UFFI insulation oozing out in a  basement © Daniel FriedmanUFFI - Urea Formaldehyde Insulation Impact on Home Sales
What is the economic impact of UFFI on building sale price or time on market?

  • UFFI INSULATION IMPACT ON HOME SALE PRICE - CONTENTS: regardless of "should" UFFI impact the value of a home or other building for sale, the presence of this building insulation material might affect the sale price or the time on market before a UFFI-insulated building finds a buyer. Here we describe & calculate possible dollar costs of air bypass leaks if the UFFI insulation job is defective (shrinkage gaps), and we offer an approach for estimating the impact on home sale price or months on the market to sell a UFFI home.
  • POST a QUESTION or READ FAQs about how to recognize UFFI Urea Formaldehyde Insulation in buildings and its effects on the property

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UFFI insulation effect on the sale of a home:

A reader asked about the actual effect of the presence of UFFI in a building on its sale price. The answer involves what the effect should be and what it probably is. We discuss the practical effect of consumer fear of UFFI that never reaches zero regardless of the actual health risk level, and we offer calculations of the actual effect on heating cost of UFFI shrinkage gaps and air leaks if the UFFI job was imperfect.

This article series on UFFI insulation illustrates and describes UFFI - urea formaldehyde foam building insulation and describes where it is found, when it was used in buildings, how to look for it, how to distinguish this from other building foam insulation products, and its health effects. We include identification photographs and a description of a very simple field test that can immediately distinguish between 1970's vintage sprayed or pumped UFFI insulation and more contemporary icynene or polyurethane spray foam insulation jobs.

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Should UFFI Insulation Affect the Sale Price of a Home?

UFFI foam insulation retrofit (C) D FriedmanQuestion: how much would UFFI devalue a home when selling with UFFI

2016/04/20 Andrea said:

Approximately how much would UFFI devalue a home when selling with UFFI

Reply: not much if any at all


There are two answers to your question of the impact of UFFI insulation on the sale price of a home.

  1. Based on objective data measuring remaining environmental hazards and on estimates of the impact of shrinkage gaps in the UFFI insulation in some homes, there should be essentially no cost reduction in the sale price of a home because UFFI is present in the home. Details of this reasoning are given just below.
  2. Based on emotional and market data, because some consumers remain afraid of environmental hazards that were previously a widespread public concern, the number of consumes who will be a bit "afraid" of a UFFI insulated home will probably never drop to absolute zero, regardless of objective data on this subject.

In my opinion the devaluation of a home for sale that has UFFI insulation, provided that everyone involved is accurately informed,

Calculating the Possible Increase in Heating Cost from UFFI Shrinkage Gaps

As the average cost to heat a U.S. home (using gas fuel) ranges between about $550 and $750. per winter ( if the home has gas heat, that means that about $40. of annual heating cost could be attributed to gaps around UFFI insulation in walls.

Here is another data point, taken from a different source, retrieved 2016/04/21

The annual cost to heat a 2200 square foot existing house of average energy consumption for different combinations of fuels and furnaces:

Natural Gas in an 80% furnace: $1215
Natural Gas in a 92% furnace: $1095
Oil in a 70% furnace: $2185
Oil in an 80% furnace: $2004
Propane in an 80% furnace: $3143
Propane in a 92% furnace: $2632
Electric Baseboard: $2485
Heat Pump with 6.65 HSPF: $1284 (includes electric backup)
Heat Pump with 7.5 HSPF: $1135 (includes electric backup)

Using the largest of these numbers, we get a UFFI gap heating cost of $157. U.S.

In sum, even if you want to use a 4x larger estimate than mine of the cost of air leakage from imperfect UFFI insulation due to shrinkage, the annual cost in added heating expense is still likely to be well under $400.

Take any of these estimate ranges with which you agree and multiply that by the number of years of probable ownership of the home and you can see the total actual economic impact of UFFI on the new owners of a home, before taking ANY other steps (that may be more important by far) to reduce heating or cooling costs.

See also SHOULD YOU AVOID BUYING a UFFI-INSULATED HOME? - the short answer is, in our opinion, no.

Warning about Building Water Leaks & UFFI in Homes

UFFI, which is foamed in place and used to insulate buildings, has been banned in Canada under the Hazardous Products Act (HPA) since December 1980. UFFI was banned due to the high levels of formaldehyde that were given off during the installation process, as well as the continued off-gassing of formaldehyde from poorly installed insulation. The amount of formaldehyde released by UFFI was highest when first installed and decreased over time. As a result, UFFI installed before 1980 would have little effect on indoor formaldehyde levels today.

If UFFI gets wet, however, it could begin to break down and may release more formaldehyde. Wet or deteriorating UFFI should be removed by a specialist and the source of the moisture problem should be repaired. Some provinces require homeowners to declare if they have UFFI installed, and this issue is generally raised during the re-sale of older homes. - Health Canada, "Formaldehyde in Indoor Air", Health Canada . Sante Canada, retrieved 29 March 2015, original source:

Watch out: leaks into any building cavity, particularly one that is enclosed, risk not just formaldehyde but rot, insect damage, and structural damage. If there is evidence of such leakage, further investigation is warranted.

Research on the effect of UFFI on home resale

Article Series Contents:


Continue reading at UFFI CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT, CANADA or select a topic from closely-related articles below, or see our complete INDEX to RELATED ARTICLES below.


Or see URETHANE FOAM Deterioration, Outgassing

Or see FORMALDEHYDE GAS HAZARD REDUCTION for other measures to reduce indoor formaldehyde levels



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