Black Mountain Insulation – premium insulation from sheep, for your house, safe for babies
Black Mountain Sheep Wool Insulation is a general purpose natural wool fiber designed for use in loft, rafter, internal walls and inter-floor applications. This product meets and surpasses US Building Product Standards for thermal, fire, mold resistance and structural performance. Because trans Atlantic commerce remains prohibitively expensive, all of our Black Mountain sheep wool insulation products are out of stock indefinitely. Here is what we recommend as a comparable alternative.
How Sheep Wool Insulation compares to Conventional Insulation
Sheep Wool Insulation vs Fiberglass Insulation
Fiberglass insulation consists of superfine woven and compressed glass fibers that are produced in mass and cut into rolls or “batts” of insulation. By comparison, sheep wool may also be cut into batts, but this product is all natural, organic and biodegradable.
Fiberglass batt insulation has been the industry standard for nearly 80 years. More recently, a blown-in product has been introduced to the market. Fiberglass insulation is cheap and readily available; accordingly, it is likely to remain the industry standard in perpetuity.
Things to look out for: 1. you get what you pay for; an increasingly cheap product that defines low quality; we’ve yet to meet anyone who actually likes fiberglass insulation; 2. it was at one time labelled a carcinogen. The removal of such a badge of (dis)honor occurred for reasons we don’t understand.
Sheep Wool Insulation vs Cellulose Insulation
Cellulose or recycled newspaper is a cheap alternative to fiberglass. Industry practitioners like to call it ‘green’ given a relatively accelerated level of recycled content. Cellulose insulation is blown-in and has gained a fair bit of traction given its low cost. From an integrity perspective it is difficult to find any redeeming qualities beyond carbon capture. Newspaper as an insulator conjures images of those who lost their way and no longer have a house to call home.
Further, we all know how well paper burns, which means more than an average amount of chemicals are required to meet building codes. Anecdotally, we’ve yet to meet an installer who would put cellulose in their own home. We’ve seen 30-40 year old cellulose insulation in a pile of dust at the bottom of a wall cavity, and we all know how wet paper has a tendency to mold. Like our next analog, cellulose is a nice idea but a product with no integrity that attracts interest based on cost.
Sheep Wool Insulation vs Cotton Insulation
Cotton insulation would seem like a reasonable solution, but like its synthetic brethren, this fiber lacks integrity. Given the inevitability that moisture will infiltrate an insulated cavity and cotton’s propensity to create mold and mildew means this product is a nice idea until pushed against real efficacy. The installer community is not a fan due to rigidity and difficulty in cutting. This should be less of a concern than the fiber’s inherent ability to underperform.
Sheep Wool Insulation vs Mineral Wool Insulation
The irony in the use of the word wool notwithstanding, basalt rock and slag insulation is a decent product on its own. Basalt is natural and slag is a byproduct of steel production. The former is benign while the latter comprises excessive energy use which is compounded with the need for extreme high heat to make an insulation product. Moreover, the binder used to make batts is formaldehyde. Aside from inherent inadequacies and a fair number of complaints from the installer community rock wool has its uses. We’d stick to its rigid products being installed on the exterior and leave the natural stuff for the breathable air.
Sheep Wool Insulation vs Spray Foam Insulation
Foam insulation will ideally exit the equation exponentially faster than it arrived. One might argue that the idea of combining a so-called air barrier with elevated (stated) r-values meant foam had the potential to be a one-stop panacea for insulative challenges. On balance that might be the case. In practice, not so much. Spray foam insulation is a chemical manufacturing facility that moves between job sites. Appropriate training used to be somewhat of a norm, now spray trucks can be rented. The product is toxic, it is not permeable and therefore forces water into unknown voids and when it cracks the potential for disaster is limitless.
"I have worked in the construction industry and I can tell that most of the builders have not heard about this wonderful natural product. I would definitely recommend it to others.