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#191187 - 12/17/09 11:09 PM Re: Improvised storm windows and insulation [Re: hikermor]
dweste Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 02/16/08
Posts: 2463
Loc: Central California
Originally Posted By: hikermor
Restrict activities to a well insulated inner room.


Consider creating a well-insulated inner room!

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#191355 - 12/20/09 06:05 AM Re: Improvised storm windows and insulation [Re: dweste]
Art_in_FL Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/01/07
Posts: 2432
Back when wood was cheap and plaster expensive poor homes were often lined with wood. If the family became prosperous they would plaster the walls. Until that happened they would make the interior more secure by gluing paper, virtually any paper, to the interior. In older houses you can sometimes find pages from catalogs, discarded books, receipts, and quite frequently newspapers, glued to the walls to help stop drafts.

Remembering this and with temperatures expected in the teens, no money and a house you could hear the wind blow through we got to work. Mixing up some glue by combining flour and water we set to work sealing the building up. We glued newsprint over the the frames of the double-hung windows. Thick glue on all four sides and place the sheet/s pulling them tight so there was about 1/2" between the paper and the glass. Repeat the process inside. Instant 'triple-paned' windows. We did the same thing inside and out with more glue brushed on and strips of newspaper ripped about 3" wide to cover the gaps around the window frames.

We covered holes in the walls, around door frames, twisted up newsprint like rope and wet with glue we filled holes around pipes and stuffed a couple of long gaps where the floor met the wall.

If you wait for the glue to dry on a window and then moisten the paper with vegetable oil the paper becomes much more transparent. Translucent really. And it will let in more light and allow you to see shapes outside.

The methods work and last several months as long as rain doesn't get to it. Generally the colder it is the longer it lasts. If the paper is lightly oiled it will withstand a fair bit of misting rain and fog without sagging or rapidly deteriorating. In time insects may eat the flour glue. If you want the assembly to last longer and resist insects you can add boric acid or borax washing powder to the flour water mix. I have been told you can add lime and or alum to get a sturdier glue.

When the weather changes and the newsprint starts to fail you rip them down and compost them. Then go back and scrub the glue off. Note that if you use borax or other amendments to the glue mix the glue can be more difficult to scrub off.

Flour, water and newsprint, and a couple of sticks and you can build a kite. Fun, a potentially useful signaling device, and entertainment for the kids.

Sealing a structure using flour glue and newsprint to keep the heat in works. The same method could be used to help keep chemical contaminates out. Used to be plastic sheeting and good duct tape were dirt cheap. They aren't chap any more. Newsprint snapped up from the recycling bin and flour are much cheaper.




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#191358 - 12/20/09 06:59 AM Re: Improvised storm windows and insulation [Re: Art_in_FL]
CANOEDOGS Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 1815
Loc: MINNESOTA

in abandon farm homes in Minnesota you can find what i assume were bedrooms that were wallpapered with newspaper.that would really keep out the wind if not the subzero cold.some rooms had been done in all the colored sections which must have made for an offbeat room once the bed and stuff was put in..

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#191403 - 12/21/09 12:52 AM Re: Improvised storm windows and insulation [Re: CANOEDOGS]
Art_in_FL Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/01/07
Posts: 2432
Originally Posted By: CANOEDOGS

in abandon farm homes in Minnesota you can find what i assume were bedrooms that were wallpapered with newspaper.that would really keep out the wind if not the subzero cold.some rooms had been done in all the colored sections which must have made for an offbeat room once the bed and stuff was put in..


Back in the 20s and 30s a considerable number of kids got their first education in reading by sounding out the words on newsprint and pages from the Sear and Roebuck catalog glued to walls in their home.

Insulating a home isn't a new issue. Medieval castle owners put down rugs, hung tapestries and used heavy drapes. All of these made living in stone walls much more comfortable. The old canopy beds were designed to give a person an insulated pod to sleep in.

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#191435 - 12/21/09 02:06 PM Re: Improvised storm windows and insulation [Re: Art_in_FL]
Mark_M Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 11/19/09
Posts: 295
Loc: New Jersey
Originally Posted By: Art_in_FL
Sealing a structure using flour glue and newsprint to keep the heat in works.


