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Cavity Wall Insulation - EPS beads

 
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Mark



Joined: 13 Dec 2007
Posts: 1263
Location: NW England

PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2019 6:42 pm    Post subject: Cavity Wall Insulation - EPS beads Reply with quote

A neighbour has recently built a sizable extension onto his 1930s bay-fronted semi.
During construction, the builders must have keyed into the existing walls, which has released thousands of tiny EPS beads which have got everywhere....
Not only a nightmare to clean up, but also terrible for the environment....

I've done some limited surfing, but only found this:
http://www.constructionmanagermagazine.com/opinion/price-failed-cav8ity-wall-insu4lation-hom4eowners/

Most of the articles on CWI / EPS beads are understandably positive, due to the associated energy saving.
But are we storing up a massive problem for when buildings get to their end-of-life and need to be demolished ?
Or are there specialist contractors about, that do this sort of thing ?

Anybody know anything ?
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woodburner



Joined: 06 Apr 2009
Posts: 4130

PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2019 10:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Buildings only have an end of life because of neglect. If they are properly maintained they should last for centuries. Having said that, a lot of modern materials are only used because it’s cheap, not for their long term stability. The older materials, wood, lime, mud, clay, and their derivatives, seem to do well over the long term.
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emordnilap



Joined: 05 Sep 2007
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Location: Houǝsʇlʎ' ᴉʇ,s ɹǝɐllʎ uoʇ ʍoɹʇɥ ʇɥǝ ǝɟɟoɹʇ' pou,ʇ ǝʌǝu qoʇɥǝɹ˙

PostPosted: Thu Nov 28, 2019 11:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What's the expected lifespan of modern concrete? What happens to it over time, anyone know?
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PS_RalphW



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 5762
Location: Cambridge

PostPosted: Thu Nov 28, 2019 1:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lifetime of concrete varies with its chemical composition , structure and exposure. A lot of early 20C reinforced concrete is already badly decayed as water got into the reinforcing rods, rusted them, and split the concrete apart from the inside. Some Roman concrete from over 2000 years ago is still as strong as ever.

Many bridges built in the 1950s onward from concrete are beginning to collapse if they are not repaired or demolished first.
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vtsnowedin



Joined: 07 Jan 2011
Posts: 6202
Location: New England ,Chelsea Vermont

PostPosted: Thu Nov 28, 2019 2:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To add to Ralph's correct answer. The problem is made worse in northern districts where de-iceing salts are spread on the road. Salt water and iron rebar do not mix. Also the thin sections of concrete decks supported by steel beams flex under traffic live loads adding to cracking letting the water reach the rebar. The industry has been fighting the problem for fifty years. We have increased the depth of concrete over the rebar mats. applied waterproofing between the concrete and the blacktop pavement over it, increased the strength of the concrete from 4000 to 5500 psi, reduced the permeability of the concrete, increased the percentage of entrained air in the concrete , and even used galvanized and stainless steel rebars along with the current standard epoxy coated rebar. But still when you have a couple of thousand heavy trucks pounding over a bridge every day with each tire being a 9000 pound rubber mallet we are doing well to get fifty years out of a deck without some repair or a complete replacement.
Other sections away from salt water spray show little if any deterioration after fifty years.
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Mark



Joined: 13 Dec 2007
Posts: 1263
Location: NW England

PostPosted: Fri Nov 29, 2019 12:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

vtsnowedin wrote:
But still when you have a couple of thousand heavy trucks pounding over a bridge every day with each tire being a 9000 pound rubber mallet we are doing well to get fifty years out of a deck without some repair or a complete replacement.


Think the maximum permitted weight for trucks is higher in the US than the UK ?
That probably also contributes, but maybe your bridges are built to a higher spec to compensate ?

Anyway, back to the EPS beads.....
Do they just address x1 problem (insulation), but create a new one for the future ?
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PS_RalphW



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 5762
Location: Cambridge

PostPosted: Fri Nov 29, 2019 1:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Expanded polystyrene is difficult to recycle, and will render worthless other recycled plastics that are contaminated with even tiny amounts of it.

Little is recycled in the UK, especially from domestic sources.
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kenneal - lagger
Site Admin


Joined: 20 Sep 2006
Posts: 11904
Location: Newbury, Berkshire

PostPosted: Fri Nov 29, 2019 7:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

EPS beads were eventually coated in an adhesive to hold them together after the initial installations had problems with the tiny beads finding a way out of the wall through even the smallest of holes. That adhesive may be breaking down now and allowing beads to escape once again. I went to a house a couple of weeks ago to talk about changes and a full insulation upgrade and while checking the wall for signs of cavity wall insulation found beads coming from around a pipe through the wall.

I always recommend Rockwool because the fibrous nature of the product means that it doesn't move easily once installed. It is also fireproof at normal building fire temperatures (added that last bit to satisfy RGR's attention to detail).

The problem for house owners is that if they lose a section of insulation in a wall it is almost impossible to get any one to come back and fix the problem if the guarantee period is up. Another company won't touch someone else's work either. The only answer at the moment is to insulate the outside wall which will stop any rain penetration and add to the insulation.

Re the life of concrete. Another problem in this country has been the use of washed sea sourced aggregates which still contain some salt which has rotted the reinforcement. A viaduct in Plymouth had to be virtually rebuilt because of this a few years ago.

Properly built reinforced concrete should last hundreds of years or should I say "could" last .... . The trouble is when it comes down to the economics of building a structure and the lifetime that is expected. The savings to get the structure built to an "economic" price often mean that corners are cut, sizes are reduced and the structure doesn't last as long as it was supposedly designed for. Economics and accountants again!! Are they really worth what we pay them?
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vtsnowedin



Joined: 07 Jan 2011
Posts: 6202
Location: New England ,Chelsea Vermont

PostPosted: Fri Nov 29, 2019 9:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kenneal - lagger wrote:
The trouble is when it comes down to the economics of building a structure and the lifetime that is expected. The savings to get the structure built to an "economic" price often mean that corners are cut, sizes are reduced and the structure doesn't last as long as it was supposedly designed for. Economics and accountants again!! Are they really worth what we pay them?

Perhaps we are listening to the wrong accountants.
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kenneal - lagger
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Joined: 20 Sep 2006
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Location: Newbury, Berkshire

PostPosted: Sat Nov 30, 2019 3:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

vtsnowedin wrote:
...
Perhaps we are listening to the wrong accountants.


True, but they are the one's who hold sway in the UK.
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