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RPSA retracts spray foam guidance pending review

  • 27/10/2022
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RPSA retracts spray foam guidance pending review
The Residential Property Surveyors Association (RPSA) has retracted its current guidance around spray foam insulation and will conduct a full review, after calls from industry stakeholders.

The RPSA had previously said that the use of spray foam insulation could make 250,000 homes unmortgageable or ineligible for equity release.

It added at the time that surveyors should recommend its removal.

Elizabeth Lalli-Reese, global vice president of Huntsman Building Solutions, a spray foam specialist, said: “We believe that the guidance issued by the RPSA in December 2021 was factually inaccurate, creating unwarranted concern amongst homeowners and lenders and call for it to be retracted.

“Spray foam is a proven technology making our homes more efficient and is a practical, sensible and safe option for homeowners.”

Simon Baker, Huntsman Building Solutions’ global president, added: “We want to make sure that homeowners have factual and clear information about the advantages of spray foam in helping combat the effects of rising heating costs and so we welcome this opportunity to set the record straight by the retraction of the RPSA guidance.”


Building a spray foam protocol

A group of industry stakeholders, supported by the Insultation Manufacturers Association (IMA), are working to standardise installation procedures and create inspection protocol which will allow surveyors and lenders to assess the risk that could be caused to a roof due to “poorly installed or inappropriate use of spray foam”.

The stakeholders include spray foam manufacturers, installers, surveyors, valuers, lenders, heritage organisations and academics.

Lalli-Reese added: “We welcome the opportunity to work with stakeholders throughout the industry to develop the new standards and protocols that will give all parties, including surveyors and lenders, the knowledge and confidence to accurately assess the quality of an installation.”


‘Retract current guide’ on spray foam

Alan Milstein, RPSA Chairman, said that it recognised concerns raised by Huntsman and were “encouraged by the positive way” parties had approached the initiative.

He added: “We have agreed to retract our current guidance pending a full review. Our ambition is that we can republish it, based on the outcomes from the industry group by Spring 2023 and provide our members with the detailed knowledge necessary to risk assess any spray foam installation.

“We know there are both good and bad installations but until now there has been no documented way to accurately differentiate one from another.”

He said that with accurate differentiation, it expected to be able to offer lenders a “more informed opinion” so they could review rules that could be limiting advances where spray foam is present.

In August this year, Mortgage Solutions reported that the Property Care Association (PCA) had joined the RSPA in calling for the regulation of providers. 

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