Insulating your home is generally a good way to cut back on energy bills and add value to your property.
However, one type of insulation could lead to structural issues and result in significant expenses over time: spray polyurethane foam (SPF).
In this article, we’ll discuss why industry experts are advising caution when it comes to SPF installation and the steps to take if it’s already in your home.
But first, what exactly is SPF?
Known more commonly as spray foam, SPF has been utilized for years throughout the UK. It’s applied as a liquid into roofs and other challenging spaces, where it expands and hardens, providing insulation.
So, why can it be problematic?
Certain spray foam variants can obstruct airflow and lead to condensation. This, over time, may cause wood components like beams and rafters to rot.
Moreover, since spray foam solidifies along the interior of a roof, it obstructs the view of what’s happening underneath. If issues like dampness or warping are present, they’re difficult to detect early on for remedial action. Consequently, many surveyors are hesitant to approve properties with spray foam due to the limited visibility for a thorough assessment.
What does this mean for homeowners?
The presence of spray foam can affect a property’s marketability, as many banks are reluctant to finance homes with this type of insulation. Additionally, homeowners might find themselves ineligible for equity release due to the spray foam.
What should you do if your property has spray foam?
First, stay calm and avoid hasty decisions. Consult with a chartered surveyor for advice on the next steps.
Removal of spray foam is one option. (This task requires specialists, as the material can be toxic upon contact or inhalation.)
The removal cost varies based on your roof’s size and specialist availability. However, anticipate a substantial expense, potentially in the thousands. (For reference, last year, Checkatrade estimated a cost of about £3,200 for removing spray foam from a three-bedroom house roof.)
If you’reconsidering removal, thoroughly vet the tradespeople providing quotes. Unfortunately, unscrupulous operators exist. Be wary of anyone demanding a large deposit upfront or pressuring you for immediate work commitment – such tactics should raise red flags.
If you’d like to discuss any of the issues raised in this article, contact us here today.