Re-insulating with Roxul

Smash, crash, take down, pull out, save for re-use, burn, throw away, sweep, vacuum . . . that’s not all we’ve been doing.  Well . . . that’s all I’ve been doing but while I’ve continued in demolition mode, John has been in “putting things back together” mode.

The first thing he had to do (and is still working on, room by room) is wiring.  He is pulling out all the old wiring and putting in new wiring, compliant with the current Code.   We’ve had many discussions as to where we need plugs and where we need lighting.  Those discussions have been fun as they remind us that we do have a future here, after all the weekends of work, work, work are done.

John installing new electrical plug

John was installing new plugs in the living room when I took this picture. A lecture was immediately delivered to the effect that one shouldn't take pictures, using a flash, unannounced when someone else is working with electricity! Of course, he had the breaker off, but I can understand the initial reaction when there is a sudden flash of light!

After the wiring, insulating.  We are going to have a very cozy home indeed.  Between the studs on the exterior walls are vertical batts of R14 Roxul. Then on top of the batts and the studs will run horizontal rows of R7 Styrofoam board.

Roxul, for those who are unfamiliar with it, is similar to the pink batts of fibreglass insulation, but “is a rock-based mineral fiber insulation comprised of Basalt rock and Recycled Slag. Basalt is a volcanic rock which is abundant in the earth, and slag is a by-product of the steel and copper industry. The minerals are melted and spun into fibers.” (from the Roxul website: http://www.roxul.com/stone+wool/faq#f1217 )

For us, the Roxul was only marginally more expensive than fibreglass and John liked the fact that its fire resistant properties are much greater than those of fibreglass insulation.  As he says, being made of rock, it doesn’t burn.  (Yes, of course,there is such a thing as molten rock, but not at temperatures likely to ever happen in a residential fire.  According to the company, it would take heat of up to 2150º F or 1177º C to melt or burn their product.)  The other advantage to the Roxul that John was impressed with is the fact that because the stone wool doesn’t absorb moisture, the R value of the insulation will not be affected even if for some reason it became damp.

insulating the living room
John likes working with the Roxul. The batts are firmer than fibreglass batts and they don’t give off as many loose fibres.

The more he works with it, the more pleased John has been with the Roxul.  He finds it much easier to work with than the pink stuff as the batts stay relatively stiff when you are moving them into place. It’s also possible to measure and cut them reasonably accurately for those places where a full-sized batt doesn’t fit.

studs and insulation

This wall is almost complete with batts of Roxul insulation wedged in between the studs. Doesn't it look cozy?!

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