A CBC Marketplace investigation has found that for some homeowners, a “green” way to make their houses more energy efficient has left them out in the cold.
The growing popularity of spray polyurethane foam insulation may be creating an emerging problem in Canada. While the majority of spray foam installations occur without incident, problems can be costly and difficult to repair, and have led to a string of lawsuits in the U.S. as homeowners attempt to recover costs.
When installed incorrectly, spray foam insulation can result in a strong, unpleasant fishy smell from off-gassing that has driven some people from their homes, some complaining of difficulty breathing and other health problems. When contractors fail to address installation problems, homeowners can have little recourse.
“We thought we were doing something to improve our home and instead basically destroyed my home,” one homeowner tells Marketplace co-host Tom Harrington. “They ruined it. We can’t live in it anymore."