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Author Topic: Improvised insulation
Infinitesimal
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Icon 1 posted April 29, 2008 05:31      Profile for Infinitesimal     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
So I find myself living in a garage which has been converted into a living area.

Problem is its only part finished due to money issues (lack thereof), and it has a metal roof which as far as I can tell is behaving like a whopping great heatsink and its now starting to get damn cold in here.

The question is what can I do to rig up some insulation on the cheap until the money is available to do it properly.

Any Ideas oh geeky ones?

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That which doesn't kill you can only make you stronger. Therefore I am damn near indestructable.

Posts: 153 | From: Melbourne, Australia | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged
Ashitaka

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Icon 1 posted April 29, 2008 05:35      Profile for Ashitaka     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
newspaper, though, I don't knwo how well this would stand up to firecodes


dumpster diving at a foam or a fiber glas factory.

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"If they're not gonna make a distinction between Muslims and violent extremists, then why should I take the time to distinguish between decent, fearful white people and racists?"

-Assif Mandvi

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CommanderShroom
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Icon 1 posted April 29, 2008 08:07      Profile for CommanderShroom     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I figure that building codes out there are tougher than the US. But here are some ideas.

Do the 'dive' for chunks of plywood. And of course save up for a saw. Preferably a circular saw. You can get them relatively cheap and those things come in handy.

I would avoid newspaper, if you can. While it can insulate, paper nowadays is pretty low grade. It is meant to decompose quickly.

The biggest thing is to get something between you and the roof. Once you get the ceiling lower, it gets easier to heat.

Now, if you can find a place. Prowl around construction sites. I am not advocating pilfering rolls of insulation, but when they get to the finish work, there will be cast off stuff. So you might be able to get bits and pieces here and there.

Also look about for something like freecycle. I don't know if they run in your area or have some kind of equivalent. You may be able to even find some left over drywall and get a better job done.

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted April 29, 2008 14:44      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Ashitaka:
newspaper, though, I don't knwo how well this would stand up to firecodes

There was a guy on the radio recently, from an organisation that does building inspections for prospective buyers, giving his list of common horror-stories they find.

The use of newspaper for insulation was one of them.

He told some graphic tales of what happens if a spark gets into the roof space, the whole roof can be ablaze, the fall in, in less time than it takes the occupants to notice and get out of the house.

Death Trap.

Ditto for polystyrene foam, with the added bonus that the fire raining down on the victims is hotter, and sticky.

Shroom's on the right track, plywood and/or plasterboard is your best bet.

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Snaggy

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Icon 12 posted April 29, 2008 14:48      Profile for Snaggy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
sweater, gloves, hat!
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CommanderShroom
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Icon 1 posted April 29, 2008 14:56      Profile for CommanderShroom     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by The Famous Druid:

The use of newspaper for insulation was one of them.

He told some graphic tales of what happens if a spark gets into the roof space, the whole roof can be ablaze, the fall in, in less time than it takes the occupants to notice and get out of the house.

There is that also.

I still remember when I was a kid. My grandmother was willed a turn of the century home. It needed lots of work and all the kids and grandkids pitched in. Well the walls were packed full of paper insulation. Back then I guess it wasn't near the concern it is now.

Horrible fire hazard. And since newer paper does break down so quickly, it kinda makes a baad problem even worse.

--------------------
Does he know our big secret?
Has one of us confessed?
'Bout the wires circuits and motors
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TheMoMan
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Icon 1 posted April 29, 2008 17:23      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
_________________________ Infinitesimal You did not say if the roof has a ridge vent so I am guessing not. You also did not elaborate on if cars or motor vehicles were still going to be stored in the garage. Use the thickest sheet rock (drywall) you can get your hands on. This will slow a fire if one should happen then use any code insulation that you can get your hands on. DO NOT SLEEP IN A ROOM WITH A FUELED VEHICLE INSIDE. Gasoline or petrol fumes are too damn explosive.

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Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.


