Sheep’s wool is actually brilliant for insulating your home! I hope you didn’t think I meant you put a sheep in your loft? 🙂
Why is sheep’s wool so good then?
Firstly, wool is a great insulator, as I am sure all the sheep will agree. Come rain or snow they will be stood in it, with their fleece keeping them warm and dry. It does this thanks to it’s incredible structure, which not only keeps the sheep warm and dry, but it is breathable too. So even if it is a scorching hot day, Mary’s little lamb was not sweating away under his big woolly fleece.
However, it is not all about staying dry and being breathable, the wool has an amazing ability to produce heat! Bet you never imagined a sheep like a radiator before, but it is true. Inside the wool is little air pockets created by the tiny wool fibres, that traps moisture from the air, the fibres remove the moisture which generates a small amount of heat.
The heat in turn keeps the wool dry, meaning that the sheep can maintain a reasonable temperature, without getting too cold or too hot!
So, imagine you have sheep’s wool installed into your loft, what are the benefits from using it?
Well, you are going to have quality insulation that maintains a temperature, above that to promote dampness especially as moisture is being removed from the air also preventing condensation, which can damage your joists and walls etc. Wool will maintain a warm temperature, which will keep your home warmer with less energy use!
Sheep’s wool is so good at maintaining heat, it is extremely hard to burn too. Wool is a natural fire retardant, as it extinguishes itself if the source of the flame is removed, which makes it ideal for your home.
Wool is like a superhero of insulation, it has all of these abilities as well as the ability to absorb and trap harmful chemicals that are floating around in the air. Be it mould, poor ventilation or building materials giving off chemicals the wool will catch them, aiding to prevent it travelling further.
And it isn’t just chemicals it prevents travelling further, sound is also blocked! It is probably better than any man made sound-proof product around.
Not only is it great at keeping your home warm, trapping all heat that travels into its path, but it is a 100 green product to use (if you buy 100 wool, rather than the polyester mix available)! Your carbon footprint will take a massive hit if you install sheep’s wool.
Now that you know how sheep’s wool works, and the benefits, the final preparation needs to be done before installing it. The sheep’s wool will obviously need to be washed a few times in a process called scouring to remove bugs, dead skin and lanolin. To make sure you have no unwanted creepy crawlies, it should also be treated with insecticide, preferably borax, which is a natural salt based solution, that also happens to be fire resistant.
To lay the wool evenly, it will need to be thinned out first in a process called carding. This removes the clumps that tend to be produced during shearing. You can buy wool in pre-made sheets, but this is generally mixed with polyester, losing some of the green credentials and decreasing its fire proofing too. You could also have the wool crimped, which is does exactly what it sounds like. Crimping keeps the air pockets open meaning you get the best out of your insulation.
Once these processes are complete, you are now ready to insulate your home with it. If you want to get hold of some sheep’s wool, then try your local insulation supplier or if all else fails, speak to a nearby farm and see what they can offer you!
I think wool is the greenest of insulation, and would definitely be a worthwhile investment if you want to have the greenest of homes.