Red Sky Shelters employee playing hide and seek behind a pile of Yome insulation

Insulation Season

It’s insulation season! The summer is winding to an end and folks who live in close relationship to the shifting of the seasons can sense that it’s time to start figuring out what keeping warm for the winter is going to look like. We tend to get a lot of orders for insulation (both roof and sidewall) around this time of year.

Insulation is by far the most time and labor intensive part of a Yome (and rightly so, I suppose regulating our body temperature is something that humans put an enormous amount of energy into, something that can be the difference between life and death at its most extreme, something that can enormously impact our ability to get anything done besides try to stay warm or cool). Roof insulation can be pretty simple. It’s made from radiant barrier; a thin foam that’s coated with aluminum to reflect heat back into the space. The “Kit” version just involves us marking out the lines for this to be cut by you, the gentle Yome dweller. If we get the panels all ready for you, it involves the whole cutting table, 2 different kinds of tape, a grommeting setup, and a handful of carabineers.

Sidewall insulation is a whole other story. There are many steps and materials involved. And it always takes longer than you expect it to. Cutting the fabric and batting and getting the panels roughly assembled so they can be sewn together is just the first full day of work on these fluffy beasts. This step involves working with tagging guns to tack together all of the layers and they always misfire and jam up in (sometimes) hilarious ways to make it a real opportunity to practice Zen working practices. Then the panels are sewn, bound, and their corners clipped to specify their specific functions (pointing upward, downward, or over a window). Then comes Velcro (on some), hooks (on some), and grommets (on all but in different places on each type). It is easy to get the different combinations of corner-clipping, grommets and the like mixed up, so utmost attention must be paid when doing each of these steps.

One of the great advantages of working on sidewall insulation is that when they are folded up into convenient-to-move-around triangles, they look just like enormous spanakopitas (the Greek spinach hand-pie wrapped in layers and layers of filo dough). Check’em out if you’ve never had them…). It makes, sometimes, for a craving-filled workday, when one’s lunch just doesn’t look so great when compared to thoughts of big huge spanakopita. And has at least once inspired a spanakopita-making dinner date with two of our employees here.

So yes, insulation. It’s very important. It can change your life inside your Yome. Cool in the Summer and warm in the Winter is a beautiful thing. And so is spanakopita.