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Rental Insulation

Rental Insulation

New rules announced by the government will require landlords to get rental insulation. They must be insulated and have smoke alarms by July 2019.

“The new law will require retrofitting of ceiling and underfloor insulation in rental homes over the next four years,” Dr Smith said in a statement.

180,000 New Zealand homes required rental insulation and 120,000 homes needed smoke alarms.

“The health benefits of this will be reduced hospitalisations from circulatory and respiratory illnesses, reduced pharmaceutical costs, and fewer days off work and school,” Dr Smith said.

The Government said the average cost of retrofitting both ceiling and floor insulation was about $3300.

Officials estimate 180,000 privately tenanted rental properties will require retrofitting of rental insulation in the period up to July 2019.

Click Here to read to full article on New Zealand Herald

I’m a landlord – what can I do to sort my rental insulation?

Safe-R Insulation can help landlords ensure their rental properties comply with the new government regulations.

Safe-R Insulation can assess your rental insulation to help identify the most cost effective insulation options. We have 3 great products to help retrofit most existing homes. These include:

  • CosyWall Insulation – A cost effective and easy to install insulation that’s blown into existing wall cavities and provides great thermal and acoustical benefits.
  • Jet Stream Max Ceiling Insulation – A a soft, granulated mineral wool product that’s blown into your roof cavities. Perfect for most New Zealand rental homes.
    Jet Stream is suitable for all roof types.
  • Warmafloor Insulation – A polyester fibre blanket manufactured specifically for placing between floor joists, against the underside of the floor.

The property i’m renting needs to be insulated

If you think you need rental insulation, the best thing to do is forward them to this page and get them to give us a ring. We can work directly with your landlord to provide the best possible insulation solution to Insulate Rental Property.

Existing Lined Wall Cavity Insulation

Existing Lined Wall Cavity Insulation

You don’t need to remove linings to install existing lined wall cavity insulation. These can be insulated by drilling and filling holes through the external or internal lining with either a water repellent dry fibre or wet foam system. With either wall insulation system there are usually three to four 25-30mm holes drilled in the wall, about every 500mm around the building.

Total R-value (installed) of R2.1 -R2.6 is achieved in a typical 90-100mm wall cavity with water repellent dry fibre or R1.0 – R1.5 with wet foam system installed correctly.

Unplastered or unpainted brick veneer cavities should not be insulated with either system, due to the high potential of wind driven rain entering such unsealed cavities.

The ONLY currently available dry, water-repellant, mineral fibre insulation is the formaldehyde-free CosyWall system, which must be installed at the design density to prevent settlement and ensure that the Total R-value is achieved and maintained. With the CosyWall system holes are plugged with filler immediately after the insulation is installed, then sanded, primed and finish coated.

CosyWall water-repellent, dry, mineral fibre system tests indicated no wicking after 30 days and no settlement after six months at the design density. CozyWall insulation prevents potential fire spread in the cavity and reduces noise transmission through the walls.

Wet foam systems are usually manufactured on site from urea formaldehyde chemicals and water, or occasionally urethane foams. Installation of these systems is more complex, which often means long-term that the Total R-values (installed) are considerably less than that stated by suppliers.

The wet foam process requires 25-30 days full home ventilation to aid curing and reduce formaldehyde levels. Ideally, the home should not be occupied during this period. External wall hole plugging should not be completed until full curing is complete and internal wall moisture content is less than 24%. Serious concerns about the suitability of wet foam for existing wall cavities have been raised by Department of Building & Housing (Determination report 2008/35) and BRANZ (reports SR233 and SR234), which are available on their respective websites.


Wet foam holes should be plugged with a glued timber plug, then filled, sanded and primed. Finish painting should be delayed until all moisture introduced with wet foam has evaporated.

Branz report SR233 states 6% perimeter and thickness shrinkage from framing timber as the foam cures – which reduces the manufacturers claimed R2.9 to a Total R-value (installed) of R1.0 – R1.6

Wet foam systems can reduce potential fire spread in the wall cavity (depending on edge gap extent) and act as a cavity noise absorber.

