Friday, December 16, 2005

The blowing of the cellulose

"Cellulose settles into voids and gaps, producing a monolithic, blanket-like thermal barrier."
Our 100-year old house had very little insulation. The walls were void of fiberglass. The floors were nil on cellulose. The Oklahoma wind made it's home in our home via the pathetic use of Wal-mart caulk-in-a-tube around the windows.
Something had to be done, and so it began.
The bags of cellulose was bought.
The contraption to blast it was borrowed.
The blowing of the insulation has begun.

My father-in-law was upstairs, adeptly using his man-sized hands to man-handle the long and thick manly hose and remote control (with variable blower manly).

I was outside, standing tall in the back of his 5-year old Tacoma alongside the $50-a-day rented insulation blower contraption. Basically, it's a 55- gallon plastic drum sitting atop a large fan with a hose coming out of the bottom.

Imagine a big, heavy, overweight, ugly, blue single legged octopus.

It was my duty to feed the octopus a seemingly endless supply of cellulose, lifting and slicing open the 25 lb. bags and stuffing the overpriced, minutely shredded-up and compacted newspaper into the hopper, being careful not to get my fingers stuck in the rotating blades of death that mercilessly sends the hapless cellulose onto it's one-way-trip via the blower hose.

The wind ravaged outside, between 20 and 30 mph. Temps were in the low 40's, so I couldn't don my normal attire of bermudas and a t-shirt.

Yes, I felt very wussy putting on an insulated shirt, long pants, and gloves.
Yes, I am ashamed that the many passers-by who smiled and commented, "blowing some insulation?" didn't get to see my fantastic muscular legs.
Yes, I'll turn in my "California Dude" license that states I must wear shorts whenever making a trek outdoors.

But I was warm, it was freaking cold (wind chill put the temps below 29 degrees), and I wasn't too happy anytime the north-westerly blew some precious cellulose out of the big blue hopper and into my already squinted eyes.

We ended up blowing over 40 bags into the old lathe-and-plaster walls, and onto the upstairs floor.

For you home improvement uber geeks, that's equivalent to an R value of 25 for the upstairs alone.

Booyah Oklahoma winter. Bring it!


Anonymous said...

It's Ok, I hear summer is only 6 months away :-)

I'm still lettings the knee hair rustle in the breeze and finding it more and more difficult to adjust when I go home for holidays. Quick only one more week to find the box of long pants, thermal long johns, and where did I place that down insulated parka?

Have a happy holiday, with all the needed supplies for a healthy snowman, snow fortress, and a billion snow balls. :-)

Anonymous said...

If it makes you feel any better, we had a sparce 7.7 inches of snow two weeks ago (in one day mind you), not to mention the single digit temperatures we woke up to this morning in Indy Nap olis.