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:
- It’s possible to install continuous insulation (usually, rigid foam insulation) above the existing roof sheathing. Of course, this means that you’ll also have to install a second layer of roof sheathing above the rigid foam, as well as new roofing.
- It’s possible to demolish the drywall or plaster ceiling on the sloped portion of the ceiling, so that the insulation installers can gain access to the rafter bays.
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: