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(@thomasribatejo)
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Hello there!  If the construction pre-dates the improvements in build quality of the last +/- 8 years, but is post-early-1950s, then it is highly likely that external wall insulation will make a noticeable difference to the heat lost through concrete and blockwork walls (coupled, if needed, with improved windows).

Make sure that you use the ETICS system, not just the various kinds of foiling etc which remain available from contractors.  ETICS is recognised at a European level for offering the best solution, so your contractor needs to be familiar with it, and able to deploy it correctly.  (Unfortunately, I have no specific contractors I can recommend.)

Remember that the key to avoiding humidity internally, before and after any such improvements, is adequate ventilation.  So much of the humidity comes from you/your activity, not the outside, so you need to allow it out, ideally through open windows or ventilation systems.  (I know you didn't mention this point, but it's easy for people to seal themselves in, in the fight against the cold!)

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(@jordan_zimmerman)
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@thomasribatejo The house was built in 2006 but doesn't feel very insulated to me. Is ETICS still viable for such a house?

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(@thomasribatejo)
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@jordan_zimmerman It's hard to say without seeing it, but broadly speaking, yes.  2006 was after the first energy efficiency ratings were brought in; but before the rather better ones around 7 years later, so it's not surprising it wouldn't be well insulated.  Also, not all constructors follow the regs, of course!  ETICS is designed for retrofitting to broadly modern buildings, so in general terms, it should be appropriate.

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(@jordan_zimmerman)
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@thomasribatejo can you recommend anyone in the greater Lisbon/Setúbal area?

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(@thomasribatejo)
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@jordan_zimmerman sorry, no, I have no relevant contacts covering that area.  However, you would need a "proper" firm for this, not an informal team; so looking for companies mentioning ETICS on their sites or Facebook pages would be sensible.  Sorry not to be able to suggest someone.

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(@jeanne)
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@jordan_zimmerman   Out of curiosity, do you know the official energy rating of the structure (A.B...G)?  I see them indicated on property listings but am wondering how they play out in real life.

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(@jordan_zimmerman)
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@jeanne We had an evaluation done and it shows category B

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(@jeanne)
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@jordan_zimmerman   Interesting. I would have thought that a B category house would have quite decent insulation. So that is apparently not always the case.

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(@thomasribatejo)
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@jeanne the ratings are generally assessed rapidly and by simple visual inspection, so without wishing to impugn those who undertake them, I do not feel their reliability is high.

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(@starrynytsky)
Joined: 7 months ago

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@thomasribatejo What do you think of cork cladding?

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(@jeanne)
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I am totally unqualified to give advice on this, but I will not let that stop me.  Have you confirmed that your ceiling or interior roof space is adequately insulated?  A lot of heat can escape through the top of a house, which can also cause drafting. 

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