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RPSA warns 250,000 homes could be unmortgageable due to spray foam insulation

  • 21/12/2021
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RPSA warns 250,000 homes could be unmortgageable due to spray foam insulation
The use of spray foam insulation could make around 250,000 homes unmortgageable or ineligible for equity release and surveyors should recommend its removal, say trade bodies.


According to an investigation by Residential Property Surveyors Association (RPSA) and Property Care Association (PCA), said that it had “failed to identify any circumstances” where a roof with this insulation could be given a “clean bill of health”.

It issued surveyor guidance that recommended the removal of spray foam insulation and failed to identify any likely circumstances where a roof structure with the foam could be given a clean bill of health.

Sprayed polyurethane expanding foams can be used in lofts to stabilise a failing roof covering or provide further insulation. However, its use has come under scrutiny over the past few years, with some mortgage and equity release lenders declining to lend on such properties.

This is because the foam can put stress on supporting roof timbers and it can restrict air circulation in the roof and cause condensation, all of which can cause damage to the property.

RPSA chairman Alan Milstein said that unless there was “extremely detailed information” about the nature of materials, roof covering condition and structure prior to installation, studies of air and moisture it would be “impossible” for surveyor to not recommend immediate removal.

“In our experience, this type of information is rarely, if ever, available,” he added.

Milstein said that its research concluded that most spray foam installations had been carried out with “insufficient preparation to reduce the risk of structural roof timbers being severely weakened by rot and other defects”.

He added: “Installers often prey on vulnerable homeowners, and point to certification and “quality” badges to convince people that spray foam will benefit their property. Sadly, the exact opposite is the case.”

Milsten continued property owners would find it “difficult” or “impossible to sell” their property, lenders would not offer mortgages or equity release funds and could have to spend thousands of pounds to replace their entire roof covering.

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