The Myth Behind the Mortgage Problem with Spray Foam
What is the Spray Foam Insulation Mortgage Problem?
Many homeowners or would-be-homeowners in the UK are finding that they are unable to get mortgages on properties with spray foam. The reason for this is that RICs surveyors have decided to class both open and closed cell spray foam as a danger to internal moisture levels, making the properties unmortgageable at the current time.
The problem with this classification is that it is fundamentally incorrect, with open cell spray foam being proven to be effective in domestic properties without the same risks and problems that closed cell. However, until the classification is changed to show the difference between the two spray foams, homeowners are left in a state of limbo.
What is the UK Government View on Spray Foam?
As the latest RICs guidance advises against properties with spray foam, the UK Government has come under fire from property specialists all over the country. The reason for this backlash is because the government was offering spray foam grants as part of their Green Homes scheme that only ended a year ago, providing up to two thirds of the cost of spray foam insulation to grant receivers.
This means that if you used this scheme to make your home warmer and more climate-friendly, you will now be left with the decision to stay put or pay for it to be removed so that you can move home. This lack of joined up thinking has created a crisis for homeowners, leaving many people regretting their decision to have spray foam applied in the first place.
Where Have Spray Foam Roof Insulation Mortgage Problems Come From?
Interestingly, as some poor spray foam providers have historically installed closed cell insulation incorrectly, it has left those homeowners with increased levels of moisture in their homes, leading to mould and mildew as well as rotting roof timbers. RICs surveyors have taken this information and decided to apply it to all types of spray foam, including open cell spray foam which is deemed to be safe for domestic use when applied by a professional.
As RICs surveyors are deemed to be the gold standard of surveyors in the UK, all mortgage providers will follow their advice and recommendations, meaning that unless you have photos of the area prior to the spray foam installation and moisture readings, you will be unable to get a mortgage to proceed with your sale and purchase. It's important to remember that this issue is only temporary and will change, but right now, you are not going to be able to get a mortgage on a property that has spray foam.
Are Any Spray Foamed Properties Getting Mortgages?
In some cases, mortgages are still being issued for homeowners with spray foam but only in cases where there are photos of the space prior to the spray foam installation along with moisture readings. In reality, as this has never been a requirement before there are very few homeowners that would have requested moisture readings before having their spray foam installed.
If you are a homeowner that is considering having spray foam installed, it is important that you adhere to these new requirements and request photos and moisture readings from the installer that you choose so that you are covered when you come to sell in the future.
How is Spray Foam Affecting Equity Release Requests?
There is no doubt that the UK cost of living crisis is taking its toll on homeowners up and down the country, leading many to consider releasing the equity in their home to be able to make ends meet. However, much like mortgage companies, equity release firms are refusing to accept clients who have properties with spray foam installed.
This refusal has come as a shock to many homeowners as most will have never been warned about spray foam issues before and lots of clients seeking equity release won't have ever considered it until the financial crisis hit. The result? People who are unable to access the cash they have in their homes unless they are willing to pay to have it removed first – it's a vicious cycle that is leaving people without the means to live.
Will the Spray Foam Insulation Problem Change?
Yes! There is a lot of work being done now to get the blanket decision against all types of spray foam removed. However, we do not know when that will happen, meaning that if you are looking to sell or buy imminently, you need to be aware that there will be a problem if the property has spray foam installed.
At Countrywide Coatings, we have noticed a huge influx of customers contacting us to request more information on the issue and seek support in understanding how to deal with it. We are doing our best to provide up to date and accurate information as well as working to overturn the decision that all spray foam is detrimental to properties. Ultimately, the decision will eventually be reviewed and we expect to see open cell spray foam recognised as a suitable material for homeowners to use.
How Can I Deal with the Spray Foam Insulation Mortgage Problem Now?
If you don't have time to wait for the spray foam insulation mortgage problem to be resolved then you may need to consider having your current spray foam removed to be able to sell your property. At Countrywide Coatings, we are currently completing a number of spray foam removals for customers in the same position across the South of the country.
It is important to note that you should not attempt to remove spray foam without the input of a specialist as you can cause significant damage to your property and even put your own health at risk when you decide to do it yourself. While it will cost you money to have spray foam insulation professionally removed, it will cost far less than having to repair damage caused when trying to do it yourself.
I Want to Install Spray Foam – Should I Cancel My Plans?
Having spray foam installed is still recognised as a safe and great solution for insulation and lowering energy bills as long as the correct foam is installed by an expert provider. However, with the current anti-spray foam climate, many homeowners are being put off using it, worried about how it will affect the resale value of their home.
Rather than cancelling your plans to have spray foam installed, it is wise to take the time to plan it correctly. Firstly, choose an expert spray foam provider who can assess your property and offer information on the right type of foam for your needs. Next, make sure that you have extensive evidence of your property's moisture levels prior to installation as well as photographic evidence that you can turn to in the future should you need it.
Finally, think about your plans for the future and when you may want to sell up and move on. If the answer is the very near future then it may be wise to put your plans on hold, but if you are able to wait until the issue is resolved with RICs and the mortgage companies, then getting it ahead is absolutely fine and safe to do.
Unsure About How to Proceed?
Being a homeowner comes with a huge amount of stress and worry, and when issues such as the spray foam insulation mortgage problem come to light, it can be a very worrying time, leaving you unable to decide what to do.
If you are unsure about the right next step, contact Countrywide Coatings for the advice and support you need. We offer a no-cost assessment of your property where we will take moisture readings to see if your spray foam needs to be removed and can provide honest advice about whether you should choose to have spray foam installed or not. We pride ourselves on offering up to date advice as well as being on hand to answer any questions you may have about the application or removal of spray foam insulation, so connect with us today and let's work on this together.