Warning issued on spray foam loft insulation

Legal experts are cautioning homeowners against the installation of spray foam loft insulation due to a surge in lenders refusing mortgages and the potential impact on property insurability.

The advisory, provided by law firm mfg Solicitors, highlights the importance of homeowners exploring alternative insulation methods to avoid potential financial setbacks and complications in property transactions.

Spray foam insulation, a chemical product applied using powered sprays that expands and solidifies, has two main types: open-cell, allowing moisture to escape, and close-cell, which reduces air circulation. In the case of close-cell insulation used in roofs and lofts, concerns arise as it can trap moisture around wooden joints, leading to rot.

Beverley Clinton, a legal assistant in the firm’s Residential Property Division, emphasised the challenges associated with removing this type of insulation, making it difficult for many mortgage providers and equity release companies to lend on properties containing it, even if installed by reputable firms. Surveyors are also increasingly vigilant, and insurance companies may refuse coverage for properties with this insulation.

This warning follows a concerning incident in Stoke-on-Trent where a couple lost nearly £11,000 in a spray foam insulation scam, rendering their house unsellable. The couple, Fiona and Andre Barton, paid £4,926 for spray foam loft installation following a cold call in December 2022. Six months later, as they attempted to sell their home, the buyers’ surveyor flagged the insulation, labelling homes with such insulation as “un-mortgageable.” The Bartons were compelled to engage a specialist removal company and incur significant costs, totalling £5,490.

Homeowners are urged to consider the potential consequences of spray foam insulation on property transactions, including difficulties in selling, remortgaging, or releasing equity. Ms Clinton added:

“Obviously due to cold weather and people trying to keep their homes warm to cut down heating bills, spray foam loft insulation is something people might well consider.

However, we have seen an increase in property sales falling through because of spray foam insulation and although it has been on a list of approved government measures for a number of years, the public should be aware of its long-term effect on their property and should be looking for an alternative.”

One Response

  1. We had Cisco Homes Ltd install spray foam insulation in 2019.
    We had a survey done earlier this year as we are moving and discovered that the end rafters have rotted because they sprayed the membrane instead of installing boards.
    The end result is £2500 to install, and £19,000 for removing it and a new roof.

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