Thermal wallpaper also known as Thermal Liner or Insulated Wallpaper is a fibreglass surface thin material applied inside the property that substantially reduces heat loss, making rooms immediately feel warmer. It is simply used to help maintain heat in a room and can be applied like wallpaper making it a very easy way to add insulation. It has a foam inner filling with lining paper outer and is typically not very thick being between 3-10mm. Its unique construction allows it to be redecorated and filled, has very high insulation ratings both in warmth and sound and it provides a very warm wall solution to condensation. It is based on a fire retardant Latex foam and comes in rolls which are 1m or 0.7m wide and 12.5m or 10m long. A roll is weighing approx. 500 g/m2.
They are applied just like wallpaper with a special adhesive. Joints can be filled with decorators caulk. When finished the walls can be decorated just as your original walls would be. These insulation wallpapers are great at covering up cracks that can occur if your home is prone to them, as they offer a level of flexibility to overcome the movement that causes these cracks. They will make the walls feel warmer and provide some increased comfort for relatively little effort. Possibly the most well known brand of insulation wallpaper is Sempatap Thermal. This best selling insulating wallpaper has been in use in the UK and Europe for years successfully installed in 1,000’s of flats and houses by Housing Associations, Local Authorities, homeowners and private Landlords. Sempatap Thermal is followed by Wallrock Thermal Liner. Wallrock product, being 450gsm (2-3mm in thickness) it offers worthwhile energy savings, for example 15% on typical solid brick external walls. Applying Wallrock Thermal Liner to solid walls will reduce the U value from 2.1 to 1.79 W/m2K. It has excellent capability to cover and reinforce poor plaster and other surfaces such as plasterboard, blockwork and wood panelling. However, it is not recommended for use in fire escape routes inside your home unless the surface is further treated with a fire retardant covering. This product is class E fire rated and should not be used for projects such as new builds and extensions where Building Regulations are applicable. To sum all up, this is one of the most popular cheap types of insulation, mainly due to the fact it’s been around for so long and is widely available from most building merchants such as Screwfix, B&Q or Wickes.
DOES THERMAL WALLPAPER WORK?
Wallpapers work to save energy from the moment the heating is turned on, by slowing down the rate at which cold walls soak up heat energy and allowing the room to warm up considerably faster, in some cases more than halving warm up times, creating a comfortable room environment with less energy. Consequently, it insulates rooms considerably faster, in many cases increasing warm-up times by 65%. Thanks to its thickness, expertly blended material and advanced aerospace technology, this warmth is easily maintained even in the harshest weather conditions. Insulation Wallpaper is not typically considered a true internal wall insulation measure, but it is a good, cheap solution that will certainly have some effect. While the payback is questionable, if you are redecorating anyway this is less of a concern. Thermal liner is definitely a compromise between solid wall insulation and loss of space, but it can be the best option for homes where space and energy use are at a premium.
THERMAL WALLPAPER CONDENSATION
Thermal wallpaper helps reduce condensation problems and in many cases eliminates them - as more room warmth is retained at the wall surface at an earlier stage in the warm up phase there is far less opportunity for condensation to form on a cold wall and consequently a reduced risk of unhealthy mould growth. Thermal Liner creates a warm blanket for your walls and ceilings which significantly reduces room warm up time, stops heat escaping through walls and ceilings, minimises condensation, mould and damp and reduces your energy bills, too.
THERMAL WALLPAPER INSTALLATION/HANDLING
Ensure that base surfaces are clean, dry, firm and free from any loose or flaking material. Thermal Liner can also be applied in some circumstances directly over cracked and light to medium textured surfaces which are firmly adhered and stable - in such cases it is always advisable to cover a small test area before continuing. Apply the Thermal Liner Adhesive generously to the wall using a roller. Use a brush or spatula to apply adhesive to areas the roller cannot reach. On textured or damaged surfaces it is especially important to apply a generous layer of adhesive. Apply enough adhesive to apply one length of Thermal Liner at a time ensuring the pasted area exceeds the width of the wallpaper. Always apply a Thermal Liner with a smooth face to the outside, furry side to the wall. Apply wallpaper directly from the roll onto the wet adhesive and slide into place. Smooth out any bubbles with a roller or similar. Leave a small amount of surplus material for trimming where necessary. Cut off any excess Thermal Liner at the ceiling, floors and corners using a trimming knife with a hooked blade in combination with a forming board. Alternatively carefully mark the Thermal Liner using a pencil and trim with scissors. On external corners a ‘corner profile’ can be used to give a neat finish or flexible filler can be used to caulk the exposed edge of Thermal Liner. Allow at least 24 hours for drying, longer if conditions are especially humid or cold. Wherever possible it is recommended that the thermal liner is allowed to dry out naturally and therefore the heating is turned off whilst the adhesive dries out. However if temperatures are likely to drop below 10°C, it is advisable that low level heating is used to ensure that the adhesive can cure effectively. Corners can be filled and sanded prior to painting the surface directly with standard emulsion paint. Use a good quality, flexible non shrinking filler.
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