We recently undertook a survey on a property that has spray foam insulation to the rafters within the loft space. This type of insulation is a liquid foam that is sprayed onto the underside of the roof pitches to provide an extra layer of insulation to the property.
It is becoming increasingly popular across the UK as it can provide more insulation in less space than the traditional wool or insulation boards, such as Celotex, and can also help to reduce drafts and make the property more air tight.
However, for all the good that it can do, it also causes issues with some lenders. The problem in this case being that the lender that we undertook the inspection for refuses to accept homes with spray foam insulation as a suitable security for a mortgage or lending. We are also finding that other lenders are following suit and are reluctant to lend on a property that has this type of insulation installed to the roof.
The property that we visited was not fully declined by the lender as an outright no but the owner of the property needed to have the roof replaced in order for the property to meet the acceptable standards for the lender. This meant that the existing roof needed to be taken off and everything needed to be new, the timbers, felt and all the tiles. This all came at a financial cost to the owner, not to mention the emotional rollercoaster that they would have had to have gone through to be rejected for the mortgage and then to have the roof replaced, all because there was spray foam insulation present.
Now, this doesn’t mean that spray foam insulation is a bad thing, it has been used for more than 30 years in the UK and many lenders still deem it an acceptable improvement but, if more and more banks and lenders are refusing to lend or give mortgages on properties with spray foam insulation then it may prove to be more and more difficult to sell your property or to re-mortgage in the future.
In the long-term, this may cause the value of your property to decrease as there could be a situation where there is a lack of available funding to a possible buyer unless the property undergoes an expensive roof replacement being needed which will be at the cost of the owners either directly or through the agreed purchase price of the sale.
If you currently have a mortgage and are considering having spray foam insulation installed then it would be wise to check with your lender that it is an acceptable improvement to them otherwise you may be in for an unwanted surprise and work needing to be done to the property if they were to discover the insulation.