Sheep's Wool Insulation

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rowe1311

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Sheep's Wool Insulation
« on: March 28, 2017, 12:22 »
I haven't been active on this forum for a couple of years, but now the weather is a bit better I am concentrating on the garden again and need some advise! 

I have a big pile of sheep's wool insulation that I don't know what to do with.  It has got damp and a bit dirty and is now currently in the greenhouse drying.  As it has got wet I don't want to offer it to anyone as insulation in case it won't properly dry out and cause damp.  I was thinking about how useful would it be in the garden.  Do you think insulation is treated with chemicals so would be unsuitable as a mulch, or a sponge base under raised beds.  I have quite a bit and would hate to have to throw it out, but don't want it to leach chemicals into the soil.   

Angela


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solway cropper

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Re: Sheep's Wool Insulation
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2017, 22:17 »
Wool 'shoddy' was traditionally used as a soil/compost additive by gardeners in West Yorkshire but that was from raw, unprocessed wool. Not sure what additives/fire retardants might have been added to wool insulation so worth checking out before deciding what to do.

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snow white

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Re: Sheep's Wool Insulation
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2017, 15:45 »
I had some untreated wool daggings and read it was good as a mulch as it kept slugs off.  Well it did the opposite and the little dears  found it an ideal habitat to raise their young.  It also composts very slowly.

With insulation, you would need to find out if it has had any chemicals added.  If unsure, dispose of properly.

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8doubles

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Re: Sheep's Wool Insulation
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2017, 19:43 »
If the wool insulation is not chemically treated it must be a magnet for carpet moths in the home ! ;)

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rowe1311

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Re: Sheep's Wool Insulation
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2017, 12:38 »
Thanks for the tips, I have just been away and managed to log back on.  I am guessing from your advice that most insulation has been treated, and as I have no way of knowing where it came from I should assume it has.  Now I need to know what to do with lots of the stuff as I hate throwing anything away. 

Thank you all for the replies. 

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Rhys

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Re: Sheep's Wool Insulation
« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2017, 21:29 »
Insulate your shed?  ::)
"There's no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothing, so get yourself a sexy raincoat and live a little." - Billy Connolly

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rowe1311

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Re: Sheep's Wool Insulation
« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2017, 22:23 »
A friend has mentioned that sheep wool is usually treated with borax for pest control and fire retardant.  This source suggests it is a low amount https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wool_insulation.  Now I don't know much about borax other than it gets used as household detergent, but again through google it seems to be added to soil as a fertiliser. 

Now I am not sure whether to use it as a sponge layer or not? 

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JayG

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Re: Sheep's Wool Insulation
« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2017, 09:43 »
Shame you don't know more about the source of the insulation, because like you I'd be pretty keen to try to usefully recycle it (not that I've knowingly come even remotely close to being gifted a pile of wool insulation!  :lol:)

Some products claim to be 100% pure wool (presumably with no additives at all), others have an unspecified amount of recycled filler materials, some of which are certainly man-made fibres which won't biodegrade and therefore may cause problems.

Add to that a question mark over the borax content and potential pesticide contamination of the original fleeces, I think I'd have to reluctantly bin it, although if I had an out of the way place available I would be tempted to pile it up, protect it from rain, and wait and see...
Sow your seeds, plant your plants. What's the difference? A couple of weeks or more when answering possible queries!

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rowe1311

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Re: Sheep's Wool Insulation
« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2017, 20:06 »
I did a burn test and didn't notice any synthetics in it, but you can never be sure, so it isn't going to go on the veggies

My husband has now moved it out of the greenhouse into the garage, so I am not so bothered by it.  He is making a larger wood store out of the boxes it came from and will be putting a green roof on it, so some will go underneath the membrane to stop it snagging, which will use up some of it. After that I will see how much is left and probably the rest will be stuck at the back of the garage along with all the other useful (or not so useful) junk we can't bear to throw away. 



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