Spray foam insulation could render a home unsellable
Spray foam insulation (SPF) is not a new type of insulation. It’s been around for more than 30 years. But it’s only now that homeowners realise how this type of home insulation can affect their chances of securing a conventional mortgage!
So what is spray foam insulation?
Spray foam insulation provides an alternative type of insulation to fibreglass, mineral or wool fibre rolls. It’s frequently used in roofs, although the foam can also be used to insulate walls and floors.
The cause of many problems, however, involves SPF in roofs!
Once installed, SPF is known to give off toxic fumes which could linger in your home for several weeks. The fumes could impact anyone with a respiratory issue.
Why do lenders not like spray foam insulation?
Lenders don’t like spray foam insulation because it restricts air circulation, leading to severe condensation. The moisture can cause roof timbers and supports to rot!
How is the foam applied?
Contractors use power sprayers to apply a liquid form of the SPF. The foam then expands before hardening off to a rigid coating. As a result, it’s supposed to have better insulating properties than other types of insulation.
There are two sorts of SPF: open and closed cells. Open cell is spongy and more flexible. In contrast, closed cell sets rigid when dry.
It costs more to have SPF installed in your home than it would cost to have other types of insulation. For example, installing spray foam insulation in a three-bedroom detached house could cost you around £4,000.
So, why is spray foam insulation such a problem for lenders?
Once SPF is installed in a roof, it seals the space, restricting air from circulating. As a result, condensation forms which then causes roof timbers and roof supports to rot.
Moreover, when you have closed cell spray foam installed in a roof, it sets rigid, adding extra stress to roof supports. It can distort your roof!
The problems caused by SPF are of significant concern to lenders. More especially when arranging a mortgage for properties over 25+ years old.
Will any lenders accept a property with spray foam insulation?
You’ll find that equity release lenders will no longer consider lending on properties with spray foam insulation. That said, a few mortgage lenders may be willing to lend on properties with SPF.
However, these lenders will stipulate that a Valuer’s approval is given before they agree to lend any money. In short, a detailed report is needed to provide information on the material used. Moreover, as the person seeking to borrow money to buy or remortgage a property, you’d have to foot the Valuer’s bill.
You may find a mortgage company interested in lending on properties with spray foam removal. But you’ll not get as good a deal as you would with building societies and other mortgage lenders.
What’s the solution?
The solution is to have the SPF removed by a professional contractor. It’s not a DIY job by any means. The foam penetrates the tiniest crevices and must be removed professionally to prevent further damage.
You’d need to know the following:
- What type of SPF was used
- When was the spray foam insulation installed
- Which contractor installed the SPF
- Was there a guarantee?
- How old is the property
- What’s the age of the roof
Even with all this information (and more), lenders may not be interested in signing on the dotted line.
Having the spray foam insulation professionally removed
One option that’s definitely worth considering is to have the spray foam insulation professionally removed. A trusted and experienced contractor would first inspect your roof to establish what’s needed and whether extensive damage has been done to a roof’s structure.
As the country’s leading spray foam insulation removal company, we provide advice to Nationwide Building Society. We’ve also been featured on BBC One. You can depend on our team of highly trained experts to carry out a job to the highest standard with the minimum amount of mess.
Just get in touch, and we’ll be happy to arrange a consultation at a convenient time.
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