Best Insulation works

How does the best insulation work?

Safe-R Insulation explains how the best insulation works

Trying to get the best Insulation is very interesting! Not only does it help make your home warmer in the winter, but it also helps keep it cool in the summer.

Heat flows naturally from warmer to cooler spaces. In winter, the heat moves directly from all heated living spaces to the outdoors and adjacent unheated attics, garages, and basements – wherever there is a difference in temperature. During the summer, heat moves from outdoors to the house interior.

To maintain comfort, the heat lost in winter must be replaced by your heating system and the heat gained in summer must be removed by your air conditioner. Insulating ceilings, walls, and floors decreases the heating or cooling needed by providing an effective resistance to the flow of heat.

So how do you get the best insulation?

A simple way to understand how to get the best insulation starts with thinking about an insulated flask or Thermos which helps keep your drinks hot or cold. This works by providing an insulated layer between the drink and the outside air. Getting the best insulation for your home has the same effect helping to keep your interior conditions comfortable all year round.

Uninsulated homes have large gaps or cavities between the exterior and the inside walls. By filling these cavities with the best insulation material the outside air can’t pass through the cavity as easily and it prevents the inside air escaping outside. The best insulation acts as a barrier to the flow of heat. It keeps the heat contained when it’s cold and keeps it out when it’s warm.

There are many insulation products available in a variety of materials which can be used for different applications around the house. Safe-R Insulation provides a range of insulation systems for use in your walls, roofs and floors. Contact us about our range today!

Get a Healthy House with Insulation

Of course, a warm, dry and well-ventilated house will be better for the environment, as well as healthier for its occupants, than one that is cold and damp.

New Zealand’s Building Code is well known as being a good deal below the standard of that of the rest of the OECD, with very low insulation rates, a lack of consideration for thermal bridging, low ventilation requirements and no requirements when it comes to water efficiency and overheating. This has resulted in the vast majority of New Zealand’s housing stock being unhealthy to live in.

Thankfully there are low cost options to improve the health of your home and the first place to start is always insulation. There are many options for home insulation, some of which utilise recycled and sustainable materials. When deciding on insulation improvements to your home always consider the following:

  • Product suitability for your home
  • Long term performance and future proofing
  • Product material type and environmental credentials
  • Installed performance
  • Provider experience

The great thing about insulation is once installed, it has no further running costs. The impact of well installed insulation is often immediately obvious and last a life time.

For advice on your insulation solution CONTACT the team at Safe-R Insulation and let our team help you achieve a healthier home. Our network of insulation experts cover all major regions in New Zealand including: Whangarei, Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Hawkes Bay, Manawatu, New Plymouth, Wellington, Nelson, Christchuch, Central Otago and Dunedin.

How to check your Underfloor Insulation

If you can access the underfloor area in your home, grab a torch and have a quick look for the presence of underfloor insulation. There are typically 3 things you might find:

Bulk insulation – this includes rigid polystyrene sheets, or softer products like polyester, wool and fibreglass. Most of the time bulk insulation will be held securely in place and won’t need fixing or replacing. However to be sure it’s performing at an optimum level check to see that it is tightly fitted against the underside of the floorboards with no gaps or pieces missing. If any has slipped or fallen out, you should replace it or re-secure. You may need some clips or staples to hold it in place. If it looks a shambles it might be best to have a professional take a look.

Foil-based product – Foil is typically a dull silver colour and is usually looped between the joists. Some retrofit solutions may also be stapled to the underside of the joist. If you suspect you have foil under insulation don’t touch it. There’s an electrocution risk if the staples have pierced electrical wires and the whole lot might be live. Most foil insulation products are proven to not preform long term. Checking or removing existing foil insulation should be done by a professional, who will turn off the power supply to the house and follow the Electrical Code of Practice ECP 55, which provides guidance for managing electrical safety risks of foil insulation. Most underfloor insulation foil is typically ripped, parts of the foil are missing or there are often gaps allowing airflow into the spaces above the foil. Usually it will need to be replaced with bulk insulation. Retrofitting or repairing foil insulation in residential buildings is now banned under section 26 of the Building Act 2004.

