Leaves for insulation

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A friend of mine asked if it's practical to use bagged leaves as insulation. Under a trailer "mobile home". My first thought is that the leaves will decompose, and make a mess. He says to catch them when the leaves are fairly dry.
Anyone tried this?
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Christopher A. Young
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Stormin Mormon wrote:

Bags of leaves do have insulating value, however they have even greater vermin factor and by spring you'll probably have a full infestation.
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Pete C. wrote:

a hot coal from the grill, or a lit cigarette butt, in amongst the bags. Paper bags of dry leaves are what we used to use to start the grill fire at the lake lot we had when I was a kid.
Having said that, I have seen people use hay bales, outside the skirting, as a winter windbreak. I wouldn't rate that as much less risky than bagged leaves.
They sell faced foamboard used for insulating the outside of the exposed foundation real houses. A layer of that, well sealed together, on the the skirting, would probably do more good, and be less prone to become kindling. A row of dry concrete blocks on the ground provides a good place the tie the bottom of the skirting down, so it doesn't flap around.
I take it this is an older trailer, and gets a little breezy inside at times? Plastic on the windows usually helps, as does caulk and/or a few cans of Great Stuff foam around all penetrations of the outside envelope. Any way to rig a windbreak on the side the prevailing wind comes from? Only so much you can do to insulate a 3" wall. A tin box is a tin box, etc.
-- aem sends...
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I'll have to make him a sign "tin box, sweet tin box" and put a decorator border on it.
Two years ago, a couple fellows from church helped me blow cellulose into the ceiling of my trailer. That was a major benefit. I've suggested the ceiling cellulose to him.
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Cellulose sounds flammable to me. I wonder how that affects fire risk - electric lights don't have an absolutely perfect safety record, even when UL listed. Some don't handle insulation well. Some have poorly determined ratings for maximum wattage of bulb to put in - I did once see a UL listed lamp with the specified maximum wattage incandescent bulb experience charring wire insulation because the rating was determined poorly. The UL certification could even have been counterfeit. I have also seen a fluorescent lamp ballast burn up with flames (actually result thereof) by being unable to handle a foreseeable failure mode (starter "got stuck" after trying repeatedly to start a dead lamp). Apparently, the manufacturer had samples barely pass UL testing and I have heard someone suggest to me that production units could have been slightly chintzier than the units that UL approved. I do not expect such barely-passing and corner-cutting to be limited to fluorescent lamps.
How about fiberglass or rockwool?
- Don Klipstein ( snipped-for-privacy@misty.com)
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Don Klipstein wrote:

The cellulose insulation product they sell is soaked with a sodium borate solution so it meets flame spread requirements.
I wonder how that affects fire risk -

My buddy got carried away and had a huge amount of cellulose blown into his attic and then lost a bunch of recessed light fixtures. Luckily there was never a fire. Lamp bases melted and leads fell off etc.

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There was an old man in a trailer Who was once Navy man and a sailor He went and Asked on usenet of the nation A problem it was not much the tempation And now, he has a trailer Full of insectious infestation!
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Christopher A. Young
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On Nov 9, 6:38pm, "Stormin Mormon"

Can you say serious fire hazard? Decomposition generally requires moisture and they are not going to get much moisture under the trailer. Instead they will dry out even more and become a real fire hazard.
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If there were some source of fire. Which, not much source of possible ignition under a trailer. It's still more combustibles to add to the fire.
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Person tossing a cigarette (I have seen fires start from that) Person tossing a cigarette just before the windstorm begins to kick in Intoxicated person tossing a cigarette Child playing with a magnifying glass and sunlight and UH-OH THE WIND BLEW MY BURNING LEAF INTO THE LEAFPILE UNDER HIS TRAILER Fireworks experiencing Murphy's Law on New Year's Eve Someone fires a bottle rocket on Veterans Day and the rocket goes wayward 3-year-old runs outside with mommy's matches/lighter Lightning strikes neighbor's antenna and a glob of molten metal hits the leafpile Neighbor has a fire with embers blowing in the wind Neighbor has something explode Drunken motocyclist wipes out and wires on the motorcycle short and spark, possibly with some gasoline spillage Tornado or severe thunderstorm gust or a cold front gust blows a burning object under the trailer (Check out month-by-month historical tornado data and severe thunderstorm data for your state - chances are the numbers for November are not zero.) Neighbor's charcoal barnecue or outdoor lightbulb gets hit by a wayward baseball, soccerball, football, or model airplane or drunk motorcyclist or drunk cyclist or kid going too fast on his first day of having a bicycle
- Don Klipstein ( snipped-for-privacy@misty.com)
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On Nov 10, 3:18pm, "Stormin Mormon"

for many many years and never once had a fire. Then again, that was in Houston where the leaves were almost always kept damp from rain or sprinkler system. They were great for protecting my semi-tropical plants from the occasional freeze. I didn't worry too much about fire because they were against brick or stone and couldn't have spread the fire very well. They also tended to pack down after a couple of rains and if they did catch fire they would have burned very slowly.
That is far different from being under the shelter of a trailer where they would continue to dry out. The big question that must always be asked is rather the value to be gained is worth the risk that one would incurr. A careless cigarette thrown by someone without thinking could be all that would be needed. Those trailers are a tender box to begin with.
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BobR wrote:

You may be discounting the mindset of those who often live in trailers. They think outside the box.
* Broken toilets used as planters * Cars on blocks so the hounds can get out of the heat * Old TV antennas used as clotheslines * Garbage disposal is a 2x2 foot opening in the wall covered with sliding glass portal, usually above the kitchen sink. * Milk-crate yard furniture
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HeyBub wrote:

TDD
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The Daring Dufas wrote:

in the pack gets mushy before I manage to eat it. Rather than see it go to waste, I open the slider off the kitchen, and set it on the edge of the deck. Something usually eats it within a day....
-- aem sends...
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aemeijers wrote:

I assume you're a bachelor, we have strange habits.
TDD
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The Daring Dufas wrote:

any visitors at all. Better in their bellies than in the landfill. I don't garden, so a compost pile is pointless. (aside from the annual multi-ton leaf pile against the fenceline out back, but that is so I don't have to bag or burn.) -- aem sends...
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aemeijers wrote:

Next time you're in the city, prowl around behind apartments to find a three-sided aquarium, usually next to the dumpster. Take it home.
Line the three sides with reflective film. Fashion a lid from scrap wood. It is now a bird feeder.
Install your new bird feeder in the window next to your breakfast table. As you have your morning coffee, sprinkle some bird seed - or crunchy bits of your waffle - in the feeder and enjoy the birdies sharing your breakfast.
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...being concious of where previous meals will land and pile up while they are chowing.
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wrote:

Don't you mean inside a box? I'm not knocking trailers. I lived in one when I was in my 20's. I would never use leaves as insulation. I though this thread was a joke.
Olddog
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retired54 wrote:

People who live in trailers are, by an large, frugal.
This whole thread started with the observation that leaves don't grow on trees.
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