The new data on the insulation market in recent years have created enough opportunities for every consumer who wants to improve his/her home, especially in terms of relative cost
On the other hand, it has created a series of "traps" that he/her should know to avoid, so that not become a "victim" of bad work.
The economic crisis in Greece apart from the obvious effects, caused also a mobility in the offering supply. Many professions and in this case the construction or the building industry, suddenly were found with no job or perspective to work for many months or even years.
All occupations related to the construction itself and not with the repair, were out of the market as the issuance of new building permits, literally froze.
Employees therefore with these professions (builders, plasterers, masons, marble constructors etc.) necessarily, most mostly moved to other building professions related to repair and renovation- the only construction sector continues to show some activity.
This activity is especially relied significantly on programs such as " Saving at home ', associated with the energy upgrading of existing buildings, mainly those constructed before 1990. A large percentage of foreign technicians also moved either in their home countries, either in other more dynamic economies than ours.
The technicians movement has the following results:
a. It causes inflation in offering services in building construction sector, particularly those related to energy upgrade of a building. A significant number of technicians therefore switched to the insulation space sector. Insulation notoriously links to the protection of all of the shell or the shell of a building from moisture, heat, cold and noise. Companies involved until recently, with other construction activities, switched primarily to building insulation. As did many engineers or mechanical engineers.
b. Lack of demand dropped prices significantly and combined with the high competition, high taxes and lack of liquidity, most companies were and are at the limits of their strength. The same happened with the country's major industries, which produced insulating products, that where found suddenly a severe decline in their turnover, mainly because of the massive shortfall in domestic orders.
c. The above resulted in a significant decline in the quality of implementation. The non-experienced technical staff and new companies have caused and cause a host of technical failures. All this are exacerbated, by the fact that Greece is one of the very few countries in Europe that has no professional training schools, from which should graduate a specialized workforce with certified skills, for example in the field of insulation. Also, until recently there was no Regulation or national technical specifications to help or to provide the knowledge base for the establishment of such schools but also for a reliable application of existing craftsmen in the industry. Meanwhile, the lack of consumer awareness, that goes along with technical specifications, it is making them almost useless, as it does not apply only in very few cases and even poorly. Even references to them are limited.
As a consequence…
… Companies go to bid guarantees for the work and materials. Bidding that reaches the limits of the joke sometimes, because even guarantees "for life"were given -and here the question is why whose- because this most often is vague. Phenomena, such as application of materials that have no life expectancy of more than 5 years and companies to give 25 or 30 years of good operation of insulation guarantee, is a common practice and not the exception to the rule. Phenomena where sealing or water proofing materials, appear to do and insulation, are also many and even at times advertised in TV channels.
All these are the perfect recipe for the failure of insulation. Competition goes to the cheapest and there the problems that arise are severe.
The consumer often becomes a victim, as the vast majority of cases it buys dramatically falls short of the expectations.
8 tips for the insulation of your home
1. First of all you should apply to suitably experienced companies in the industry and with extensive experience in the field. Although the years of experience is not a prerequisite in conjunction with the rest we suggest, it is a relevant safeguard. Avoid independent craftsmen, who say they "know" or make insulation. Something is wrong in most cases. As they neither suggest for low supplies nor have a relationship with the companies , also they have not suitable-experienced of support staff (since to keep such, is required to have an established company) and you do not have the knowledge to ask for repairs when something goes wrong.
2. When you contact with a company, you should ask a technician to visit the project. There are parameters and peculiarities of each project, if not taken into account can lead to failure even more good material but also the most good fit. Recording therefore vulnerabilities and whether the technician is able to identify in a necessary condition.
3. The technician with whom you will discuss about what exactly you want to insulate, must be highly qualified and if possible talking with specifications and not by the type of certificates "must be done".
4. The technical training of technical and recognized by the way they address the technical issue. The more synthetic is to address the issue, the deeper understanding and justification demonstrates both closer to choosing a good technical solution and implementation are. So you can ask as many "whys" as you want. If the answers you receive are secure, have a depth of knowledge and understanding of composite structures, you can be more safe as a consumer.
5. Do not take decisions on technical issues based on the lowest cost. This usually turns a boomerang in your pocket and for sure very soon. Choose what you consider best and see if you can achieve some better prices.
6. Ask for a detailed offer for an update from the Internet for use and the mode of application of each material. This online survey on the technical details of the project can and in general to have done it before the collection of technical solutions-offers. But do not make the mistake to get some value for a technical solution and then try to impose it to some other company. If the company knows the solutions or believed they would share it with you, and in most case the details make an insulation different. As well, do not get an offer and show it to another company. It is sure when you will get the lowest price, is almost sure you will get lower quality of work.
7. If you have received two or more bids and you have difficulty to choose, but do not know how, another good selection criterion is whether each company has systematize its experience and what they propose. Sometimes a visit to their site, can reveal to you technique poverty or conversely high expertise.
8. Finally, ask for credentials proving the relevant skills, for example through specialized training courses or certifications according to DIN or ISO.
Article by Mr. George Mavrouli, Head of Scientific Department of the Panhellenic Association of Companies Insulation