FAQs

Will Q-Bot be able to offer the Green Home Grants?

Customers must use an installer registered with Trustmark to qualify for Green Home Grant vouchers. Q-Bot is Trustmark registered.

 

Q-Bot worked closely with the UK Government and BEIS over the last 8 years and continues to do so. We have also helped guide quality standards for insulation.  As one of the most reputable companies operating in this area and with a fully verified solution, we are confident that Q-Bot installs will qualify for incentives. However, the process for administrating the Green Home Grant voucher scheme has not yet been confirmed. We expect further details to be provided shortly.

 

It is likely that demand will outstrip the availability of funding, and installers ability to deliver before March 31st 2021. To register your interest, please fill in our eligibility checker.

Does Q-Bot robotic underfloor insulation work?

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 results of these assessments can be found here.

How does the robot cope with obstacles and low voids?

Q-Bot’s robots can operate down to 200mm. 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.

Does Q-Bot's underfloor insulation meet Building Regulation requirements?

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, materials and workmanship, and CO2 emission rates.

Is the material toxic and do the residents need to move out?

Q-Bot can provide test results from the manufacturer showing the material 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. During the install an extract system is used to negatively pressurise the void and remove any fumes. As a precaution, residents are not allowed in the room directly above the void where the install is taking place, but may remain elsewhere in the property, or return at the end of the day. 

What are the implications for services and maintenance?
  • 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 an access hatch can be made near the services and a floor plan created of the void and services below. The maintenance hatch is formed by spraying insulation into a bag to form a mouldable plug to ensure continuity and air tightness.

Is the material sustainable?

Although polyurethane insulation is derived from the petrochemical industry its embedded carbon is paid for in around 18 months of energy savings and the material has a long life (>40 years). Unfortunately, there is no perfect material, while polyurethane is not a natural material it was chosen due to its insulating characteristics, long life and moisture properties.

Is there an increased risk from fire?

No, 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.

Is there an increased risk of damp or mould?

Q-Bot has worked with independent experts including Lisa Pasquale, Simmonds Mill Architects and PRP Architects to assess the risk of damp and mould. Both 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. Please contact us for further details.

Can I apply to the Green Home Grants scheme?

Following the announcement from Chancellor Rishi Sunak, the government has officially released several measures to boost the UK economy towards green actions to tackle fuel poverty and climate change. The Summer Statement includes a new Green Home Grants scheme to improve the energy efficiency of existing homes and generate jobs. Further information on the green insulation grant and plan for jobs will follow. Find out whether your home might be suitable for our robotic underfloor insulation through our eligibility checker.  

Do I qualify for an insulation grant?

Q-Bot can offer government insulation grants to upgrade the energy efficiency of your home, 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. In addition, you might be able to apply for the Green Home Grants scheme following the Summer Statement to offer vouchers for homeowners to install energy saving home improvement measures. Further information on the government insulation grant will follow. Find out whether your home might be suitable for our robotic underfloor insulation through our eligibility checker.  

Does closed cell insulation affect the integrity of the timber structure?

The independent analysis that was 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.

Could you let me know the reason for the 5% VAT on the invoice please?

The reduced 5% (rather than 20% standard) VAT is a government incentive related to energy savings.

Where does Q-Bot operate?

Q-Bot is based in the UK and offers under floor insulation services in the UK, together with stock conditions surveys and asset information management systems.

We are soon expanding into other European countries, such as France, and beyond at a later stage. If you are based in the UK or France and are interested in Q-Bot’s service, please contact our team to assess your eligibility.

Our ground floors are chipboard/fibreboard – can we still insulate our floor with Q-Bot?

Yes. We can spray under chipboard/fibreboard. We will carry out our initial survey and assess the property’s suitability and identify any risks on a case by case basis.

Does the foam insulation allow the timbers and flooring sufficient airflow to ensure they do not rot?

During the survey, the underfloor insulation installer will measure the moisture levels of the floorboards. If the levels are greater than 20%, the install will not be carried out until remedial steps are carried out. The installer will also make sure to have enough airflow in the void, maintaining a certain level of ventilation to allow moisture to escape in accordance with the Building Regulations.

Check our underfloor insulation process.

What happens if my void isn’t big enough for Q-Bot?

Building Regulations state that 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 go through with the installation.

The minimum void height we need to insert the robot is 200mm from the bottom of the joists

Do the pipes that run through the void get covered in 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.

Can you provide details of how you are listed on the stock market as I am interested in being a shareholder?

Thank you for your interest in Q-Bot. However, Q-Bot is not listed on the stock market and therefore is not open to individual investment. If you are interested in becoming a part of Q-Bot’s mission, please visit our Investors page.

I have plumbing and electrical works to do... is it best to do those before or after Q-Bot’s insulation?

