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Air tightness testing

Cold Drafty House in London

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Date: Tue 23rd January 2018

Victrorian terrace houseIs your house cold? Do you feel drafts? It could be suffering from air leakage!

We were recently called by the owner of a London Victorian terrace. The house had recently been refurbished and modernised to a very high standard of appearance, but the owner was still feeling cold and drafts. She asked for our advice and after an exploratory phone call, we went to the house to test and investigate. After an initial inspection, we set up our calibrated fan kit in the front door and immediately measured very high leakage rates of over 16 (m3/m2@50 pascals). The property really was very leaky. This owner was feeling so cold and spending so much on heating - despite having a modern gas central heating system. 

We set about finding the causes and locating the leakage paths. The ground floor was overlaid onto the original suspended timber floor with an air void underneath. We soon located significant holes behind appliances, obscured by cupboards or via skirting board edges, where cold air was entering the ground floor living areas. Worse still, there was a massive leakage path via a dividing stud wall fitted with a sliding door that slid into the wall recess. Standing in the sliding door area during testing felt like a cold shower between the dining area and lounge!

After noting and marking all the downstairs problems, we continued our detective work upstairs; soon exposing other large leakage paths into the intermediate bedroom floors. The bedrooms and attic rooms upstairs were just as leaky as the ground floor. The open plan nature of the ground floor allowed heated air to rise naturally up the stairs and escape via the bedrooms. This natural convection pressure was sucking fresh cold air into the living room. With the heating system turned off, we measured a temperature of only 12C in the coldest spots downstairs, compared to 19C upstairs and 10C outside. 

The owner, made aware of the problems, is now choosing the most effective remedial solutions to fix the coldness and drafts, turning her home into a comfortable, warm nest.

If you think that your home could benefit, why not call us for a free consultation? Don't let your home suffer - it could be a lot warmer and you could save on fuel bills. 

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