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Friday, 19 November 2010

And..... relax

I have decided to dispense with originality on Fridays, and instead re-hash the same title as used every Friday.  It is, after all, dress down day for many people, so why not take a more relaxed approach to originality of titles too.

This Friday finds me up early, getting a bit of early morning email clearing in, and planning the packing for our weekend away 'vannin'.  Having just read Golfy's blog, I realise a possible moist weekend down the New Forest does not, for many, have the same appeal as a week away in Tenerife, but let me tell you the atmosphere in the Scobi household is fairly buzzing.  Even the potential for a bit of precipitation cannot take the edge off things.  The wellies and waterproofs are packed, the Canasta cards are packed and a few clothes are packed.  Sometime later this afternoon, ofsky we will be.

On other news, our new front door will be fitted in 2 weeks.  I now have to get a move on to find appropriate locks before that fateful day, along with planning the insulation "laying" for our front room, which is another subject.

Actually, since I have nothing else to say, I may as well tell you about the insulation plan.  So this is how it is.  We have exposed floor board downstairs, which need a coat of varnish to bring them back to their best, but we really love them.  The only downside is that this is a suspended floor, as most turn-of-the-century houses are, and this means the floor can be cold, and the air can sometimes be felt coming through any cracks I have not managed to fill.
So I have been doing an awful lot of research on tinternet, trying to find out what options, if any, there are to insulate said floor.  My conclusions are that:
  • yes, floors can and are insulated
  • the suspended floor principle is about having moving air to disperse moisture
  • whatever I do, I need to ensure that I do not interfere with this principle
  • I therefore need an insulation method that does not trap moisture, that allows water vapour to move about the place, but keeps the drafts out.
This means that my chosen method of achieving the required insulation will be to use Black Mountain Sheep's Wool insulation, with a layer of permeable membrane on the underside of the beams, to hold the insulation in and also to keep the drafts out.
Sheep's wool is more expensive than that dodgy glass fibre stuff and other insulation options, however it is hydroscopic, which means it allows moisture to move, as does the permeable membrane.  So I achieve the goal of having insulation, stopping moving air, but allowing moisture to move about the place.  Which is pretty much how the whole of my 1900 house is designed.  Trying to stop moisture with moisture-proof stuff leads to trapped moisture and real problems.  This method, for the record, is basically what English Heritage suggest for an old house, so it should be good enough for us.

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