It is best to carry out this work before Q-Bot sprays insulation, as the access will be easier for your builder.

What is the minimum void height eligible for underfloor insulation?

The minimum void height we need to insert the insulation robot is 200mm. 

Check our insulation process.

What are VOCs?

VOCs, or Volatile Organic Compounds, are compounds that can emit gases or vapours from certain solids and liquids, and can be bad for your health. In your home, VOCs can be found in everyday products such as paint, glue, solvents, air fresheners and building materials, among many others. VOC Standards are a method of measuring how toxic a material is. The closer this number is to zero, the less toxic it is. Consumers should buy products with low or no VOCs to reduce the exposure to the chemicals. Q-Bot’s insulation material has been tested to the European ‘CertiPUR’ or equivalent standard and gives off less VOCs than many common building materials.

How long does the install take to complete?

Normally a survey is conducted to check whether your property is suitable, which typically takes between 30 and 60 minutes. A detailed breakdown of the work can then be provided and the timescale calculated. Most installs are completed in one to two days.

Will the survey determine whether I can use Q-Bot for my home?

Yes, the survey will allow us to evaluate your property, identify any potential risks and make sure it is suitable for the installation.

Is the insulation material toxic?

Q-Bot uses polyurethane foam, which is a mix of chemicals and derived from the petrochemical industry. The material has been tested to the European ‘CertiPUR’ standard and gives off less VOCs, or Volatile Organic Compounds, than many common building materials.

In addition, because the material is applied by a robot there are less hazards for installers. During application, the void is ventilated and filtered with an extraction system to ensure no fumes enter the house. Once applied, the insulation is  not harmful. 

During the application is there anything done to prevent the polyurethane and VOCs coming up through the gaps in the floorboards?

The floorboards are assessed during the survey. If gaps of over 3mm are evident, we cover the gaps with masking tape before the spraying takes place. We also look out for areas to cover where there tend to be larger gaps in the floorboards, for instance around radiator pipes. 

Will the insulation prevent the floor from drying out if there is a leak?

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.

Is the access to services made more difficult by presence of insulation?

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 map of the services is provided to make any subsequent work easier. An access hatch is normally left near any areas of the void that need to be accessed frequently.

How will you deal with the existing fibreglass and netting which is currently fixed under the floor?

The existing fibreglass and netting will have to be removed in order to install underfloor insulation. Q-Bot’s solution is often 2-3 times more effective than traditionally applied insulation.

I’d like to access the void from outside and am happy to break into the brickwork to insert the robot through an air vent. What is the size required?

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 Condition Survey.

What is the depth of insulation applied? What insulation U-value will be provided?

We normally apply 125mm of insulation, resulting in a post U-Value of <=0.25 W/m2.K or lower, depending on void conditions. The results across 100 homes show an average post-installation of 0.19 W/m2.K, representing a 80% improvement compared to before.

What are the expected energy savings from a spray foam insulation?

In a case study across 100 homes, Q-Bot’s underfloor insulation reduced cold draughts for the whole house by 1/3 and heat loss through the floor by 80%. Q-Bot’s solution was shown to provide the most cost-effective retrofit measure after loft insulation. Q-Bot’s insulation also produced an average annual saving of £150 on energy bills, with some customers saving up to £650 per year. The average EPC improvement across the range of properties was 6 points.

What are the carbon savings from Q-Bot’s insulation service?

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[1]  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!

How much does Q-Bot’s robotic underfloor insulation service cost?

Q-Bot’s underfloor insulation service costs about £2,000 to £2,400 for an average two to three-bedroom house. Prices depend largely on the size of the floor area, access and location. Q-Bot’s service provides your property with a gain in energy efficiency of 6 SAP points and is often the most cost-effective option for insulating your floor. It has a significant impact on comfort, with none of the practical issues and disruption of other methods. Find out if your home might be suitable for Q-Bot’s floor insulation service through our eligibility checker.

Does Q-Bot have any accreditations or certifications?

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’s underfloor insulation is endorsed by TrustMark, check out our TrustMark profile. You can read more about our accreditations

What is the life expectancy of Q-Bot underfloor insulation and how long is the warranty?

Q-Bot’s solution has an expected life of 30-80 years and a material warranty of 25 years. In comparison, a boiler generally has a life expectancy of 12 years.

Do you offer different insulation materials?

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 polyurethane foam, which is tailored to this application. Although it is more expensive than some of the alternatives, it pays for its embedded carbon in about 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.

What type of underfloor insulation is used?

Q-Bot underfloor insulation process uses a closed-cell polyurethane spray foam, which expands to fit the shape of the floorboards. The material is derived from the petrochemical industry. 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. This material has a long life of over 40 years and its embedded carbon is paid for in around 18 months of energy savings.

Check the benefits of our underfloor insulation.