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Low Cost Way To Re-Insulate Older Buildings
When he's not busy inventing and building in his farm shop, Roger Gutschmidt can often be found putting his good ideas to work elsewhere. The Gackle, N. Dak. man recently helped his church save on heating costs with an economical method of "topping up" the building's existing insulation.
  "Our church walls had always been really cold and lost a lot of heat in the winter," he explains. "The building was originally constructed in the 1940's and the outside walls were built with 2 by 6's but only 3 in. of fiberglass bat insulation was installed. There was a 3-in. cavity of air space between the insulation and the sheet rock. We needed an inexpensive and easy way to insulate that space."
  Gutschmidt did some research and learned about a product called Vermiculite, which is finely ground, lightweight, odorless and fire resistant with a high R-value. Best of all, it was relatively cheap. A 3 cu. ft. bag costs about $10.
  "To put Vermiculite in our walls, the other volunteers and I simply drilled a series of 2 1/4-in. holes about 12 in. from the ceiling, and spaced 16 in. apart along the walls," he says. "I made several special funnels using spray cones from a field sprayer and sections of flexible hose cut from an old shop vac. I duct taped little battery-operated neck massagers onto the funnels to create a vibrating mechanism. This prevented the material from bridging inside the bottom opening."
  By lightly tapping against the sheet rock with a rubber mallet, Gutschmidt says the Vermiculite shook down and got into all the voids in the walls.
  The upper portion of the wall (from the hole to the ceiling) was filled with "Great Stuff," which is a triple-expanding foam sealant. One can filled about 12 by 3 by 16 in. of space.
  "This was a great way to insulate our walls without having it cost a lot of money. The part we did (the sanctuary) measured 35 by 65 by 10-ft. high sidewalls," he adds. "Another member of our church closed up all the holes and mudded over them with sheet rock joint compound. It looks like a professional job and we did it all ourselves for about $900."
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Gutschmidt Manufacturing LLC, Roger Gutschmidt, 6651 Hwy. 56, Gackle, N. Dak. 58442 (ph 701 698-2310; shopdoc@drtel.net).

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2009 - Volume #33, Issue #2