London –A new guide published by the UK’s Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) is designed to update consumers about the use of spray polyurethane foam insulation in residential properties.
It was created after several high profile Trading Standards cases reported in the media highlighted poor standards of SPF installation, illegal modifications to listed buildings, and high-pressure selling tactics from some companies. There have also been concerns from mortgage lenders about potential impact of incorrectly installed insulation on property values.
RICS pointed out that although SPF has been used widely for decades, there is a risk that it is marketed as an easy, simplistic fix. “In fact, the installation of spray foam should really be seen as a significant and fundamental alteration to a home which needs careful consideration and planning,” RICS said.
The guide is designed to educate the public about the pros and cons of spray foam insulation, taking into account many years of research into the effects of the material. The aim is to help give consumers the necessary confidence to make informed decisions.
Topics covered include the effects SPF might have on a property’s roof structure, thermal performance and value. It also provides “dos and don’ts” for installing home insulation, and how RICS-accredited members can help assess a property.
“The guide’s main focus is to educate and raise public awareness of potential issues surrounding spray foam, so that people can make informed decisions based on research and due diligence,” said Sam Piplica, a senior specialist at RICS in building standards. “RICS is also part of an industry working group on this issue to help not only our members but the wider industry improve their products and services.”
The free guide can be downloaded from the RICS website.