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Foam Improvement?






Foam Improvement?

Spray Foam Insulation
Spray Foam Insulation

We have all seen the cost of living increase over the past few months following the disastrous mini budget last autumn. According to figures produced by the Office for National Statistics, the biggest contributor to inflation was Housing and Bills at a whopping 26.1%, over two and a half times the official level of inflation at the time of 10.1%. It is therefore unsurprising that people are attempting to find as many ways as possible to try and reduce their energy costs.


Graph showing the biggest contributors to inflation by category in the Consumer Price Index in March 2023
The biggest contributors to inflation by category in the Consumer Price Index in March 2023

One increasingly prevalent method that people have been drawn to has been spray foam insulation and there has definitely been something of an increase in the number of firms offering this service to homeowners.

Spray foam insulation is a type of insulation that is sprayed into the walls, floors, and ceilings of a home. It is marketed as an effective way to improve the energy efficiency of a home, as it creates an airtight seal that prevents heat from escaping, leading to significant cost savings on heating bills, and helping to reduce a home's carbon footprint. This all sounds too good to be true, however there is a downside of which homeowners have not been made aware. Unfortunately the sector is not widely regulated and while there are some spray foam installers who adhere to rigorous standards, it would appear others take a more informal approach.


Spray foam insulation can cause more problems than benefits for the homeowner, not least in terms of being able to mortgage the property in the future. Incorrectly installed spray foam creates an airtight seal, trapping moisture in the walls, floors, and ceilings of a home. This can lead to mould and mildew growth, and wood to rot, ultimately damaging the structure of the home, which is naturally a concern for any organisation offering secured lending. It can also cause health problems for homeowners.

Spray Foam Insulation
Spray Foam Insulation

It seems that lenders have taken a blanket approach to all types of spray foam installation, and their conclusion is that all spray foam insulation is bad and as a result the property cannot be considered as mortgageable. One solution is that the spray foam is removed, although the guidance from some surveying businesses encourage the removal of the whole roof, not just the foam itself, before they should be considered by lenders. For a product that is marketed as a way of saving a customer money, in reality, it effectively makes their property unmortgageable, or ends up costing tens of thousands of pounds to rectify. Below are three recent tweets regarding the effect of spray foam insulation.

Spray Foam Insulation
Spray Foam Insulation

There is talk that we need an approach where not every single property with spray foam is considered too much of a risk to lend on. Where it has been done properly, where it is up to recognised standards, where it does not compromise the structural integrity of the home, and where it is achieving what the installers say it is, then more lenders need to be lending on such properties. The Equity Release Council are looking into this issue at the moment, and hopefully we can get to a point where a compromise based on quality is agreed, and where more homeowners are able to access later life lending without having to take off their entire roof and replace it. Until we get to that point I would strongly encourage anybody considering spray foam installation to investigate alternative solutions.






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