FAQs

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 safe and does it create a fire risk?

The insulation is approved for use in this application and has met all the relevant Building Regulation requirements. The insulation will not add to any existing fire hazard unless the floor is destroyed and contains fire retardants meaning that it will not burn freely. The insulation will not contribute to the development stages of a fire, or present a smoke or toxic hazard.

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.

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!

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.

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 40 years and a material warrantee of 10 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.

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.

What size gap is required to insert the insulation robot through an air vent?

We generally use an air vent or small hatch in the timber floor to allow access for our robot. The size required is approximately 35 cm square.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

What information do you collect during the survey stage?

The survey takes about an hour. The robot is inserted and builds a 3D map of the underfloor and services, which you will receive a copy of. With this information, we can assess whether your property is suitable and identify any potential risks. The installer will collect information on your property, floor, access point, underfloor conditions, sleeper walls, and air vents. They will also create a simple floor plan for the ground floor showing the dimension of each room.

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.

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.

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.

Is there an increased risk of damp or mould?

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. The solution can therefore help treat properties with damp or mould problems. During the survey, Q-Bot will measure the moisture levels of the floorboards. If the levels are greater than 25%, the install will not be carried out.

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 300mm. If your void is smaller than this, you may need to consider other insulation options (link to how to insulate your floor article). However, we are in the process of developing a smaller robot, which will allow us to insulate lower voids.

What is the minimum void height eligible for underfloor insulation?

The minimum void height we need to insert the insulation robot is 30 cm. We are, however, developing a smaller robot, which will allow us to insulate a lower void.

Check our insulation process.

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

Q-Bot’s underfloor insulation service cost 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. Contact us to find out if your home is eligible for Q-Bot’s floor insulation service.

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.