The minimum void height we need to insert the robot is 200mm from the bottom of the joist.
One of the important aspects our surveyors need to check during survey is ventilation. Insulating your floor will reduce air infiltration by up to 1/3. Whilst it is beneficial to reduce unwanted draughts through your floor, limiting ventilation in a property by too much may cause other, unintentional side-effects such as damp and condensation. To check for compliance and to qualify for funding, our surveyors are required to look at ventilation in rooms that will be insulated to ensure adequate levels are maintained. Where necessary Q-Bot may be required to fit additional background ventilation in order to meet building regulation as part of an installation.
By accepting a Q-Bot quotation, the Homeowner agrees to the fitment of any required ventilation measures and further agrees to grant access for Q-Bot to install such measures, before after or during the installation of the insulation.
Q-Bot is aware of reports in the media of mortgage lenders refusing mortgages for properties with foam insulation in the loft, this is a completely different use case to the floor void.
An investigation by the BBC identified that it was in fact the valuer who had imposed the restriction and not the mortgage lender. When approached for comment, Natwest responded stating they are investigating why the valuer would recommend the removal of the foam and are quoted as saying they would ‘ensure he (the homeowner in question) is fairly compensated if appropriate’.
Details can be found in this episode of Rip-off Britain (ROB). To help with your viewing, as there are other features in the episode, you may find these timings useful.
18:50 – Loft insulation piece begins
Summary, the couple interviewed paid £7.5k in 2018 to insulate their roof and saw energy savings. In November 2020 they agreed a sale, 12 weeks later they were contacted by the buyer with the news that the bank wouldn’t lend against the property with the foam insulation in the loft. Buyer requested the removal of the insulation, which is filmed in the piece at a cost of £3.5k for 3 days work. Rip off Britain approached the lender (Natwest) for comment – Natwest have no policy for the removal of spray foam, or not lending for properties with spray foam in the loft.
24:49 – Natwest are investigating why the valuer would recommend the removal of the foam and are quoted as saying they would ‘ensure his is fairly compensated if appropriate’ ROB will follow the investigation and report back on findings
25:15 – switches to solar schemes
27:50 Mortgage expert brought in for interview
28:20 Removal (of spray foam), viewed a last resort only – recommendation to find lenders would don’t see foam as an issue, of which it seems there are many – Consumers are directed to ‘do all you can to make your home energy efficient’
There have been no instances of a mortgage lender raising concerns about foam insulation being installed under the floor raised to Q-Bot.
Q-Bot uses a closed cell spray foam suitable for suspended timber floors, that offers great thermal performance. Spray foam has been used for decades to improve the energy efficiency of a homes and is present in millions of properties. In a floor void the foam acts as a hydrophobic barrier between the damp ground and floor above.
Please be assured that Q-Bot’s underfloor insulation is fully accredited by BBA and has met all the relevant Building Regulation requirements.
Q-Bot sprays spray foam which expands and fits the shape of the floorboard. The foam is also commonly used in internal and external insulation such as loft/attic floors, flat roofs, between rafters and onto masonry walls.
Check the benefits of our under-floor insulation.
Yes, the survey will allow us to evaluate your property, identify any potential risks and make sure it is suitable for the installation.
Q-Bot is not currently listed on the stock market and therefore is not open to individual investment.
A survey is conducted to ascertain whether the property is suitable and identify any potential risks. The installer will collect various information on the property, the floor, access point, underfloor conditions, sleeper walls, air vents etc. He will also create a floor plan showing the dimension of each room.
Normally a survey is conducted to ascertain whether the property is suitable which typically takes between 45 and 75 minutes. A detailed breakdown of the works can then be provided and the timescales calculated.
Across 100 homes, Q-Bot’s underfloor insulation has been shown to reduce cold draughts for the whole house by 1/3 and reduce heat loss through the floor by nearly 3/4. Q-Bot’s solution was shown to provide the most cost-effective retrofit measure, after loft insulation, at an average cost of £400 per EPC point gained. It also produced an average annual energy saving of £150, with some tenants saving up to £665 per year. The average EPC improvement across the range of properties was 6 points.
In addition, following the Energy Saving Trust assessment to certify energy savings claims, it was found that insulating a floor with Q-Bot may typically save around £110 a year in a gas-heated home or £255 a year in an electrically heated home.
