Urgent regulation of the spray foam industry is needed to prevent making thousands of homes un-mortgagable, warn leading property groups.
Sprayed polyurethane expanding foams are often used in lofts, either to stabilise a failing roof covering or to provide extra insulation. But a tightening of lending criteria has left thousands of homeowners unable to sell their properties because buyers are refused loans if spray foam is present.
The Residential Property Surveyors Association (RPSA) says it is becoming a significant problem as many installations are done badly while there are also regular reports of mis-selling, and cold-calling of vulnerable homeowners.
Chairman Alan Milstein (pictured) explains: '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.
"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.'�
Milstein says a regulatory framework needs to include 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.
He says the group will work with the lending community to design inspection protocols to give lenders the confidence to provide an advance for a home with a properly managed spray foam installation. 'We cannot continue to see homeowners placed in such financial distress.'�
Steve Hodgson, CEO of the Property Care Association (PCA), adds: 'The improper use of spray foam insulation can have devastating consequences or end up costing thousands for little benefit. So it's vital that the spray foam industry is properly regulated and managed.'