It’s harder to weatherize an old Cape Cod house than it is to weatherize other types of houses. The second floor of a Cape Cod house has sloped ceilings, typically interrupted by 4-foot-high kneewalls. In most cases, a Cape also includes a horizontal ceiling in the center of the second floor, with a cramped third-floor attic above the horizontal ceiling.
If you live in an old, uninsulated Cape, you know how hard it is to come up with a good way to insulate your home’s sloped ceilings. Among several possible methods, these approaches are typically recommended:
These approaches work, but they are expensive and potentially disruptive. What about a third approach — namely, trying to slide ventilation baffles and insulation into the rafter bays from the third-floor attic? Is that even possible?
The answer is “maybe.”
Before we provide tips on how it may be possible to slide insulation down the rafter bays from the attic above, let’s list the factors that may make this work difficult or impossible:
Before you attempt this approach to insulating a sloped ceiling, you have to decide on what type of ventilation baffle to use, and what type of insulation to use.
Ideally, your insulation baffle will be long enough to reach from the top of the sloped ceiling section to the bottom, so that you don’t have to try to insert two or three baffles in each rafter bay. (It would be hard to insert the bottom-most baffle in place if it wasn’t long enough to reach all the way to the upper attic.)
If you decide to use a commercially available baffle like SmartBaffle or AccuVent or Provent, first determine whether the products are long enough. (SmartBaffle is 37 inches long, and Accuvent baffles can be ordered in…