Homes are responsible for around 25% of the UK’s CO2 emissions. Space heating is the largest single energy use in the UK and accounts for over half of domestic CO2 emissions. According to Q-Bot’s case study of 100 homes, each household cuts its annual CO2 emissions by 700kg on average. Which is the same saving as the greenhouse gas emissions of driving over 1,700 miles in your car. That’s like driving from London to Munich and back!
Installing Q-Bot has a range of benefits including reducing heat lost through the floor and reducing the draughts, ensuring a healthy and energy-efficient home, lowering carbon emissions and lowering fuel bills. The insulation is delivered with minimal disruption to your daily life and in a socially distanced manner. Q-Bot’s method has also been shown to reduce the risk of damp and mould when compared to an uninsulated floor and alternative insulation materials.
A standard application of 125mm of insulation results in a post U-Value of <=0.25 W/m2/K (depending on void conditions). The results across 100 homes show an average post-installation of 0.19 W/m2/K, representing a 79% improvement compared to before. Read the case study.
Under floor insulation is an excellent measure across all evaluation criteria. If you’re thinking about under floor heating it makes a lot of sense to install under floor insulation first, and underfloor insulation alone warms your feet by 3°C, without putting your fuel bills up. The Energy Savings Trust verified the big savings when you install Q-Bot under floor installation.
Under floor heating will increase your fuel bills but also if used in tandem with underfloor installation this could be a very effective solution.
Q-Bot can provide access to government insulation grants to upgrade the energy efficiency of your home, and our underfloor insulation has been approved for ECO3 funding since April 2019. If you are eligible for ECO3 funding, you may get funding for up to 1/3 of the installation cost.
Yes, as demonstrated by the BBA certificate this solution meets the Building Regulations, including the requirements for resistance to moisture, conservation of fuel and power, fire, smoke, toxicity, materials and workmanship, and CO2 emission rates.
Q-Bot has been awarded the highly-prized BBA accreditation for our installation process, thanks to our detailed training programme and quality control system which ensures that each install is fully accountable. Since February 2020, Q-Bot is also TrustMark registered - check out our TrustMark profile. You can read more about our accreditations.
Q-Bot’s solution has an expected life of 30-80 years, a boiler generally has a life expectancy of 12 years.
Q-Bot supplies a 25-year Warranty for the spray foam material from BASF the manufacturer. The Warranty covers work funded by the government’s Green Home Grants and installs eligible under the ECO3 scheme.
Yes. Very well. Q-Bot has worked with Leeds Beckett University, The National Energy Association (NEA), University College London, Historic England and Imperial College London, to monitor actual installation performance, compare it to theoretical models and validate the benefits of the service. The Energy Savings Trust also verified the big savings when you install Q-Bot under floor installation.
Q-Bot’s robots can operate down to 200mm from the bottom of the joist. The robots are actually incredibly powerful and can pull the installation van. Four independently controlled drive wheels and a suspension system enable the robot to climb over rocks and rubble, through sand and mud, while pulling a hose into position.
The works should be done beforehand in a way that does not preclude the simple, economic and quick application of Q-Bot under floor insulation.
Q-Bot applies a flash layer of coating of about 10-15mm on water pipes to avoid any issues, as the void becomes colder after installation and there is less heat loss through the ground floor. In accordance with the Building Regulations Q-Bot does not encase gas pipes or electrical wiring.
The minimum void height we need to insert the robot is 200mm from the bottom of the joist. In addition, Building Regulations state 150mm clearance must be left under a suspended timber floor. If Q-Bot’s survey indicates that the added insulation will exceed this, Q-Bot will not proceed.
During the Floor Health Survey, the installer will measure moisture levels of floorboards. If the levels are greater than 20%, our procedures state that the install should not be carried out until the underlying problem has been rectified. The installer will also make sure to have enough airflow in the void, maintaining a certain level of ventilation to allow moisture to escape.
We can spray on top of chipboard/fibreboard, so the installation can be completed.
The floorboards are assessed during the survey. If gaps of over 3mm are evident, we cover the gaps with masking tape while spraying is taking place. Other areas we look out for are where radiator pipes come up through the floorboards as there tends to be larger gaps around those pipes. Residents are never present in any room on the ground floor while the floor is being installed and the ground floor is left empty for at least 60 minutes afterwards to ensure only clean air is present.
Access methods vary by architype. As a broad generalisation in the UK access is primarily via an access hatch created in the floor; in other markets access is primarily via access created in the external wall. Wherever possible and safe, Q-Bot will use the least disruptive method.
The existing fibreglass and netting will have to be removed in order to install under floor insulation. We are able to quote for that service if you wish.
