A warning has been issued by the Residential Property Surveyors Association (RPSA) that as many as £250,000 properties, with some likely to be in the rental sector, may be unmortgageable due to the insulation installed.

If you are landlord in Preston, Chorley, Leyland, Blackburn or surrounding areas please read on.

The RPSA and the Property Care Association (PCA) are calling for regulation of the foam spray insulation industry as lenders are tightening restrictions.

The product in question is sprayed polyurethane (PU) expanding foam.  This is used in lofts, to stabilise a failing roof covering, or to provide extra insulation. This has left thousands of homeowners unable to sell their properties due to the tightening of lending criteria which means buyers are having loans refused where spray foam is present in the loft.

Currently there is no regulation of installers and almost any cowboy salesman can get hold of the chemicals and the equipment to spray foam into the homes of unsuspecting ‘at risk’ owners.

RPSA Chairman, Alan Milstein explained “This has become a significant problem recently. Many of the installations we see are poorly executed and without proper consideration of moisture management within the property, leaving structural roof timbers at risk of damage or failure. And there are regular reports of mis-selling, and cold-calling of vulnerable homeowners, especially the elderly.”

“This has to stop and proper regulation of the industry is urgently needed. We believe that this is the only way to resolve the current lending impasse.”

CEO of PCA, Steve Hodgson said “We need to be sure that any installations are carried out properly and professionally, and only after careful consideration of their impact on a ‘whole-house’ basis. The improper use of spray foam insulation can have devastating consequences or end up costing £000’s for little benefit. So it’s vital that the spray foam industry is properly regulated and managed”.

Alan Milstein added “We have already started to engage with those in the spray foam industry to help facilitate a regulatory framework. And so our challenge to them is to come forwards and work with us to regulate as soon as possible. That means mandatory training and qualification of installers, effective audit and review procedures, and a strict non-supply policy by manufacturers to any installer who is not properly accredited.”

“And to support that we will work with the lending community to design inspection protocols that will give lenders the confidence to provide an advance for a home with a properly managed spray foam installation.”

“Especially now in the midst of a tightening economic climate we cannot continue to see home owners placed in such financial distress, often having to find £000’s to remove insulation that they paid £000’s to install, simply to sell their home. Regulation is needed, and it is needed now.”

The country is facing the coming years where approximately 25 million homes will need to be retrofitted with energy efficiency measures, which is no small task.

PR Lettings & Management advise if you have had spray foam insulation in your roof and are now in doubt to seek the advice from an accredited residential property surveyor.

Source: Residential Property Surveyors Association.