Benjamin Franklin,

Posts: 5835 | From: Just South of the Huron National Forest, in the water shed of the Rifle River | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
Infinitesimal
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Icon 1 posted April 29, 2008 18:17      Profile for Infinitesimal     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by TheMoMan:
_________________________ Infinitesimal You did not say if the roof has a ridge vent so I am guessing not. You also did not elaborate on if cars or motor vehicles were still going to be stored in the garage. Use the thickest sheet rock (drywall) you can get your hands on. This will slow a fire if one should happen then use any code insulation that you can get your hands on. DO NOT SLEEP IN A ROOM WITH A FUELED VEHICLE INSIDE. Gasoline or petrol fumes are too damn explosive.

Nope no cars, the street side doors have been walled off, and the place has a raised wooden floor.

The sheet rock falls under the "doing it properly" category in my mind unfortunately.

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That which doesn't kill you can only make you stronger. Therefore I am damn near indestructable.

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quantumfluff
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Icon 1 posted April 29, 2008 19:12      Profile for quantumfluff     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Dumpster dive for soda cans. Lay them out standing
vertically between two plans of any material and tar up the edges to make sandwich boards. Lot's of air gaps! The big problem is that you'll need thousands of cans to cover a decent area.

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DoctorWho

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Icon 1 posted April 29, 2008 20:13      Profile for DoctorWho     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
If you do what quantumfluff suggests, I suggest you wash those cans before you use them. Who knows what foul microbes could be lingering on those cans.

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted April 29, 2008 21:30      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Infinitesimal:
The sheet rock falls under the "doing it properly" category in my mind unfortunately.

How about a large tarpaulin stretched over the outside of the garage roof?

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If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

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TheMoMan
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Icon 1 posted April 30, 2008 02:12      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
___________________________ Infinitesimal If you have a blue or green tarp, they will absorb a lot of solar heat, Blue and green are just behind black on absorption but do not re-radiate as much when the clouds move in or at night fall.

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Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.


Benjamin Franklin,

Posts: 5835 | From: Just South of the Huron National Forest, in the water shed of the Rifle River | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
Infinitesimal
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Icon 1 posted April 30, 2008 02:23      Profile for Infinitesimal     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by TheMoMan:
___________________________ Infinitesimal If you have a blue or green tarp, they will absorb a lot of solar heat, Blue and green are just behind black on absorption but do not re-radiate as much when the clouds move in or at night fall.

Hrm wouldnt the Tarp be better placed on the inside as the aim is to keep heat in, rather than preventing it coming through?

--------------------
That which doesn't kill you can only make you stronger. Therefore I am damn near indestructable.

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TheMoMan
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Icon 1 posted April 30, 2008 02:33      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
________________________ Infinitesimal I was suggesting the tarp on the outside as a solar collector, to warm the metal roof. I would not suggest that you hang a tarp in living quarters as a heat block due to its ability to burn, think fabric candle.

--------------------
Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.


Benjamin Franklin,

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Doco

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Icon 1 posted April 30, 2008 20:21      Profile for Doco   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Are those cheap blue tarps flammable or are they treated to be fire-resistant? Google says that fire-retardant tarps are available, but probably not cheap.

In any case - you need something between you and the roof. Dumpster diving is the cheapest way to get materials. Remodeling will generate more debris than new-construction and might give you more chance to get stuff. Look for fiberglass insulation or ceiling tiles. The drop-ceiling tiles can be nailed directly to ceiling joists if you want to go for cheap, quick, and ugly. Offices that are being remodeled will sometimes have a lot of old tiles that they are dumping or selling cheap.

Being a garage, there may or may not be some way for hot air to escape near the peak of the roof. If there isn't some way for it to get out - fix that. It could be through a ridge vent or a vent through the roof or a vent in the gable end. You also need some way for air to get in through the soffits. Then when you get a barrier between the living space and the roof, air can come in through the soffit and take heat out through the vent.

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CW Smith
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Icon 1 posted May 08, 2008 19:43      Profile for CW Smith   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Does your area have something like Habitat For Humanity? The Habitat chapter in my area (Des Moines, Iowa) has something they call the ReStore. Contractors and do-it-your-selfers can take unneeded lumber, paint, drywall, plumbing, etc. (including reclaimed doors, windows and fixtures from remodels), to the ReStore as a donation, and the proceeds go to the organization. Sort of a Salvation Army Thrift Store for your house.

It's worth looking into, and might be a way to help yourself on your limited budget.

I suppose I should say that I'm not associated with Habitat For Humanity in any way. But I do know they're a good organization that does good work.

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Peace,
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