Sheep's wool home insulation

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  #1  
Old 09-29-15, 07:48 AM
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Sheep's wool home insulation

Any thoughts on this material?

Sheep’s Wool Insulation in Batts and Loose Fill » BEC Green

Sheep Wool Home Insulation & Sheep Wool Products | Good Shepherd Wool

some PDFs there with technical info too.

Im in Canada - wondering about getting this accepted by the insurance company, despite the fact it's above regular Canadian standards for insulation, pest and fire control. (Notably, when we bought the house and the insurance inspector came over, he didnt even ask about the attic insulation, or look up there. It was 4" of blown cellulose, old and polluted with rodent infestation, now recently removed for my DIY refurb job.)
 
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Old 09-29-15, 08:14 AM
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Read most of the first link and, although perhaps green, I would prefer to not be at the beginning of any product. Granted this may have been out there for some time, but no where near the exposure of traditional insulation materials.

Between the added cost and the lower r-value you will be paying a lot for that green feeling. Putting that money into a super air sealing and insulation effort has its green benefits as well, you just use less energy. The days are not far away when home energy costs become a minor part of a household budget. Would someone in the future want to remove what you are considering to install something better?

Bud
 
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Old 09-29-15, 11:03 PM
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possibly true however my wife is dead set against any foam, and even the binders used in fibreglass seem to have a bad rep for VOCs and other nastiness (and fibreglass has terrible fireproofing quality - it just melts to provide great air flow to feed fires). foam is totally out for the VOC reason (considering the insulation co told us we have to move out for a day while it cures!).

additionally, any amount of cellulose or whatever can be blown in above it later if required. (Im a bit on the fence about burying all the services in a sea of foam -- how do people work around that? (without spending hours/$$ on an electrician to lift all the wires up higher?)

first step is done: i've mapped out all the eletricals on paper. now to fix a few of the ancient degrading paper-insulated wires (yikes), and fixup a few outlets, then ill continue on with a vapour barrier, and figure out what kinda insulation is good.
 
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Old 09-30-15, 03:12 AM
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Foam is having its air quality issues along with separating and poor installation. Not defending fiberglass, but once a fire gets hot enough to melt it, there isn't much left to save. Roxul would be another you might read about, but if your due diligence has you comfortable with the wool, I see nothing wrong with it. Document the install and research and stick it in a zip lock in the attic for future home buyers.

The air sealing between house and attic has a high return on your efforts. I'll attach a link on air sealing if you haven't found it as yet.

http://www.efficiencyvermont.com/ste...ide_062507.pdf

Bud
 
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Old 09-30-15, 07:16 AM
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thanks for the link. Sheep's wool is crazy pricey tho, turns out (I think, I havent finished pricing out other efforts):

"You will require 145 rolls of Item #003 at $42.85/roll costing $6213.25,
plus HST $807.72, plus brokerage $250.00 plus shipping to be quoted yet.
So far the total is $7,270.97USD plus shipping. Is there anything else you
need or should I go ahead and quote shipping now? Thanks, Stan

With $CAD in the toilet (1.33x), that's ~10k for insulation of 750sq ft! yowch! Unless I find a Canadian source.

Thanks for the link, reading through.

For the vapour barrier I'm gathering I should staple and leave the top surfaces of the joists expose to breathe - or is that a path for vapour to dampen and freeze up in the insulation? It's not a new home (1910!) so the wood has dried out, but I wonder if I would be causing a dead pocket if they do get moist and cant breathe out somewhere (I suppose if there's a path in, there's a path out too.)
 
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Old 09-30-15, 08:04 AM
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That price does give one reason to pause.
Below is a blog from someone who also considered wool. They ended up with Roxul.

@mathx "For the vapour barrier I'm gathering I should staple and leave the top surfaces of the joists expose to breathe" That sounds like you would be installing the facing in an up position?? The vapor barrier needs to be at the bottom of the joist cavities in contact with the ceiling below. The insulation is usually left exposed to the attic.

As a note, the air in the attic is most often vented out, so any pollutants related to the insulation are not being introduced into the house. Of more concern would be what is coming up from the basement below. I've seen estimates in excess of 50% of the air we breathe comes from our basement or crawl space. Unknown to me before I got into the energy business is how much air exchange a normal home experiences. Typically, a fairly tight home replaces all of the inside air every 3 to 4 hours. Controlling where that air comes from and perhaps conditioning it through filters can do a lot for indoor air quality.
Basement Insulation Options: Rockwool Rocks!

Bud
 
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