Spray Foam Removal London

Spray foam insulation removal has been around for over 30 years, but it is becoming more popular as a means of insulating attic and roof spaces. However, this can significantly affect your chances of getting a conventional mortgage or equity release lifetime mortgage.

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What is Spray Foam Removal?

Also known as spray foam, or spray polyurethane foam (SPF), this is an alternative to traditional building insulation such as fibreglass, wool or mineral fibre rolls. It can be used to insulate your roof, loft, walls and floor – but it is the roof installation that particularly causes problems for UK mortgage lenders.

The foam is applied in a liquid form using powered sprayers, which then expands and turns to a solid coating. This foam has greater insulating properties than many alternatives.

There are two types of spray foam insulation to choose from:

  • Open cell spray foam insulation – this has cells that are not completely encapsulated. This makes the foam a more spongey, softer and more flexible material.
  • Closed cell spray foam – cells in this form are completely closed. This means air and moisture cannot get inside the foam, and it sets much more rigidly and is more stable.
Spray Foam Removal London Spray Foam Removal
Spray Foam Removal London Spray Foam Removal

Spray foam insulation is more expensive than other forms of insulation material. For example, a client of ours paid almost £4,000 to have the foam professionally applied under the roof of her 3 bedroomed detached home in Lincolnshire.

It can also cause health issues, as harmful fumes are given off during installation and could linger afterwards. This can affect those with existing breathing or respiratory complaints, including asthma.

Why Its is a Problem for Mortgage Lenders

By sealing the roof space with this material, air circulation can be restricted to the roof and timbers. This can lead to condensation, which in turn can eventually lead to the rotting of the wooden roof supports.

The closed cell foam version also sets very hard. This can put stresses onto the supporting roof timbers too, causing distortion of the roof itself. Naturally, these are major concerns to lenders who might be looking to arrange a mortgage on the property for 25 years or more.

Removing the foam material is likely to be more expensive than having it installed in the first place, as the sprayed material penetrates all of the crevices and gaps behind timbers, making them difficult to access and remove. Even having done this, not all lenders will then be happy to accept the property for a mortgage.

So Which Lenders wil accept Spray Foam Insulation?

As mortgage and equity release advisers, we have access to tools that provide data on the lending criteria of most There are only two equity release lenders who may consider properties with this type of insulation, but one requires a long-term guarantee and will rely on their Valuer’s comments about it. The other insists it is the open-cell type and again it would only be with their Valuer’s approval.

There are a number of mortgage lenders who may accept it – but all require a referral to them before proceeding, and will usually need Valuer’s approval and meeting certain criteria about the type and material used. This can be a problem if you have to pay for a Valuer to visit only to find they reject the property.

So What should you do?

If you are interested in mortgaging a property which has spray foam insulation installed, or are considering buying one (always ask the estate agent whether this is the case) then you need to get advice on what type of mortgage might be available to you. You will need to find out as much about the installation as possible – when was it installed, which type is it (open or closed cell), was it professionally installed, is there a guarantee available, the age of the property and the age of the roof, and any other relevant information.

Also, don’t forget that the resale prospects for the property are likely to be badly affected by the installation of spray foam insulation due to the lack of availability of mortgage funding. If problems with the foam get worse in the future, it could be that only a cash buyer will be able to buy your home.

When to contact an Spray Foam Removal Expert?

If dampness is found in a roof, professional advice should be sought from a chartered surveyor as to whether it is penetrating or a condensation issue.

Spray foam Removal should never be used on an older building. These commonly have stone flag, slate or hand-made clay tile roofs. A percentage of the flags, slates and tiles can often be reused when these older roofs are re-covered but not if spray foam has been applied as a quick fix. There is no substitute for having a roofing contractor properly repair or re-cover an aged period roof.

Know more about SPF

Frequently Asked Questions for your project.

Where to apply Spray polyurethane foam?
Spray polyurethane foam (SPF) is often applied to a sloping roof in poor condition, as a quick fix, or as a quick alternative method of improving insulation. It appears to be becoming increasingly popular, and unfortunately it may become more prevalent with the Government’s Green Homes Grant, supplying up to £5,000 of vouchers towards insulation improvements. Whilst contractors may push the benefits of spray foam, lenders will often insist that surveyors take a different view. Surveyors and valuers will often have to discount the value a property or request a specialist report, because it has SPF insulation. It may even make a property unmortgageable in the eyes of a lender.
Is SPF Expecsive?
SPF is more expensive than traditional types of insulation. It is applied as a liquid foam that is lightweight and hardens in situ. It is normally sprayed on to the underside of the roof approximately 100mm in thickness and the installation may emit lingering toxic fumes. SPF is unsightly and cannot be decorated over. It does have the advantage that, as spray foam insulation it is a better insulator than mineral wool (100mm of spray foam insulation is equivalent to around 170mm of traditional loft insulation). A thinner layer of SPF is required to get the same insulating effect. As it is applied to the roof slope, it also facilitates the installation of floorboarding in the loft.
What types of SPF is there?
SPF comes in two forms: closed cell and open cell. Closed cell dries rigid and is firm when pressed. It does not allow moisture to pass through it. Open cell is spongey when pressed and is not as good an insulator. It is a good sound absorber and does allow water vapour to pass through.
SPF might be mis-sold as a long-term energy saving investment, lasting for more than 80 years, which will stop tiles and slates from slipping and will strengthen the roof by holding them in place. An installer may also advise that it not only increases the insulation and may lower energy bills by up to 20%, but will also protect water tanks and pipes from freezing and create a dry, clean and useful loft space. Such claims are all very debatable.
Is there any problem with SPF?
The main problem with SPF is that it can lead to severe condensation in the roof space by blocking ventilation. Whilst this is reduced with the open cell “breathable” type, condensation can still occur where the foam and roof covering material meet. The resultant moisture can then lead to rot in roof timbers. Both types can also conceal defects in the roof covering that can result in water penetration – again leading to rot in roof timbers

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