Applications of Optimal Sheep Wool Insulation
The Optimal Sheep Wool Insulation has a smooth surface and a firmly textured felt. It can be used as roof insulation, loft insulation, wall insulation (both internal and external insulation) and floor insulation. It is easy to cut or rip and is a versatile insulation product. It comes in standard widths of 380mm and 570mm to fit rafter gaps of 400mm and 600mm respectively.
The benefits of wool insulation
Wool as insulation helps to reduce energy costs and prevents the loss of energy to the external environment (just like our Chimney Sheep® draught excluders, really!). Here are a few reasons why wool works for building insulation:
- Heat Insulation - sheep wool acts as a brilliant heat insulation product because of the wool's crimped structure. When wool fibres are packed together, they form millions of tiny air pockets which trap air. This keeps buildings warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Wool insulation works just as well as manmade insulation products but is more sustainable and better for the environment, requiring less than 15% of the energy needed to produce glass fibre insulation.
- Humidity regulating - wool is hygroscopic so it will readily absorb water from the air. It can absorb up to 35% of its own weight from the surrounding atmosphere depending on the humidity, without feeling damp. If you have a damp home, the wool can help absorb moisture then wick it away when there’s enough airflow to dry it out.
- Sound Insulation - wool insulation is a very effective airborne and structure borne acoustic insulation due to the multiple layered wool fibres. This significantly reduces noises that can be heard throughout a building.
- Hypoallergenic - wool is hypoallergenic as it is resistant to bacteria, mould and mildew that can trigger allergic reactions in many people. Our insulation causes no irritation to the eyes, skin or lungs and wool fibres present no hazard to your health.
- Absorbs high volatile compounds (VOCs) – wool is able to absorb and break down indoor air pollutants, such as formaldehyde, nitrogen dioxide and sulphur dioxide, making air cleaner and safer. VOC’s are in the air all around us, especially in new products and furniture and things that have been varnished or painted. The VOC's bind permanently with the keratin in the wool fibre. You can read more about it here.
- Naturally breathable - wool is naturally breathable, allowing air and moisture to move and circulate in a space (purifying air that moves through the wool), whilst still insulating and keeping your home warm. Think of it like a nice feather duvet, that keeps you snug and warm but still permits moisture and air to percolate through.
- Naturally fire retardant – wool does not support combustion and it will extinguish itself in the event of fire. In fact, 100% wool insulation has a higher fire resistance than cellulose and cellular plastic insulation. Wool does not burn, but instead singes away from fire and extinguishes (wool has a very high inflammation point of 560°C due to its high Nitrogen content of ~16%). The fibres are self-extinguishing because of its high Limiting Oxygen Index (LOI=25.2), which means to completely burn wool an oxygen content of 25.2% is necessary whereas air only has 21%.
Key features of Sheep Wool Insulation Optimal Rolls
Not all sheep wool insulation is made equal and ours is pretty special! Here’s why:
- 100% Wool – our Sheep Wool Insulation is made from 100% pure wool. Using wool is beneficial because it is a much more environmentally friendly way to insulate yet works just as effectively as manmade insulation. Wool is a renewable source (as long as there are sheep grazing, there will be sheep that need to be sheared for their wellbeing!) and it is also completely compostable. When the insulation comes to the end of its long life and disposed of, it can be put in compost where it will decompose pretty quickly and release some valuable nutrients into the ground.
- Plastic free - many other sheep wool insulations on the market have around 25% of plastic additives added to give it “loft” and make it perform effectively as insulation. To ensure our 100% wool insulation remains “lofty” the wool is carded (combed), so all of the fibres are running in the same direction. This extremely thin layer of carded wool fibres is then layered numerous times to give the end product its desired thickness. These layers are mechanically bonded to produce a thick, strong roll of insulation.
- Parasite protected - the insulation is treated with IONIC PROTECT®. This is exactly the same treatment as we use on our Chimney Sheep® draught excluders! It is a really clever technology which causes a slight alteration of the ionic charge of the wool fibre through a plasma-ion treatment. This means that moths don’t even recognise it as wool and fly on by! Other moth deterrents rely on the moth larvae eating a little bit of the product in order to be poisoned by the treatment – this means a little bit of it deteriorates each time a moth larvae chews on it.
- Energy efficient - wool is designed by nature to save energy. Our Sheep Wool Insulation requires only a fraction of the energy to produce compared to that of manmade counterparts. This means that Sheep Wool Insulation will pay back its energy costs more than 5 times sooner (only 15 kW of energy are used to produce 1 m³).
- Easy to install – our Sheep Wool Insulation is safe and easy to install. It fits around shapes and joists easily and comes in a variety of product types and sizes. All our insulation products are made to roll widths that fit standard joist gaps generally - 400mm and 600mm. It is available in rolls that are 380mm and 570mm wide respectively. You can fit it anywhere – from external or internal walls, under timber or concrete floors to the attic/loft or between the rafters. If you want to make existing attic/loft insulation more effective, you can roll out Sheep Wool Insulation over the existing insulation rather than having to remove it. This can also be safer than removing hazardous material.
Installation instructions (loft, ceilings and floors)
- >Make sure the area is clean and dust-free.
- Unroll the insulation between the joists.
- Cut to the appropriate length either by tearing is using your hands or using a decent pair of scissors. If using as loft insulation, it’s advisable to leave a 50mm gap at the eaves to enable the loft space to be properly ventilated.
- Gently tap the insulation into place, making sure you don’t compress it.
- When joining two rolls, press the seams together to create a close join.
- If you’re doing a double layer, put the next layer at 90° to the base layer, so it goes across the rows.
Installation instructions (walls)
- Unroll the wool and hold it up to the top of the wall / ceiling that you want to apply it to.
- The Optimal has a smooth side. Keep this facing outward
- The insulation can be stapled to the rafters at intervals to hold keep it in place.
- Trim it off at the bottom when you’ve finished fixing it. This can be done either by tearing it with your hands or using a decent pair of scissors.