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SALFORD TOWER BLOCK INSULATION LEFT OUT IN THE RAIN DESPITE GOVERNMENT ADVICE
 

Star date: 14th July 2017

'WHATEVER YOU DO, DON'T LEAVE THE INSULATION OUT IN THE RAIN...'

Government advice issued yesterday stated that leaving exposed insulation out in the rain "could reduce fire performance".

On the instructions of Salford Council, most of the nine Pendleton Together blocks have exposed insulation that have indeed been left out in the rain, and outer cladding panels continue to be removed. It's a mess.

Full details here...


Salford insulation left out in the rain in Pendleton Salford insulation left out in the rain in Pendleton Salford insulation left out in the rain in Pendleton
Salford insulation left out in the rain in Pendleton Salford insulation left out in the rain in Pendleton Salford insulation left out in the rain in Pendleton
Salford insulation left out in the rain in Pendleton
click image to enlarge

Yesterday, the Department for Communities and Local Government issued a letter to councils, building owners  and housing associations to "draw attention to the likely issues which will arise when building owners carry out recladding work on tall buildings (above 18m in height)..."

The letter adds that, where panels are removed from the exterior of buildings, "care should be taken not to create conditions which may worsen the integrity of the cladding system. This could include exposing insulation or other materials to rain which can affect structural integrity and water tightness, or leaving material exposed which could reduce fire performance.

"Where sample panels are removed, they should be replaced immediately with a suitable material which ensures continued compliance with all the applicable Parts of Schedule 1 to the Building Regulations including Approved Document B guidance."

Salford Council, via Pendleton Together, hasn't just removed 'samples' of panels, it's slowly stripping the whole lot, leaving all the insulation exposed to the elements.

Further on, the letter adds "The building structure, insulation and cladding should be designed and installed to minimize risks from moisture. This includes ensuring that alterations to the cladding system protect the structure and substructure from rain penetration, and particular attention should be paid to coping, flashing and drainage details to ensure that insulation material is not at risk of becoming wet and that structural materials are not at risk of rot or corrosion."

It's just a complete mess – and there's more mess to follow because if the Council does change the cladding to something safer, the letter explains that it could lead to condensation within flats...

"Consideration also needs to be given to the risk of interstitial condensation (condensation within the wall/cladding structure) which can result from a change in fabric performance where alternative materials (particularly insulation) are substituted" it states "...Cladding and insulation can make a building more airtight and so reduce the amount of ventilation inside the building. This can potentially lead to condensation, mould growth and ill health. Additional ventilation may be needed..."


Four days ago, the Salford Star reported that the Insulated Render and Cladding Association's Best Practice Guide, written with contributions from Kingspan Insulation, included a guide to using phenolic foam which is the key component of Kingspan Kooltherm K15 used on Pendleton blocks...

"Should not be left exposed for long periods of time to direct sunlight and rain" and "Should not be used if effected by rain until it has been dried out and assessed as being fit for purpose..."


See previous related Salford Star articles...

*Channel 4 News reveals that Kingspan Kooltherm K15 insulation was used as a component in the cladding system of Grenfell Tower – click here

*GM Fire and Rescue Services states 'Remove Insulation' if can't prove it's safe – click here

Read the full Government letter - click here

Karren wrote
at 07:47:23 on 17 July 2017
https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/jul/16/landlords-warned-stripping-cladding-from-towers-could-increase-fire-risk as previously pointed out.
 
Irene Jones wrote
at 14:52:28 on 15 July 2017
I, personally, think that removing the cladding was a knee-jerk action. Surely in the times we live in there is a fire retardant solution that could be sprayed over the panels. I also think that blocks that do not have sprinklers installed should have an extremely large water tank on the roof ( similar to the tanks you see being released over forest fires) activated by the fire department when they deem it necessary on arrival at a fire
 
horrified wrote
at 11:57:14 on 15 July 2017
Wow, this is shocking and beyond belief. The insulation in the picture is very flammable and produces toxic smoke. they have now put residents at more risk. It only takes one person smoking out a window to start another incident like Grenfell. There are other major issue http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-40507260. These buildings where fire safe until all this re-refurbishment. who is signing off all this dangerous work ? the Clowncil
 
Dave wrote
at 06:29:52 on 15 July 2017
What a mess. What next?
 
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