Energy Saving Trust renews Safeguard’s Stormdry ‘verified’ status

The Energy Saving Trust (EST) has re-granted Stormdry Masonry Protection Cream from Safeguard Europe – the specialist in damp- and waterproofing, and masonry repair solutions – ‘verified’ status in respect of its role in helping improve the energy efficiency of external masonry in buildings.

In an EST Product Performance Verification report from August 2019, the organisation confirms three primary claims by Safeguard about Stormdry Masonry Protection Cream, namely that: it inhibits the absorption of water by masonry; will continue to inhibit water ingress despite exposure to severe weather, including sunlight exposure and freezing temperatures; and helps improve the energy efficiency of dwellings by reducing heat loss, leading to lower heating requirements.

University of Portsmouth tests on solid wall constructions treated with Stormdry established that it can provide energy savings of up to 29%. It does this by providing a high level of water repellency, preventing rain penetration of brickwork and keeping walls dry. Bricks have twice the thermal resistance when dry than when wet, making them insulate more effectively.

This opportunity for budget-sensitive building energy performance improvements chimes perfectly with the requirements of both the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) and the new the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018

As a part of a system, Stormdry Masonry Protection Cream combines with Stormdry EP-Board Energy Performance Board to provide landlords and other property owners with a cost-effective way to improve the thermal performance of solid-walled properties. It offers an alternative to conventional solutions such as external wall insulation (EWI) and standard internal wall insulation (IWI) which can be expensive, disruptive or both.

The system combines two Safeguard technologies to treat a wall both inside and out: Stormdry Masonry Protection Cream and Stormdry EP-Board as a ‘skinny’ IWI panel. The result is a system which can reduce the U-value of a damp, uninsulated masonry solid wall from 1.7 W/m2K down to 0.87 W/m2K.

For a typical mid-terrace property with uninsulated solid walls that has an EPC rating of F, the application of the Stormdry alone would be sufficient to move it up to the E rating required under MEES. For a ground floor flat or a small semi-detached house, the E rating could be achieved with very minor additional investment such as an insulating jacket for the boiler, energy-efficient lighting and draft sealing.

The IWI Stormdry EP-Board comes in 13mm-thick panels which can be stuck straight onto existing walls using Stormdry EP-Board Adhesive. It comprises of a hybrid aerogel and magnesium oxide construction, which has extremely low thermal conductivity due to its highly porous nature. Its super-slim profile means that a room’s dimensions are barely diminished and that period features do not have to be sacrificed. By using trim beads, it is even possible to leave features such as skirtings and covings in place, rather than having to remove and reinstate them. Once in place, the tiles can be skimmed with plaster.

When it comes to cost, the Safeguard energy performance package is a very attractive solution. The cost per square metre of the Stormdry is £20 m2 and the IWI is £60 m2, plus adhesive and any detailing such as beads. The National Insulation Association quotes the cost of EWI between £8,000 and £22,000, depending on the type and size of property and IWI from £4,000 to £13,000.

Crucial to the high performance of Stormdry Masonry Protection Cream – and where it greatly exceeds that of inferior competitive products – is the depth of penetration into masonry; and the concentration of active ingredients in the formula.

With an active ingredient level of 40% – compared to concentrations as low as 2.5% for some competitors – Stormdry Masonry Protection Cream is not only far more effective at excluding moisture from masonry; it also has a significantly longer life expectancy of up to 25 years. This longevity was established through accelerated ageing tests as part of the product’s certification by the British Board of Agrément.

Applied by either brush or roller and curing colourlessly to match the original wall within 12 hours; Stormdry Masonry Protection Cream can also be applied to wet walls because of its breathable properties – it lines the pores of the masonry so that water can escape as vapour but cannot enter in liquid form.

Safeguard Europe’s range of market-leading, proven damp-proofing solutions is supported by the company’s own highly qualified and experienced staff. The support and know-how they offer is extended to contractors, specifiers and property owners and includes technical advice, specification help, research and even in-house laboratory analysis of plaster and masonry.