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How to insulate a pallet?

I'm creating my second compost bin, to match the one built last year.

This one is roughly 1x1x1m, and the removable side is a traditional pallet.

The other sides are all insulated with 50mm polystyrene sheet.

Does anyone have any clever ideas or experience of how to insulate a pallet such that I won't have to reinsulate it for a few years?

Thanks

Ferdinand 


“Rivers know this ... we will get there in the end.”

Posts

  • FireFire LondonPosts: 14,066
    Can you pack the pallet spaces with sheep's fleece, inside old compost bags? Fleece is very insulating and often cheap or free. Some delivery companies use it to keep food cold. 
  • Ferdinand2000Ferdinand2000 Posts: 527
    edited May 2021
    Thanks.

    I actually have quite a lot of left over 50mm EPS available - also Rockwool, which I think it better to use rather than getting a sheep in.

    Though I see I can get one straight off the sheep for not very much.

    EPS performs well when wet (which is why it is used in below ground buried insulation).

    I feel it is a sheet of EPS board on the outside, or as you say the space stuffed with something.
    “Rivers know this ... we will get there in the end.”
  • FireFire LondonPosts: 14,066
    edited May 2021
    I've used fleece in bags at the back of my bins to pretty good effect. I've also filched pieces of insulation board, like Kingspan, from local skips (in North London). I've used this to insulate behind radiators too; it cuts easily. I always keep an eye out for free insulating materials going - there's quite a bit around here as council are insulating all social housing rooves and everyone else seems to be doing loft conversions or ordering food that needs wool packs.

    The wool is great for craft projects too, and to put out for nesting birds. Last week I made a bumble bee Ritz with cut pallets, perspex, logs and a load of fleece. Cosy homes. I saw a bumble bee queen investigating the next day. Ideally I'd find a mouse nest to bed into it, as the smell attracts the queen. Bumbles can't make their own nests (body weight/wing/forces/ratios etc) so they choose old nests or warm spaces pre-made. They are esp attuned to the smell of mouse. So if a mouse nest turns up in one of your compost bins, you will know what to do with it.
  • Ferdinand2000Ferdinand2000 Posts: 527
    edited May 2021
    Great stuff.

    One issue with Kingspan (which is .. deep breath ... Polyisocyanurate) is that it is not that resilient to water and can become sodden. EPS is better for that.

    Good for the Council - though 2 questions occur.

    1 - Why did they not do this before? PIR is an interesting choice for that, and relatively expensive. Are these hard-to-insulate properties? Even as a small LL / owner occupier I have had free loft insulation 250mm available to me continuously ever since I can remember.

    Starting around the millenum, the Govt put billions (IIRC just under 20bn) into it in the subsidised (Council / Housing Association) sector.

    2 - Are they ventilating properly as well? if they are making them more airtight and not managing ventilation they will be back in 3-5 years to sort out the condensation. My Council made that cockup when they did full External Wall Insulation on some hundreds of houses.

    On bees, I need to work out how to have a stone wall repointed without driving them away.

    Ferdinand

    “Rivers know this ... we will get there in the end.”
  • Ferdinand2000Ferdinand2000 Posts: 527
    edited May 2021
    I used rockwool, which holds itself in, and then covered with Wickes heavy duty ground fabric to allow it to breathe and moisture to escape..

    Then went a little postal with a staple gun. And cut a couple of slits for handholds.

    It's bloody heavy, though - not a technique for very small people.

    Will attach pics.
    “Rivers know this ... we will get there in the end.”
  • FireFire LondonPosts: 14,066
    edited May 2021
    "One issue with Kingspan (which is .. deep breath ... Polyisocyanurate) is that it is not that resilient to water and can become sodden"

    I just put everything in old compost bags to waterproof it. I don't know insulation details. I use the Kingspan comparison in a general sense. There lots of off-cuts of insulating firm foam board knocking about, which is useful for all sorts of things. I don't know what the council are using. It may be the private homes that are using the foam board, but there is a lot of it about, in big, useful slabs; leftovers.

    As I understand it, there are big building eco budgets from local and central govt at the moments (in London, at least) for retrofitting houses. There are big restrictions and pressures about budget spending windows, so there is a big push currently. Covid and cluelessness, has made it all much harder. Just how much money the outsourcing companies are making out of all this, boggles the mind, esp when witnessing the pace and work ethic from the window. But at least the work is getting down, even with vast wastage.

    Are they ventilating properly as well? if they are making them more airtight and not managing ventilation they will be back in 3-5 years to sort out the condensation.
    I've no idea, but given the work teams I would imagine it's all pretty slapdash and not being signed off properly. There will no doubt, be bitter complaints emerging in two years, about mould etc. It's hard for council tenants to complain and get action as they don't own the house and our council is pretty useless. The workmen just shrug and say they are doing what they are told to do. Even the project manager does the same. They lost about a month at the beginning of the project because the manager says he didn't know where to park.

    😶‍😶

    I need to work out how to have a stone wall repointed without driving them away.

    Are they nesting in your wall? 

    Happy construction to you.

  • Ferdinand2000Ferdinand2000 Posts: 527
    edited May 2021
    Fire said:

    Are they nesting in your wall? 

    Happy construction to you.

    Yes and cheers.

    Here is a piccie of my pallets, before and after:








    “Rivers know this ... we will get there in the end.”
  • FireFire LondonPosts: 14,066
    I forked out for a Hotbin a few years ago and enjoy it very much (an odd thing to write, but there you are). It's good for a small space, easy, fast and neat. I think your hot bin should work well.
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