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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
These two books are the perfect starting place to help you get to grips with one of the most vitally important aspects of our society - our homes and living environment.

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    • CommentAuthor2ev
    • CommentTimeMay 21st 2018
     
    Having a struggle organising internal wall insulation for my property, the installer I originally engaged seems to have lost interest after having his quote questioned. I wasn't quibbling, just wanting clarification and for work I'd asked for but he'd missed out to be included so I guess he has more lucrative fish to fry! I'm after some kind of 'eco' solution, wood fibre or sheep's wool and lime plaster, so I'm not too hopeful of finding anyone local to me (Chester). One of the questions I'm still waiting for an answer to is in response to a statement in his quote 'This assumes that the existing plaster is breathable and does not need to be removed'. I had assumed that as the existing plaster seems to be gypsum then it would not be breathable so I asked how would he ascertain whether it is or not. Can any of the forum experts advise how I would determine this conclusively please?
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeMay 21st 2018
     
    Posted By: 2evI had assumed that as the existing plaster seems to be gypsum then it would not be breathable

    Gypsum is breathable.
  1.  
    It is breathable to a degree, but it gets easily saturated, and when it starts pulling salts through I understand it can become more hygroscopic. I would not trust it behind wood-fibre. I would advise hacking it off and doing a lime parge coat.
    • CommentAuthordelprado
    • CommentTimeMay 25th 2018
     
    its not the plaster thats the issue is the pva most likely undcerneath the gypsum which slows down vapour transmission, plus any paints that might be there too.

    You may not need vapour transmission anyway - why do you want it to "breathe"
    • CommentAuthorretrofrit
    • CommentTimeMay 29th 2018
     
    Did an internal insulation job in Chester a few months ago, not pitching it was my own property. I intended to use wood fibre ( Pavadry) but was shocked at the price, ended up using Thermafleece hemp insulation.

    It was fine to handle and work with but width of rolls and density occasionally varied, also it was a sod to cut until I got some really sharp large kitchen scissors.
  2.  
    I use mainly Pavatex materials for IWI, but there are other wood-fibre products out there.
    • CommentAuthorCWatters
    • CommentTimeMay 30th 2018
     
    Is the plaster painted? If so I suspect it's not going to be vapour permeable. In which case the builder might feel there is a risk of interstitial condensation forming on the wall if the vapour barrier on the warm side isn't perfect.
    • CommentAuthor2ev
    • CommentTimeJun 4th 2018
     
    It's had a few layers of emulsion. There is the added complication of pebbledash to some of the exterior. I'm wondering if a 'cavity' between the wall and IWI might be one approach, vented to the loft space, and / or vent bricks fitted for the purpose...
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