Insulation is a topic in building that most folks don’t care to think about much less discuss. Most products are low-grade fibers and/or some weak attempt at recycling waste products into a more ‘useful’ medium. Garbage in, garbage out.
Our findings, on the contrary, are quite different and seem to track the movement in healthier foods quite closely. McDonalds is shrinking while Wholefoods expands. This is for good reason. Consumers are starting to ask questions and they’re learning that mainstay products have not had their best intentions in mind for some time. Insulation manufacturers may well optimize this persona of making the worst possible product you can get away with selling. What’s more, they have become masters of marketing whereby they’ve got industry practitioners convinced it just makes sense to use whatever junk they throw at them.
Over the last 5 years we’ve come to learn there is a fast-growing consumer segment that not only wants to learn more about healthy insulation and healthy homes but also has no interest in perpetuating the use of toxic, sub-par materials. Our website outlines in more detail the basics on each product on offer here.
It’s really inspiring to take regular phone calls from people who found us on the internet and ‘need’ to thank us for what we do. We started this mission on a simple premise: existing insulation materials are unhealthy, toxic and don’t perform well. Mother nature has provided us with the simple solution: all-natural, non toxic sustainable sheep’s wool. So with that in mind, we wanted to set out The Common Misconceptions to further awareness of healthy alternative insulation options.
Common misconceptions are as follows:
Fiberglass is fine, right? It has been in every house I’ve lived in.
See our piece here to gain our views as to why fiberglass was once a carcinogen and likely still should be.
Ecobatts are Ecofriendly, right?
Wrong. See our piece here.
What about cotton batts; I’ve heard of those?
Nice idea; weak fiber. Cotton is simply not an insulator. Sure the idea of taking old blue jeans, grinding them up and shoving them in the wall sounds sort of okay. Now think about how your jeans feel when they get wet. As we often note condensation is inevitable so ask yourself if you want wet jeans in your walls. Do they mold? Sure can. Do they keep performing when wet? No. Do they lose already low integrity over time. Yep. Cotton is a nice idea on the face of it all, but not when you study the fiber dynamics and even less so when once you know wool is on offer.
Cellulose is all recycled newspaper, right?
Wrong. Cellulose is supposed to be recycled newspaper. Let’s start right there. Do you see folks wearing paper jackets to keep warm? No. Is newspaper an insulator? No. Does it mold when wet? Yes. Are there any redeeming qualities to this other than it costs next to nothing? Oh wait, it is recycled. Guess what, newspapers are less and less in print; installers tells us they are literally staring to see a mix of garbage in the product. Either way, paper is not an insulator.
Foam is the answer to insulation problems?
It absolutely is not. It is the framework for a whole host of new problems – some already quite clear, others likely waiting to rear their ugly heads. This is not an advertisement but at some weak attempt at brevity please read a few views here.
Insulation is cheap, why are you so expensive?
Without being flippant we are quick to ask if we are too expensive or is the other stuff too cheap? Pricing varies but when one considers procuring and installing a fiberglass batt at say (arbitrarily) $0.45 per s/f there seems to be an obvious series of questions. How does a manufacturer, make a fiber, then a product that needs to be packaged and delivered to a distributor, then an installer and finally to a consumer for that price? Employees, logistics and distribution and installer arrangements are all similar so whats the variable? The quality of the fiber. There is a lot of truth to you get what you pay for and there is simply no way there is any intrinsic value to these types of insulation. Fiberglass and cellulose would be the leading candidates in this category
To all of this we ask another simple question: What would the perfect insulation look like?
Were cost no issue and you simply wanted the most responsive, long-lasting fiber to protect you from the elements what would it be? Perhaps, wool?
We are going to break ground on a new home later this year.
Looking for insulation that will not collect moisture, will keep me warm in the cold, and cooler in the heat. I am planning on van life.
Havelock Wool does all that! Thanks for reaching out.
Can the 2 inch batt be compressed down to 1 inch? I am thinking of using it in between firing strips that are mounted on a brick wall before I put up wood panelling.
You can easily peel apart the 2in batt into 1in. It is best not to overcompress. Thanks!