Insulation help

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Welshies, Jan 31, 2017.

  1. Welshies

    Welshies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So, I have decided to insulate my coop after a long thought process.
    We have the silver bubble-wrap type insulation that comes on the rolls, with the white back.
    What WAY do I put it on? White side in or silver side in?
    Does it truly need to be covered if it is this type? I know styrofoam can be pecked apart, but will they peck at this insulation?
    I will probably staple it to the plywood sheet before screwing the plywood to the frame and studs on the walls and roof.
     
  2. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    Ventilation is far more important than insulation. Closing up the coop to hold in heat will also hold in moisture and ammonia, which is really, really bad. It's an unnecessary expense, and yes, the chickens will try to eat that stuff.
     
  3. Welshies

    Welshies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I know, I have adequate ventilation throughout....
    But what way does it go on? I can post a picture of it later. I seriously do not think that any chickens will be able to destroy it or eat it depending on what way it's put on.
     
  4. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

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    For the climate where OP lives, insulation is probably a good idea.

    As per the people who make the stuff, put the shiny side to the source of radiant heat you want to retain, so shiny foil side in and white side out. If you put this on the outside of your framing, as you would do if you were using the 4' x 8' sheets of 3/4 foil faced foam board (might be a better option), the foil side would still face in. If the birds do start to peck at it, you can always put up something on the inside walls of the framing to protect it.

    For justification as to why I'd suggest insulation, go to this thread, and post #156.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/...ilation-experiment-post-your-results-here/150

    The trick is if you hope to take advantage of any insulation, it's going to be up to you to carefully regulate the amount of ventilation. Rather than wide open ventilation, it now becomes controlled put and take of relatively warmer moist air venting to the outside and colder make up air coming in. Too much ventilation and it leaves. Not enough and it traps moisture.

    Goal is going to be using a combination of radiant heat generated by the birds and insulation to trap it within, to elevate temps inside your coop about 10 to 15 degrees above that on the outside.
     
  5. Welshies

    Welshies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We are going to insulate, but use styrofoam sheets, instead- that fit between the studs.
     
  6. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Plain styrofoam or the foil faced stuff. I would suggest the latter. Plain foam, be it white, pink or blue........the birds will peck at and eat. It would have to be covered with something. The other may too. All of those are different than the sliver bubble wrap you mentioned in your first post.

    All those are probably better and more effective........well maybe not the cheap white stuff........but all of those have to be covered.

    Insulating walls in a chicken house gets tricky. There are a host of things that can go wrong and knowing that the birds will eat it complicates things. An inner wall sealed cavity, with insulation, creates a place for rodents to live, and if or when mites and such move in, a safe haven for them as well. Then there is the issue of moisture movement and what happens when it get inside the walls.

    But if I was starting from scratch, it would be rigid board foam insulation between the framing studs, with exterior of plywood or whatever siding is used, then an interior of plywood or OSB or similar. Rigid foam insulation is it's own vapor barrier. Fiberglass batt insulation isn't and makes an excellent home for rodents. Glass batts are also vapor permeable, meaning water vapor can move through it, to the exterior wall where it will condense on side of the wall in cold weather. If it does that, it can freeze in place, later to run down the wall when it thaws, and will pool on the sills starting rot and mold. So I would be reluctant to use batts, straw, etc. If you do, you need a vapor barrier like plastic under the interior walls sheathing.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2017
  7. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Here is an extension article on this very topic.

    http://articles.extension.org/pages...housing-for-small-and-backyard-poultry-flocks

    Not sure how helpful any of this is as it tends to be pretty general, whereas actually building the thing is very specific.

    If one of the foam insulation boards is installed over the exterior wall studs, and siding over that, it is pretty easy. Insulation board under a metal roof is pretty easy. Insulation board within a wall cavity is a bigger problem for a host of reasons.
     
  8. Welshies

    Welshies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, we'd cover the interior insulation with plywood, to protect it.
    However, this is why I thought getting the styrofoam sheets (they are cheap and easy) was best: I could fit them right in between each 2x4 stud, and cover them.... therefore saving on space and money.
     
  9. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you have not yet built your wall, and are flexible in how you build it, fitting between the studs can work.

    These foam panels come as 4' x 8' sheets, and for some strange reason, many come pre-scored at 16 (3 panels per sheet) and/or 24" (two panels per sheet). That sounds good until you realize that walls are often framed 16" on center from 2 x 4 lumber, (16" OC allows all subsequent panels of siding, drywall, etc. to butt on a stud and divides the span so the panel is supported across it's span in 4 places) so that leaves wall cavities of 14 1/2 inches, meaning you have to prune 1 1/2 inches from the side of each panel scored and snapped to be 16", meaning a bunch of labor, and a particularly messy type of expensive scrap left over from the cut. If you go 2' on center, you still end up trying to fit a 24" panel into a wall cavity of 22 1/2 inches.

    So what this is telling us is these panels are not really intended to be used inside typical stud walls. They are for sheathing on the outside, under roofs, under cement floors, outside concrete walls, etc. By comparison, standard fiberglass batt insulation comes in a standard width of 15 inches, which is perfect to press into these wall cavities to seal them up. But for our use, glass batts are about the very last thing you would want to use. Rodents, wet insulation, etc. make them truly horrible for this use.

    So back to the panels, one way around the odd shaped cavity issue is to not use vertical studs. If the coop is small, you could abandon the vertical wall studs and go horizontal for the main sides. That leaves the 4 corner posts as the structural supports bearing the weight of the roof and horizontal lumber as the support for hanging the siding, which if you use plywood or T1-11 siding is structural itself. Do that and you can easily space these horizontal runners so you can fit a 24" wide panel in. Use 1 1/2 inch thickness so they are flush with the runners, sandwiched between the interior and exterior walls.

    Yet another option, is to abandon the 4' x 8' sheets of plywood for exteriors so you don't have to adhere to the 16" or 24" OC stud pattern. You could use horizontal boards (like the traditional ship lap) or perhaps vinyl siding. Or if you use these full sheets on the exterior between the insulation and metal siding, which if installed over insulation makes for a good exterior wall sheathing. Metal siding is maintenance free, durable and predators won't have any success with it.

    Whatever the case, don't lose sight of the purpose of the insulation, which is to install a thermal break to prevent the line of sight radiant heat generated by the birds from hitting the uninsulated exterior wall and then pass through that wall to radiate out into the open. You want to trap that radiant heat in the building. Additionally, any insulation will also help to reflect summer sun and heat away from the building. Both take a little but do not require a lot.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2017
  10. Welshies

    Welshies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We've alreay got the frame built and up. All 4 walls. Window, and doorframe. If we did use that reflective bubble wrap type insulation, does it need to be covered?
    I'm not worried so much about scrap type; we have plenty of uses for that. Just cost and efficiency.
     

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