DIY Insulating a Cathedral Ceiling

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Adding insulation to high ceilings cuts heating and cooling costs in a home. Cathedral ceilings are high ceilings that are taller than the standard eight foot ceilings found in many homes. Homes with high ceilings don’t necessarily have cathedral ceilings, some have vaulted ceilings. By architectural definition a cathedral ceiling following the interior lines of the roof and are equal, whereas a vaulted ceiling may have uneven slopes and they do not follow the interior roof lines.

Choosing the correct “R” value insulation is one of the most important considerations when installing new insulation. Typically, the store where you buy your insulation will have a book designating the “R” value for your particular area. “R” value means the insulation’s ability to block the flow of heat. The greater the “R” value, the more insulation from hot and cold air the material is able to provide.

Go up into your attic and located the area of the attic that sits above the cathedral ceiling.

Avoid stepping on unfinished flooring in the attic. If the floors are not finished, you can step right through the ceiling and end up in the room below. You have two choices, walk carefully and step only on the framing or lay sheets of plywood on top of the attic beams. Go for the latter, it’s safer.

Wear a disposable jumpsuit, dust mask, gloves and safety goggles to protect your skin, eyes and respiratory system from the fiberglass.

Batt Insulation

Unroll the batts of insulation and lay them between the beams directly above the cathedral ceiling. Place the insulation with the paper side facing down.

Begin at the edge of the attic and leave 4 inches from the wall to allow for adequate air flow. Inadequate air flow can lead to mold and mildew in your attic.

Tightly abut the next batt of insulation to the first, laying the batts end to end or side by side.

Continue to lay the insulation until you reach the opposite side of the attic.

Loose Fill Insulation

Put on goggles, gloves, protective jumpsuit and dust mask.

Rent an insulation blower from a home improvement store.

Fill the blower chamber with loose fill insulation.

Drag the blower hose to the farthest side of the attic and turn the machine on.

Blow the insulation into the void spaces between the attic beams until the insulation is about 4 inches deep.

Move the blower hose and continue to fill the area between the beams with loose fill until the entire cathedral ceiling has insulation.

Avoid blocking attic ventilation when laying insulation.

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