Manchester housing provider picks ISO-THERM insulation to upgrade older stock

One of the leading providers of affordable housing in the North-West has begun utilising slimline and waterproof Isotherm insulation, recently introduced to the Wykamol range, to help address issues of condensation and mould growth in some of its older properties, with the manufacturer present at the first installation to help train the customer’s staff.

Wythenshawe Community Housing Group manages some 14,000 homes across Manchester and prides itself on offering residents high quality accommodation, meeting the needs of a diverse population, including those with complex health challenges. Inevitably having such a large portfolio entails a heavy maintenance demand, so it was keen to identify cost effective answers to common issues. Wykamol’s Technical Manager, Kevin Topping was therefore initially invited to give a presentation to a cross-section of WCHG’s staff, including surveyors and housing managers, together with some of the potential applicators.

This meeting allowed the housing provider to understand some of ISO-THERM’s technical benefits including its ability to create an isolation layer to keep damp out of dwellings, while offering an uplift in thermal performance approximately equivalent to installing up to a 25mm thick layer of polystyrene.

In the case of the trial installation, the party wall and one exterior wall were treated as Kevin demonstrated how to prepare and then install the products, which are being supplied through the partnerships arm of major builders’ merchant group, Jewson. The ISO-THERM membrane is smoothed onto a layer of special Wykamol adhesive using an OX Speedskim semi-flexible plastering rule.

Speaking about the landlord’s reasons for utilising the Wykamol product, the Contract Manager for reactive repairs WCHG, Pete Leonard, added:

“We have used Wykamol for a number of years and are always looking for new products that can help us make our homes more energy efficient and minimise disturbance for our customers. This product is easy to use, cuts down on waste also reduces manual handling. We look forward to seeing the long term benefits in the future.”

ISO-THERM is an ultra-thin – approximately 4mm thick – specially woven polyester-based material which, due to its flexibility and ease of use, can quickly be cut around light switches, sockets, radiator brackets, architraves, skirting boards and even complex shaped decorative mouldings. This therefore avoids the disruption and cost of employing additional trades such as electricians, plumbers or carpenters. The ISO-THERM membrane is secured to the brick or block substrate with Wykamol’s unique ISO-THERM Adhesive, applied at a thickness of approximately 5mm and then scored with a notched trowel. The ISO-THERM is then simply rolled into the glue and rolled with an OX Speedskim flexible rule, before receiving a plaster skim coat to afford an overall finish of approximately 10mm. The ISO-THERM material is both waterproof and vapour permeable, so resists lateral damp transference to prevent natural surface nitrates and chlorides forming as efflorescence and therefore does not support the growth of surface mould, instead allowing the wall to breathe.

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