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Old 10-12-2019, 07:38 PM   #1
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Sheep Wool Batts for Insulation?

Hey all,

I have been doing some research on insulation and am having trouble deciding on the way to go. I intend to live in the bus full time and would like to move back to the mountains at some point- which means preparing for cold. That being said, I am pretty good at living in cold spaces (I love a good layer or two) and intend to install a cubic mini wood stove (and have been not very seriously toying with the idea of a copper pipe wood stove water floor radiant heating system??)

It seems spray foam is the generally accepted "best fit" for performance although it is either expensive or a pain in the tush to install (and the off gassing thing too).

I plan on doing rigid foam insulation for the floor but I have been looking into sheep wool batts for the walls and ceiling. It seems like it will be relatively good at insulating, will resist moisture and mold, and it would make feel good about where it comes from (sheep are neat). I looked a bit for this but it seems most folks are talking about rock wool.

Some sites I have been looking at are:
https://havelockwool.com/fiberglass-...ol-insulation/
https://eco-buildingproducts.com/spr...v=7516fd43adaa

Thoughts??
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Old 10-12-2019, 07:58 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by jmccoola View Post
Hey all,

I have been doing some research on insulation and am having trouble deciding on the way to go. I intend to live in the bus full time and would like to move back to the mountains at some point- which means preparing for cold. That being said, I am pretty good at living in cold spaces (I love a good layer or two) and intend to install a cubic mini wood stove (and have been not very seriously toying with the idea of a copper pipe wood stove water floor radiant heating system??)

It seems spray foam is the generally accepted "best fit" for performance although it is either expensive or a pain in the tush to install (and the off gassing thing too).

I plan on doing rigid foam insulation for the floor but I have been looking into sheep wool batts for the walls and ceiling. It seems like it will be relatively good at insulating, will resist moisture and mold, and it would make feel good about where it comes from (sheep are neat). I looked a bit for this but it seems most folks are talking about rock wool.

Some sites I have been looking at are:
https://havelockwool.com/fiberglass-...ol-insulation/
https://eco-buildingproducts.com/spr...v=7516fd43adaa

Thoughts??
I can see some obvious reasons why this would be a good insulation material, but I've never heard of it before. How much does this cost, would be the main question.
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Old 10-12-2019, 08:23 PM   #3
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We thought about this a bit, but discounted it. We had TONS of sheep and alpaca wool batts. It might resist the mold, maybe, but we weren't sure about it holding onto any water that leaked it. Think about a washing a wool sweater.....how much you need to wring out once it's saturated. Now imagine not being able to wring it out, and it being trapped between the ceiling and the roof. Wool absorbs a lot of water before it even feels moist.
The other worry was wool moths. We've had them in our house, and we've got them in our bus. They're damn near impossible to get rid of and an infestation trapped behind the walls would be worse still.
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Old 10-12-2019, 08:48 PM   #4
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Providing a home for critters is very very bad.

If the panels covering the insulation were easily removable for regular inspection and poisoning, maybe.
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Old 10-12-2019, 09:25 PM   #5
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I've lost enough sweaters and sportcoats to moths to realize this might not be a good idea. You could put mothballs in with the insulation, I guess.
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Old 10-12-2019, 10:20 PM   #6
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If its organic it will eventually be nasty and moldy. Kinda like the recycled denim jeans made into batts.
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Old 10-12-2019, 10:28 PM   #7
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It has a little more than half of the Roof value per inch compared to the polyurethane foam.

If you spend any time in particularly hot or cold climates you want as much insulation as you can manage.
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Old 10-13-2019, 08:26 PM   #8
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I was doing some reading and it seems like most wool insulation manufacturers treat the wool with borax or some other proprietary chemical in the washing process. It also seems to be moisture and mold resistant.

Has anyone tried this and had problems or successes??
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Old 10-13-2019, 08:46 PM   #9
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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R-value_(insulation)

This has a table of R-values for various insulations, but they don't have real wool on the list. It got me fantasizing about aerogel again, though - the 2" I'm allocating to insulation would give me R-20. When I first looked into it, it came out that it has the handy property of costing $1 per R-value per square foot; so my estimated 500 sq.ft. total would be $10,000, a little bit over my budget.

I'm going to try using it for a few small things, though, like insulated covers over vent fans and escape hatches etc.
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