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Cold bridges: detecting and eliminating

Cold bridges: detecting and eliminating

When a specialist of “Regional Energy Efficiency Office” performs thermovision inspection of buildings, "thermal bridges" also called "cold bridges" are often found. Both concepts indicate weaknesses in the enclosing structures through which increased heat losses are observed. The presence of these sites is due to the geometric characteristics and properties of materials used at erection of external walls.

Reasons for the appearance of thermal bridges

As a rule, the main factors of the emergence of the cold bridges are:

  • The use of different material properties – as an example, the outer wall structure has a column, reinforced concrete rib;
  • Application of thermal insulation of different thickness;
  • Construction of a building with unparalleled planes – angles from the intersection of the enclosing structures, articulation of overlapping and walls;
  • Reduction of cross-section of external walls;
  • Junctions of enclosing structure and windows.

What causes the presence of cold bridges

If thermovision inspection of buildings reveals the presence of a large number of thermal bridges, the problem of urgent elimination of the detected deficiencies arises. The problem left unattended will have the following negative consequences:

  • Comfort level decrease in the room, as the temperature of the cold bridges (abutments, joints, defective areas) will be less than on solid walls;
  • Deterioration of the quality of wall structures, reduction of indicators of micro resistance that leads to the formation of fungus, mold, cracks, moisture and condensation in the corners of the room;
  • Geometric thermal bridges, combined with poor ventilation, multiply the negative effect, causing even more damage.


How to avoid the appearance of thermal bridges

Virtually, it is completely excluded that thermovision inspection of buildings will detect cold bridges, if construction of the building is carried out according to the following set of rules:

  • In designing extension planes not provided, the articulation of envelopes at an angle of less than 90 degrees, bay plane;
  • Heat insulating materials are installed tightly with obligatory sealing of seams guilty of significant thermal losses;
  • Insulation in joints is laid in such a way as to avoid the appearance of cavities;
  • The integrity of insulation of the layer is intact (for example due to drilling);
  • Elements with increased heat load -concrete, steel, wooden supporting structures are additionally insulated.