Insulation installers Jake Tarrant, Kevin Tarrant and Will Newing, who work for Northern Rivers Insulation, which advises against using foil.
Insulation installers Jake Tarrant, Kevin Tarrant and Will Newing, who work for Northern Rivers Insulation, which advises against using foil. Doug Eaton

Foil not retro-fit for roofs

JOHN BREEZE can understand why the Federal Government has banned the use of foil insulation.

As an installer with more than 20 years experience, he said he had never recommended foil insulation as a good ‘retro-fit’ option.

“If I’d had foil insulation retro-fitted, I would be worried about it,” Mr Breeze said.

“We’ve always had it as one of our products, but it’s not one that I have pushed.

“I don’t think the government has overreacted in banning foil insulation.

“The majority of peopleinstalling it would be untrained and it is more difficult to install than batts.

“There is a very real potential for electric shock.

“I advise my clients against it and it’s been years since I’ve installed it as a retro-fit.”

Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett this week banned the use of foil insulation.

The government has also ordered an urgent safety review of almost 50,000 homes under its bungled $3.7 billion roof insulation scheme.

Mandatory training for installers came into effect yesterday.

But Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has called for Mr Garrett to resign, or for Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to sack him.

Mr Abbott said Mr Garrett ignored early warnings from electricians on the dangers of metal insulation, which has been linked to four deaths over the past 12 months.

Mr Breeze said he does sell foil insulation through his company, Northern Rivers Insulation, but he only ever recommended the product for installation in buildings that were under construction.

“It is hard to get it (foil) to fit correctly.

“And in the winter, it doesn’t have half of the effect of bulk installations,” he said.

“So from that perspective, and considering the cost and the labour involved, foil insulation is not worth it.”

HOW TO GET YOUR ROOF CHECKED

Concerned homeowners with foil insulation should call the Federal Government hotline on 131792 to get a reference number

Alternatively, wait until the government contacts you through the mail

Homeowners should not go into their ceilings or attempt to check the safety of the installation themselves

For more information visit masterelectricians.com.au or call 1300 889 198



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