Insulating against Heat?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by norcal, Jan 25, 2010.

  1. norcal

    norcal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 10, 2009
    Northern California
    I've searched here about insulation, and most were talking about against the cold. I am interested to know about insulating against the heat. Our coop is in the late afternoon/evening sun in the summer. We get HOT here, 100's most of the late summer.

    I understand that it will keep out some of the heat. But, will it keep out enough?

    Is insulating it just going to make it take longer for the coop to cool in the evening (holding the heat) once the sun has gone past the mountainside? Does this question make sense? [​IMG]

    I'm looking for a good shade tree to plant, but even the fastest growing would take years to cover the coop. [​IMG]

    Yes, funny I'm talking about heat - when I was just digging trenches for the water to drain from my run. Just looking forward to doing more work on the coop this spring.
     
  2. biggin

    biggin Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 28, 2009
    Georgia
    I'm not real sure about the insulation. I would think it would hold the heat in. If you are worried about heat I think the ventilation is the key. Good airflow will cutdown on the temp alot.
     
  3. bigstack

    bigstack Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 4, 2010
    Texarkana, TX
    You can paint the roof with cool seal. It comes in a 5 gal. bucket. It's like tar but has a silver reflective skin when dry. It will reflect the sun a bit. They sell it for mobile home trailers to seal leaks in the roof. It will help with the roof. WARNING...This stuff is like tar when wet. It will stick to and ruin anything it gets on. Only can be removed with gasoline. Be very careful.wear somethings you can throw away. you use an old mop to put it on the roof. As for the walls I am going to use that foil coverd styrofoam stuff. vents in the attic space. activated by thermostat. and wire mesh coverd windows. Heat rises and cool air is drawn in at ground level. Low vents covered in hardware cloth close as possible to the ground and a high blower fan in the attic for exhausting the heat. (cover in wire to keep flying birds out.) Draw in cooler air and blow out hot air. It helps. You can get a blower motor and a switch at any Heat/AC place then just build a frame to mount it to, wire it up and TA DA!!
     
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Ontario, Canada
    There is not much point in insulating vs. heat unless you have something that will be keeping your coop cool for most of the day and you want to accentuate that effect. For instance, it makes sense to insulate an airconditioned house or workshop, because keeping the cold in (= heat out) allows the a/c to run less. Or, if you have a building with its own built-in "reservoir of coolth" so to speak -- e.g. a rather large building whose dirt or cement floor will stay cool-ish well into the summer if given half a chance.

    For the typical backyard coop however, insulating may keep the coop a tad cooler for like an hour in the morning and after that you are basically stuck with ambient temperature. This is especially true of chicken coops (as compared to houses or storage buildings) because of the requirement for ventilation.

    Thus, in a hot climate IMO the smartest thing is to locate your coop in the largest 'pool' of shade you can manage (if any), and design it to create as much shade and reflect as much heat as possible, and then rely on very free ventilation. This will make the coop temperature equal to whatever your local temp is in that size patch of shade during daytime, and it will drop in the evening as fast as outdoor temps drop. (As opposed to a mostly closed, "garden shed with a coupla windows in it" style coop, which will heat up hotter than outdoor temps and cool off a lot slower than the outdoor air, both of which are bad). And NOT do any insulation, which is pointless anyhow in the resulting mostly-open-air structure.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  5. NorthernOntario

    NorthernOntario Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 19, 2010
    Sudbury
    Insulation is just as good at keeping heat in as it is at keeping heat out.

    If you're worried about a hot environment, you need to minimize solar gain... shades over the windows, light-coloured roof, light-coloured siding, lots of ventilation. Cover your south-facing windows, and put some windows on the north side. Put vents on as much of the coop as possible.

    If you were trying to keep heat in, you would close up the coop at night and open it up during the day. Insulate to prevent losing heat to the cold outdoors.

    Since you're trying to keep heat out, you need to close up during the day, and open up at night. Lots of ventilation, and insulate to prevent heat coming into the coop. Keeping your coop cool could be as simple as a paintjob with some white paint... same reason we wear white t-shirts in the summer... darker=hotter. Also helps to provide lots of shade. Use the ground as a cold heat-sink.
     
  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:While this is sound theory, and reasonable in some situations, this does not work well IME for small buildings in actual-hot-summer climates. You would have to go extremely berzerk with the insulation and reflective paint, moreso than is likely to be worthwhile (when you could, instead, just have mesh walls on 2 or 3 sides and the coop will get no hotter than whatever it is in the shade that day)

    Plus which there is the problem that a coop can't entirely BE closed up during the day, unless you have lots of other places for chickens to get out of the sun and their food and water are not in the coop [​IMG]

    Just sayin',

    Pat
     
  7. norcal

    norcal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 10, 2009
    Northern California
    Thanks for all the replies. Yes, I've told hubby we need to repaint it a lighter color (it's dark red & the roof is brown). [​IMG] It's not high on his list of priorities. That and we have NO money. None. [​IMG]

    I will keep an eye out for light exterior paint on Craigslist/freecycle though this spring/summer. I was also thinking of putting up some type of giant shade or maybe one of those plastic tent/shade thingys folks use on the beach.......on the West side of the coop. Probably couldn't get it tall enough.

    Like this one:
    http://www.tractorsupply.com/lawn-g...ic-10-ft-x-20-ft-canopy-enclosure-kit-1110345

    Could use it for storage too. [​IMG]
     
  8. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Well, insulating is expensive, and evem though there are ways to install for your climate I think your money is better invested in ventilation while maintaining predator protection. If you get freaky cold weather as some did this year, you could create a huddle box or two to shelter the birds...[​IMG]
     
  9. norcal

    norcal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 10, 2009
    Northern California
    Hubby got some insulation from work for free. Though I think it's probably going to go to the garage ceiling - it's not enough to fully do that or the coop. He often gets cheap or free insulation, roofing stuff & wallboard. Not paint unfortunately. But, I'm sure I can pick some up somewhere for cheap.
     
  10. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    I'm planning on building another coop, about 4 ft by 8 ft, and will be using the special plywood with the reflective coating for the roof, then covering the roof with WHITE "Ondura," rippled panels. To reflect the heat as much as possible.

    They're not cheap (neither is that special, heat reflecting plywood), and I'll need 2 of each. But I plan on putting 4 inch by 16 inch vents in three of the walls, and windows in three walls, which will be covered with hardware cloth. (During the winter, I'll put plexiglas sheets in the windows under the hardware cloth, but not the vents.)

    Plus I'll paint the walls a very light, if not white, color. Depends on what OOPS! paint I can find at Lowe's.....

    Sacramento summers halfway kill ME, so I am gonna want to minimize as much heat absorbing surface as I can for the newest coop.

    I have already made a cardboard scale model of the coop, because I didn't understand the plans I found all that well without "building" it. It helped me determine where I needed to add vents and windows. Plus, it's sort of cute sitting on my desk at work. [​IMG]
     

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