Cape Cod Insulation

Why a Separate Page for Cape Cod and 2 ½ Story Homes?

Because if you own one you know that they’re extra special!  With few exceptions there is no other home type that is more consistently cold during the winter and hot during the summer!  The reason for this is their unique construction that promotes high levels of air leakage and intense heat transfer from the roof to the rooms inside.  Fortunately Insulwise Energy and Comfort Solutions is the unsurpassed expert at improving the efficiency and comfort of these homes!


So Why is Mine so Darned Uncomfortable?!

Kneewalls and sloped ceilings in the third floor of a two and half story home

Kneewalls and sloped ceilings in the third floor of a two and half story home

The biggest reason is that these homes were built during an era when insulation and air sealing measures were poorly understood.  The second biggest reason is that their design, specifically the use of kneewalls, sloped ceilings, and tiny attic compartments actually promotes the loss of conditioned air from the home (air leakage) as well as radiant heat transfer from hot areas like the roof.  The third reason is that Capes are difficult and labor intensive to insulate properly.  Most insulators fail to understand the importance that air movement plays in these homes and do a poor job of retrofitting them.

Why Insulwise Energy & Comfort Solutions Does it Better

When we work on these types of homes, the first and perhaps most critical thing we do is air seal the floor joist gaps that are below the kneewalls with foam insulation.  This important step dramatically reduces the ability for cold air to penetrate beneath the floor during cold weather as well as hot air enveloping the top floor rooms during hot weather.  It also keeps warm air from escaping into the kneewall spaces during winter months and contributing to ice dams and high heating bills.  Blowing insulation into this gap alone will not stop the air flow (despite what most ‘professional’ insulators think).

These gaps between the floor joists are huge air leaks beneath your kneewalls. 5) The gaps are now sealed and air tight with foam board and foam sealant

Next we air seal all of the wire holes, outlet boxes, and other air leaks with foam to eliminate drafts and keep the conditioned air in your home.  Then we install thick, fluffy, R-19 fiberglass insulation batting into the kneewall bays themselves.  Finally we cover the fiberglass insulationnwith Tyvek air barrier paper to enhance its insulating efficiency and durability.


For the last step we insulate all access hatches with heavy duty foam insulation board, dense pack the sloped ceilings with cellulose insulation, and blow in enough cellulose to achieve an R-49 in all of the flat spaces.  In the attic shown here a raised storage pad was built for the home owners, and the pink foam insulation board functions as a light, sturdy, and perfectly air sealed attic access hatch.  Done!

8) Access Hatch, with Deck, Fully Blown to R-49

Whether you own a Cape Cod or 2 ½ story home, Insulwise Energy and Comfort Solutions can make it forever more comfortable and at the same time much easier on your pocketbook to heat and cool!