Bare floorboards = no insulation – In this case you need to get some fitted. Between 10 – 15% of heat can be lost through an un-insulated underfloor. It’s a dirty job but a determined DIY’er can usually complete you average home in 1 – 2 days. Otherwise get in touch and we can provide you a ‘free quote’ to replace or install new underfloor insulation

Safe-R Insulation – The Company Behind CosyWall

Safe-R is the Auckland Insulation company behind CosyWall Insulation. Safe-R was established in 1987 to develop and distribute innovative thermal and acoustical insulation systems throughout New Zealand.

Our insulation systems are designed to deliver excellent INSTALLED performance, rather than just stating misleading ‘bale’ R-values. At Safe-R Insulation, we select the best worldwide material manufacturer for a particular type, thoroughly investigate and test the material’s suitability for local conditions, and provide a specification for the finished system including obtaining building code approvals. As an innovative company our successes include several different insulation systems. However our most unique is CosyWall Insulation.

CosyWall is an external wall cavity insulation system (EWCIS) and uses water repellent insulation made from specialist glasswool. CosyWall is installed dry (not wet spray insulation foam ) when retrofitted to older homes via a series of small holes in the internal linings or external cladding. This eliminates the need to remove wall linings or cladding to insulate walls.

Safe-R Insulation is a member of IAONZ (Insulation Association of New Zealand) and a current board representative.

Our offices are based in Auckland but we have a nationwide distribution network of licensed installers who can provide a free quote for even the most remote regions around New Zealand.

Please visit our ‘FREE QUOTE’ page and provide some basic contact details and one of our distributors will be in touch within 24 hours.

Ceiling Insulation Options

Ceiling Insulation Options

There are two common types of ceiling insulation: bulk, which fits between or rolls over ceiling joists, and loose-fill, which is blown in or sprayed. Bulk ceiling insulation comes in two types – segments (batts), which fit between the joists above your ceiling, and blanket which is rolled out across the top of the ceiling.

Bulk Ceiling Insulation

Blanket ceiling insulation needs to be installed with no gaps between the blankets or between the insulation and the ceiling. Otherwise the insulation performance will drop due to heat circulating and escaping the insulation. When you’re topping up existing insulation, it can be easier to install blanket insulation than segments.

Segments are installed between joists, so you need to put in higher R-value insulation to make up for the heat that gets lost through the timber. It is important the insulation is well fitted with no gaps, and the r-value is at least 15%-20% higher than required to allow for performance drop via thermal bridging.

Loose-fill ceiling Insulation

Loose-fill insulation is blown onto the ceiling. It is a versatile ceiling insulation option that will suit most situations. It is also a great option if there’s not enough space in your roof to move around and install bulk insulation. Loose-fill should be installed by experienced installer’s using specialised equipment and the correct training.

Minimum R-values (insulation performance) for existing homes

Minimum recommended R-Values for existing homes North Island (excluding Central Plateau) South Island and Central Plateau
Ceilings with no insulation, or up to 70mm of existing insulation  R2.9 blanket or R3.4 segment insulation R3.3 blanket or R4.0 segment insulation
Ceilings with 70-120mm of existing insulation  R1.8 blanket insulation R2.4 blanket insulation

Checklist for choosing ceiling insulation

To get a suitable, effective ceiling insulation product choose one that is:

  • Has a high R-value – R-value is a measurement of the insulation’s effectiveness, the higher the R-value the better
  • The correct width – you need the correct width for the spacing of ceiling joists, roof trusses or rafters, if you’re going to insulate in between – unless using blow-in which suits most situations
  • The correct thickness – to make sure you need to keep at least a 25mm gap between the insulation and the roof underlay
  • Compliant with Standard AS/NZS 4859.1 – so you know the product works as stated. 
  • Correctly Installed – in accordance with NZ standards such as NZS4246:2016

For a free ceiling insulation assessment call our team on 0800 267 992 or contact us here

Ceiling Insulation New Zealand

The need to improve warmth and dryness of existing residential dwellings is important for both homeowners and landlords. The first step in making such improvements is widely recognised as the installation of ceiling insulation.Over the last 20 years governments have invested in campaigns to encourage the installation of insulation and provided subsidies for households and landlords to retrofit insulation into residential dwellings, but still many remain under insulated.