What about mice? Won't they eat the flour-saturated paper?
_________________________
2010 Jeep JKU Rubicon | 35" KM2 & 4" Lift | Skids | Winch | Recovery Gear | More ...
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#191510 - 12/22/09 02:48 AM Re: Improvised storm windows and insulation [Re: Mark_M]
Art_in_FL Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/01/07
Posts: 2432
Originally Posted By: Mark_M

What about mice? Won't they eat the flour-saturated paper?


Mice, in my experience, don't seem to be a great problem. The glue is applied pretty thin and unless the house is already overrun with mice I don't see see them pulling a mau-mau on your improvised window insulation.

Roaches will nibble the glue in time. The SE is big on roaches. I don't care how fastidious and clean you are every house that isn't soaked with pesticides has some roaches. You can limit their attraction to the glue by mixing in boric acid to make it unpalatable. But newsprint and flour glue isn't extremely attractive to roaches. Nor is it intended to be a long term solution. So if the roaches nibble the edges a bit it isn't the end of the world.

It is a short term survival strategy for sealing a house tight enough to stay warm in. And a stopgap measure for people with few other resources. In time moisture, roaches, ants, perhaps mice and mold are going to attack the glue and newsprint and destroy its integrity. With a little luck this happens slowly and after winter has passed.

I didn't mention it but it is also something of a fire hazard. If the newsprint catches it is going to go up fast because it is a thin section of flammable material held vertically. Curtains are also a hazard for the same reasons. Be careful and use common sense. Keep candles, heat sources and sparks away. Keep a fire extinguisher handy. If you don't have, or can't afford, a fire extinguished keep a bucket or buckets with water and/or sand handy.

Come spring you can tear it down and redo it in the fall.

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#191863 - 12/26/09 06:32 PM Re: Improvised storm windows and insulation [Re: Art_in_FL]
Mark_M Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 11/19/09
Posts: 295
Loc: New Jersey
I'll have to keep that trick in mind for hunting camp. This year we remembered to bring a couple cans of that spray foam stuff, but plenty of times we just lived with the drafts.

What we really need to do is gut the cabin and put up new siding, insulation and wall board. But we've been holding off because that would make the place more attractive to kids looking for a place to party when we're not around.
_________________________
2010 Jeep JKU Rubicon | 35" KM2 & 4" Lift | Skids | Winch | Recovery Gear | More ...
'13 Wheeling: 8 Camping: 6 | "The trail was rated 5+ and our rigs were -1" -Evan@LIORClub

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#191890 - 12/27/09 01:27 AM Re: Improvised storm windows and insulation [Re: Todd W]
Susan Offline
Geezer

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
In one of Tom Brown's books, he suggests making a warm nest with mattresses: one on the floor near a corner of the room (no window), one on the wall side of the floor mattress, and push both against the wall. A third one on the bottom end of the floor mattress, push the whole thing against that wall. A fourth one on the outside of the floor mattress. One more on the top. The open end is draped with blankets or comforters so you can come and go. Make it double length for the whole family.

I thought that was pretty clever.

Also, if you have as much scrap foamboard insulation as I have (don't ask), you could cut it to fit the windows and strap/staple them in place.

Sue

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#191899 - 12/27/09 02:57 AM Re: Improvised storm windows and insulation [Re: Susan]
Art_in_FL Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/01/07
Posts: 2432
Building an interior room out of mattresses works. People with few resources can also do much the same thing with blankets, comforters and old sleeping bags.

There are lots of ways to assemble such a room but one handy way is to rig what amounts to a couple of clothes lines about six feet high and about six feet apart through the middle of an interior room. Nails will work to hold light rope or wire if you hit a stud but screw eyes into a stud are far less likely to pull out. The additional strength will allow you to safely tension the lines more and make for easier assembly and a better room.

Along these you hang your blankets, or what have you, vertically from the lines and between the lines to create a room. And more blankets across the top to create a roof. Clothes pins, large safety pins, and spring binder clips can be used to hold the pieces together. They can also be stitched with a large upholstery needle and heavy thread or string.

Assembling a tight sleeping area in an interior room can make a huge difference in your ability to survive through cold temperatures if the heat is not working.

As with all such expedient assemblies and strategies you have to be careful. Fire, smothering and carbon monoxide poisoning have to be avoided. Better to be a little cooler than comfortable, than dead.

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#191976 - 12/28/09 12:48 AM Re: Improvised storm windows and insulation [Re: Art_in_FL]
dweste Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 02/16/08
Posts: 2463
Loc: Central California
Ah, the urban debris shelter!

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