skip to Main Content
ISVA: Putting the client first 020 8882 4896

Home Forums General Discussion Spray Foam Removal

Viewing 3 posts - 1 through 3 (of 3 total)
  • Author
  • #1916
    Alan J Young FISVA

    I have looked at several projects recently where ‘specialist’ spray foam removal companies have tried to (unsuccessfully) remove spray foam from the underside of roofing felt. In all instances the clients were cold called, the spray foam removal companies were well aware of the previous fitting of spray foam. The companies are all based around the south Dorset coastal region. They are targeting old and vulnerable people, charging exorbitant rates  and in most instances severely damaging the roofing felt which then needs to be replaced.  Any one else come across this problem ?

    Tom Littler FISVA

    Morning Alan,

    I undertook a Level 2 Home Survey inspection of a 1980-5 built detached bungalow, being sold by the daughter of an older person who had been moved to a care home.  The daughter only became aware of this work when sorting through his papers, which revealed the receipted invoice, and an installer’s uninsured warranty.  During the premarketing process several estate agents warned her that this could have an impact upon saleability and sale price, and she decided to obtain an estimate for its removal.  She appointed a well established removal contractor from the Manchester area.

    The rough costs were:

    Original foam application £2500.

    Removal using a pressurised “dry ice” process £3500.

    Increasing the depth of the existing quilt insulation to current standards £1500.

    My inspection noted:

    The original contractors had not protected the galvanised steel gang plates prior to spray application.

    The original application had been part sprayed over a metal flue pipe connected to a traditional gas fire.

    Despite remedial treatment, there remained residual foam particularly in more difficult to reach areas,

    There was sporadic damage to the bitumen felt underlining, which had been “repaired” with duct tape or similar. It was not possible to say whether some or all of that damage predated the foam spray application.

    Protimeter readings to reasonably accessible roof timbers were 14.5% or less.

    AND of greatest significance to the future performance of the roof –  the foam removal process had rendered the foam to stringy almost woolly particles which were blocking the eaves ventilation insect mesh, and had not been cleaned therefore impeding natural ventilation of a cold roof.

    My client decided not to purchase. I did report the issue to Trading Standards, but as far as I am aware little or nothing was done about it.

    I strongly recommend that you promote the RICS Consumer Guide on Sprayed Insulation Foam to your clients, presented to ISVA 2023 Conference by Sam Piplica of RICS, and the inspection protocols of the Property Care Association also promoted in my opening presentation at the same conference. I can provide PDF copies of those documents for you if you email me separately at

    As this method of roof insulation can be part funded by a Government Grant, advertising and cold calling is rife at the moment. The problem is that much of this sprayed foam insulation is manufactured in the UK but under license from a large U S corporation with very deep pockets and expensive lawyers, so you need to be careful how you report to clients on this issue, hence the referral to the RICS Consumer Guide in particular.

    Thank you for using the ISVA members forum.  By exchanging ideas and experiences we can improve our shared technical knowledge, improve outcomes for our clients, and help mitigate potential client complaints and PII claims. The forum is a resource worth using.

    Tom Littler.

    ISVA Council Member.



    Graham Bishop FISVA

    Hi Alan

    50% of my work is as Expert Witness for various local authority Trading Standards and Police forces around London and the southeast and I have come across this problem several times. The initial scam is the selling of the spray foam application possibly done a couple of years ago but is still an ongoing problem. The second stage is then the removal, often by the same gang, stating that the foam is dangerous and since Grenfell Tower has been banned!  I have also noticed that in all the cases I have seen including one only a few months ago, the elderly property owner has had the insulation topped up to 250/270mm under the Warm Front scheme back in 2010/ 2012.

    It is known that most of the disreputable companies seem to be based in Dorset with Bournemouth being a hot spot at one time. They are not only selling spray foam but also PV panels and solar heating etc. I believe National Trading Standards are proactive on this but unfortunately I don’t have any contact with Dorset Council Trading Standards.

    I would suggest that you advise your clients to contact Citizens Advice as this is the only way that Trading Standards can be contacted as there is no direct phone link. They need to explain that they feel they have been scammed, that their consumer rights were infringed and that damage has been caused to the roof which has been confirmed by a Surveyor. They need to ensure that the call is logged on the system and they get a reference number. They might get a call back from their Local Council Trading Standards or Dorset if that is where the trader is based. There might be an ongoing investigation and their complaint may assist with that case. Alternatively there may be one or two previous complaints about a company but no case has as yet been looked at and their complaint may tip the balance as I think the magic number in some instances is 3 complaints but the more the better.

Viewing 3 posts - 1 through 3 (of 3 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.
Back To Top