Homeowners and landlords should seek information and advice when they want to improve the warmth and dryness of their residential properties. The initial decision to retrofit insulation should always focus on ceiling insulation. The product type and performance should include the appropriateness to application and relevance to climate and client requirements.

 Safe-R and our team of advisors can offer advice and support to make the best decisions and help clients make the most appropriate actions to improve the warmth and dryness of their New Zealand residential properties. At the point that property owners may be deciding to retrofit ceiling insulation, they can contact us for a free building insulation assessment.

Advice for Insulation New Zealand

A large proportion of New Zealand homes require insulation to enable them to be warmer, drier and healthier. There is a range of people in the market who provide information and advice to consumers about insulation with these people driven by a range of motivations from those who are selling products through to those who are providing impartial advice on insulation and whole of house solutions.

Homeowners and landlords (the consumers) need to know and take this into account before they decide how they will improve the warmth and dryness of their residential properties. They also need to consider the type and quality of information and advice provided to them.

Often the key driver of consumer choices in New Zealand is the cost of the insulation, i.e. its price weighed up against affordability and the benefits expected while they live in or rent their property. However, the main focus for those providing information and advice was typically compliance, product information and benefits.

 Caution should be taken when deciding which advice to follow, as there is no career or qualifications pathway for those working solely in the insulation field and this may contribute to advisers not being fully equipped to provide information and advice to consumers.

Training provided to those in the insulation industry is relatively minimal and reliant on individual organizations researching about products and standards, to acquire the knowledge required to inform consumers about the best solutions to bring about a warm, dry, healthy home. This information is reasonably expansive and technical with experience being one of the major contributing factors to a good consumer experience.

The policies that determine the “minimum” standards for insulation drive adviser and consumer behavior yet these can be complicated and inconsistent. Before you decide on the best New Zealand insulation option give the experienced team at Safe-R Insulation a call. Safe-R Insulation have been operating for over 30 years in the insulation industry and can provide you with sound advice and a free assessment of your homes thermal performance.

Foil Insulation New Zealand

There have been changes to the rules concerning foil insulation New Zealand.Since 1 July 2016 a simple repair, such as re-stapling a piece of torn foil back into place, could earn a fine of up to $200,000.

Earlier this year (2016) the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (the Ministry) announced that the installation and repair of foil insulation in residential buildings with an existing electrical installation has been banned. The reason for this is due to safety concerns with the method of attaching the foil. Stapling and nailing the insulation to floor or ceiling joists in often dark and cramped conditions can lead to electrical cables being accidentally pierced, and because the foil is metallic, it conducts electricity and can become live. During the past decade there have been a number of deaths and injuries in New Zealand due to this.

The ban covers anybody who is installing or repairing foil insulation in ceilings, walls and underfloor areas – including home handymen – and applies to all uses of foil even when it is not used as insulation (eg as a vapour barrier).

There are exceptions to the ban and they include properties (new houses or extensions) where the electrical wiring has not yet been installed, however foil installed in these circumstances will be unable to be repaired in the future. Foil that is bonded to rigid building materials such as plasterboard or polystyrene is not banned either as it tends to be installed in such a way that it is unlikely any live electrical cables could be accidentally pierced.

The Ministry suggests that homeowners engage the services of a licensed electrical worker if they have any concerns about previously installed foil in their building. WorkSafe NZ has also released information which will help protect people and property from harm due to incorrectly installed insulation.

It is considered an offence under Section 27 of the Building act to breach this ban and is punishable by a fine of up to $200,000.

IAONZ has long been concerned with the safety aspect of foil insulation products and is represented on a WorkSafe review looking at establishing an Electrical Code of Practise (ECP) for using foil as an insulation product.

Insulation New Zealand installers can be found by contacting us here