Our team of surveyors and installers are fully trained up to take up bare floorboards and replace it at the end of the job.
Our team of surveyors and installers are trained up to take up many types of laminate flooring and replace it at the end of the job. However we are unable to lift the laminate in the following covering if:
In the rare case the underfloor void is divided up into several sections, resulting in the requirement that 15% or more of the floor covering would need to be lifted.
Our team of surveyors and installers are fully trained up to take up carpet and floorboards and replace it at the end of the job.
If the carpet has been glued, Q-Bot team will not be able to create a small opening in the floor, and therefore we will ask you to make your own arrangements to have these lifted prior to the Floor Health Survey and installation.
Tiles / Engineering floorboards / Hard wood
Q-Bot team will not be able to create a small opening in the floor, and therefore we will ask you to make your own arrangements to have these lifted prior to the Floor Health Survey and installation.
External air bricks / air vents
Q-Bot team will not be able to create an access hatch through an external wall , and therefore we will ask you to make your own arrangements to have the air vents removed prior to the Floor Health Survey and installation.
Access from cupboard under stairs
In some cases, Q-Bot can access the underfloor space via a cupboard under the stair.
If the floor covering is listed as one of the above scenario, please refer to the explanation. If the floor of the cupboard is concrete, Q-Bot team will not be able to create a small opening, and therefore we will ask you to make your own arrangements to have these lifted prior to the Floor Health Survey and installation.
Please note that if there is any damage caused due to the age or poor original condition or grippers or underlay disintegrating due to age and condition of the floor covering, then Q-Bot will not be held responsible for damage of this type. Although Q-Bot surveyors/installers will take every available precaution to prevent damage to floor coverings when lifting/replacing, we accept no responsibility for any damage.
We normally apply 125mm of insulation, unless we are given other instructions to deliver extraordinary thermal properties, or there is a non-standard application.
The foam is normally produced with a purple dye, but this is removed for Q-Bot‘s use. If there are significantly large gaps some view of the foam may be evident immediately. It will be smoothed down and once it comes into contact with ultraviolet light it darkens in such a way as not to be noticeable on a wooden floor.
Q-Bot team will not be able to create an access hatch through an external wall, and therefore we will ask you to make your own arrangements to have the air vents removed prior to the Floor Health Survey and installation.
The aperture needs to be 440*300mm but please note you may have multiple sleeper walls which create a number of floor voids – not all of which may be accessible from the outside wall. This would be confirmed as part of the Floor Health Survey.
During the Floor Health Survey, the installer will take a moisture reading where the joists are close to the wall. If we find nice dry timber, we would spray edge to edge. If it was a little bit damper beside the wall than in the middle of the floor joists, we keep to a tapered finish.
No. Independent analysis has shown that insulating the floor using Q-Bot’s method reduces the risk of damp and mould in both the floor and the property. Q-Bot has worked with independent experts including Lisa Pasquale, Simmonds Mill Architects and PRP Architects to assess these risks mould. In the study installs where monitored through data logging as well as using modelling packages including Therm and WUFI. Q-Bot’s method has been shown to reduce the risk of damp and mould when compared to both an uninsulated floor and alternative insulation materials. The solution can therefore help treat properties with damp or mould problems.
Note that during the survey, Q-Bot will measure moisture levels of floorboards and if the levels are greater than 20%, our procedures state that the install should not be carried out until the underlying problem has been rectified.
No, the insulation is approved for use in this application and has met all the relevant Building Regulation requirements. The insulation will not contribute to the development stages of a fire, or present a smoke or toxic hazard. The BBA certificate states: “When properly installed, the insulation will not add significantly to any existing fire hazard until the floor is destroyed. Therefore, the insulation will not contribute to the development stages of a fire or present a smoke or toxic hazard.” The material has been tested to BS 476: Part 7 and received a Class 1 rating – no more than 165mm flame spread.
Once applied by Q-Bot’s expert installers the insulation is inert and benign. During application the void is ventilated and filtered with an extract system to ensure no fumes enter the house.
The material has been tested to the European ‘CertiPUR’ standard and gives off less VOCs than many common building materials. As stated above the BBA certificate states: “…….the insulation will not contribute to the development stages of a fire or present a smoke or toxic hazard.” VOC content has been measured at less than 1.25 micrograms per m³.
There is no perfect material and while spray foam is not a natural material it was chosen due to its characteristics and the material has a long life of 30-80 years.
