UFFI stands for Urea Formaldehyde Foam Insulation. UFFI was commonly used as a “retrofit” insulation on existing houses. The foam was injected behind walls and in areas where installing other forms of insulation wasn’t practical. UFFI was most commonly used in the 1970s. This was the period of the “Energy Crisis”, which was triggered by the OPEC oil embargo. Between 1975 and 1978, the government implemented a program known as the Canadian Home Insulation Program (CHIP), which offered financial incentives to homeowners to increase the insulation levels for their homes.
As the result of perceived health problems associated with UFFI, the insulation was banned by the Canadian government in 1980. UFFI remains a commonly used building product in Europe.
The UFFI warranty was born out of the concern many home buyers had regarding the potential health risks that UFFI might pose. The UFFI warranty is intended to give buyers comfort.
The fact is that some people are sensitive to the issue of UFFI and would not knowingly buy a house that contains it, just like some people won’t buy a house with a certain address number. It is really a matter of disclosure. Think of UFFI as being the equivalent of a latent defect.
Sellers need to give warranties that are true and within the scope of their knowledge and buyers need to make an informed decision to buy a property.