Concern & action: Hidden services

Concern with pipes or electric cables becoming hidden by insulation. Surface condensation on pipes or freezing of pipes may occur . Insulation around electrical wires may increase fire risk.

Suggested actions

Before Implementation

Review the danger that the application of insulation may bury electric cables resulting in overheating of cables with potential fire risk and/or water pipes with risk of condensation forming resulting in the excessive wetting of nearby material and/or the freezing of pipework on the cold side of insulation. This possibility is increased in older buildings with multiple phases of construction where service runs may already be obscure or forgotten. Prior to the design of an insulation strategy a thorough survey should be undertaken by a qualified surveyor (RICS) which should include a review of any existing plans detailing service runs and investigation into any voids or crawl spaces that maybe insulated, incorporating, if necessary, the use of a borescope or similar to investigate inaccessible places.

During implementation

Redundant pipework should be removed and any pipe work on cold side of insulation should be separately insulated. Electrical circuits should be tested and cabling upgraded to prevent overheating prior to the application of any insulation. If possible services should remain accessible and electric cables should be laid clear of the insulation.

After implementation

Check and report any instances where pipes are not insulated and the electric cabling positions are not suitable and organise for remediation.