Dense Packing a Cathedral Ceiling

Dec 10, 2020

This 80-year old cape-style house is a Sears, Roebuck and Co. home, from when they used to sell houses through a catalogue. The home’s attic and wall cavities were previously insulated by Dr. Energy Saver and Larry Janesky’s team is now back on the job to perform additional energy efficient retrofits. This time, they will be insulating an existing cathedral ceiling and shed roof with dense packing cellulose.

This is a technique that dense packs 3.7 lb of cellulose per cubic feet into existing wall and roof cavities. If properly applied the densely packed cellulose provides excellent R-value between 3.5 and 4.0 per inch, and also helps stop air flow.

The cathedral ceiling in this home hangs above a charming farm room, carefully restored with a stained wooden ceiling. To avoid disrupting this cozy little room, Dr. Energy Saver opted for accessing the ceiling from the outside. Cellulose application is a messy process and in an existing home it should only be done from the inside of the living space if there is absolutely no other choice.

The roof above that room is an unvented roof. There was a ridge vent, but no soffit vents so Larry and his team opted for an unvented assembling. When they took a portion of the roof off, they noticed that it was remodeled at least a couple of times over the course of many years, and received two layers of rigid foam insulation, amounting to an R-Value of about 20. The problem is that the rigid foam was not air sealed so air was still leaking out of the house. To make matters worse, bees had found a home in the roof eating parts of the foam board and causing dust to fall from the roof into the room below. By dense packing cellulose to insulate that cathedral ceiling the air flow will be interrupted. Cellulose is also treated with Borate, a harmless, naturally-occurring mineral that has the ability to deter bugs, so bees, ants and termites won’t find that ceiling so inviting anymore.

The shed roof was also insulated from the outside. The team took down the gutters and the fascia board to access the little attic space below the shed, blowing the cellulose through each open bay.

Dr. Energy Saver takes pride in making old and new homes more comfortable, energy efficient and environmentally friendly every day. If you have uneven temperatures around the home, rooms that are too hot or simply cold or drafty, or if you just want to save money in heating and cooling, we can help. Call Dr. Energy Saver today for a complete home energy evaluation.

To learn about more ways to save money and lower your energy bills, visit our website and watch other episodes of Dr. Energy Saver’s “On the Job” video series.

“We got our gutters replaced and our roof done. Everything went great! I would highly recommend GutterShutter!”

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