No. We have tested a number of different materials, but for suspended timber floors, there is only one material we recommend and is fully accredited for this application. The material that Q-Bot uses is a closed cell spray foam, supplied by BASF called Elastospray which is tailored to this application.
Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a perfect material. Despite being more expensive than some of the alternatives it pays for its embedded carbon in around 18 months, has the right moisture properties to minimise the risk of unintended consequences and in practise saves around twice as much energy as the alternatives.
No. In fact, it acts like a brace to strengthen the integrity and to some extent as a preservative. Independent analysis conducted on our behalf showed that closed cell foams performed better than open cell ones in suspended ground floors as they reduced the risk of damp and mould in the floor. Closed cell foams can still allow moisture to escape if they get wet and they act as a hydrophobic barrier between the damp ground and floor above. This has been matched by the results from in situ data monitoring.
Furthermore, open cell foams require a greater thickness to achieve the same U-Value and this limits the size of the void they can be used in without causing issues with the Building Regulations.
Q-Bot underfloor insulation is a spray-applied closed-cell foam insulation suitable for suspended ground floors, with the great thermal characteristics and good results in a confined space.
Q-Bot uses a closed cell spray foam, which expands to fit the shape of the floorboards. It meets the required standards for VOC emissions and is less toxic than many common building materials. In addition, because the material is applied by a robot there are less hazards for installers. Its embedded carbon is paid for in around 18 months of energy savings and the material has a long life of 30-80 years.
Q-Bot clears out the air vents that service the void to ensure adequate ventilation is maintained post install. Should there be any pre-existing issues with inadequate ventilation to the void this would be flagged at the survey stage, and in some cases Q-Bot will install extra air bricks.
Q-Bot’s insulation reduces the unintentional ventilation of the living space by the underfloor void. The layer of insulation needs to be a consistent layer of 110mm-130mm of closed cell foam. We don’t advise leaving any gaps for ventilation from the floor. Any gaps would cause a cold bridging risk.
Unless your property is a new build and /or has an extremely air tight building fabric, the likelihood that additional ventilation post install would be required is extremely small. If you are concerned by a lack of ventilation post install, there is an option of having us carry out an air tightness test on your home. This will indicate if you require additional ventilation in the living space post install.
The reduced 5% (rather than 20% standard) VAT is because an under floor Insulation install qualifies as an energy-savings product. Where your invoice includes or is for a Private Homeowner Survey alone, this particular service attracts VAT at the 20% rate.
£90 of the fee is paid prior to booking the Floor Condition Survey. The remaining upfront amount to take the total paid up to 1/3 of the total install cost is paid prior to install. Once our installers have completed the job and you’ve signed off on the install, the balance of 2/3 becomes payable and an invoice will be generated within 7 days and will be payable on receipt.
If my install costs £2,100 inc VAT, you will pay
I have £90 to pay for the Floor Condition Survey prior to that date
I pay a balance of £610 prior to install
I pay £1,400 following install
Our Floor Health Survey costs £90 (including VAT), however the survey fee is then off-set against the install if you decide to go ahead.
If the survey shows that your property is not suitable for our solution, unfortunately Q-Bot will not proceed with a refund, this will cover our work and travel time. Please talk to one of our advisors to find out the reasons why your home would not be suitable.
Hot water pipes are normally insulated (except where there is a valve or service point).
Fresh water and gas pipes run along the ground, or middle of the void, and therefore remain in a ventilated space in accordance with the Building Regulations.
Electrical cables are normally left uninsulated, but can be insulated if the rating is checked by a qualified electrician. Most electrical wiring runs along the floor and only passes through the floor where it enters and leaves the void. The application of insulation can be accurately controlled in order to avoid encasing wires in these areas.
To help maintenance a floorplan of the ground floor can be provided, highlighting access hatch(es) created in the floor. An access hatch is normally left near any areas of the void that need to be accessed frequently. The maintenance hatch is formed by spraying insulation into a bag to form a mouldable plug to ensure continuity and air tightness.
The insulation creates a hydrophobic barrier between the floor and the wet ground below, keeping the floorboards on the warm side, raising their temperature and helping to ensure they stay dry. If the insulation or floor gets wet they can still dry out as moisture is able to pass through both materials.
Services can be accessed in the usual way by lifting a floorboard. Sections of the insulation can be easily removed and then refitted when gaining access to the void beneath. Following the installation, a floorplan of the ground floor can be provided, highlighting access hatch(es) created in the floor. An access hatch is normally left near any areas of the void that need to be accessed frequently.
View the Access Post-Install document, explaining how to make access in the floor once insulated.