Spray foams have been used in the UK for about 25 years, or thereabouts. They are sold on the basis of offering one of two main purposes – thermal insulation to a pitched roof space, or stabilisation for a failing roof covering that might be suffering, for example, from nail fatigue or frost damage and having some leaks.
In the last few years, these products have been increasingly sold and advertised widely on TV, online and using social media and there has been a boom in the industry development. There is no actual independent science to show ‘before and after’ scenarios to prove, or disprove, the claims made for the products and neither does there seem to be any guidance on their installation requirements. It is all very vague, which leads to no one really understanding what they are or whether they are any good or not.
There are reports of massive scams, misselling and inappropriate installations and I have joined an industry-wide task group to investigate it. There are about 35 people in the group ranging from UK Finance, RICS, Historic England, Historic Environment Scotland, leading mortgage lenders, the national mortgage valuation firms, academics, residential surveyors and contractors. I have been asked to join the group to assist with the heritage sector. It is actually a very interesting research project and it seems from the outset that no one really has a grasp on the science. It is timely that we can now try to find out. We need to understand the use of spray foams in far more technical detail.
If you are a building owner with the foam installed and you would be willing to let me come and see it then please do get in touch.