Tuesday, March 9, 2010

House Insulation

At long last, we are insulating the house this week. It has been a long road to get here. We had hoped this step would have been completed in the fall, but if house-building and construction life has taught us anything, it's that everything takes much longer than you thought it would.

The reason it takes so long to prepare for insulation is that all the wiring, and all the plumbing and roof penetrations, and really anything that needs to travel in the walls or ceiling, needs to be in place before the insulating can take place, because once it's there, that's it. No more access.

We've had pushes like this before. The floor plumbing and drain and vent system, and water supply was like this too, before we poured the slab. It's chaos making sure we have covered all the details, decisions must be made, and all the while, we are praying we haven't forgotten something. The chaos was enhanced in this project because in order for the insulators to do their job, we had to make sure the house was empty. This shouldn't be a problem, because we don't live in the house yet, right? Well, in theory, yes, but the house was full of building materials, tools, and un-cleaned-up projects. So the cleaning/moving out project took a day and a half. But now that it's done, it's really relaxing, to watch the professionals do their thing, AND to appreciate the cleaned out space.

We are insulating with a spray-foam product that is very very cool. Grow Insulation uses a product called Sealection 500, which is a corn and soy based spray foam. They spray it in a liquid form, and in seconds, it expands 120 times it's volume, sealing all cracks and gaps. Once it cures (which happens quickly), it has no odor, is hypo-allergenic, and is totally non-toxic. We are really excited to see how this installation changes the thermal performance of our passive-solar home. We'll keep you posted on that.

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