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Injecting Polyurethane Foam into Existing Cathedral Ceilings


In this episode of Dr. Energy Savers On the Job video series, owner and founder Larry Janesky, discusses the importance of insulating a cathedral ceiling and demonstrates the proper technique in this home.

Most cathedral ceilings are insulated with fiberglass baths, which have low R-Value and, if not properly installed and evenly spread, will leave gaps in the insulation envelope and allow air to flow through. Dr. Energy Saver has perfected ideal insulation solutions for any home, including cathedral ceilings - using only the most effective products and state-of-the-art solutions currently available.


Cathedral Ceilings

Cathedral Ceilings

Cathedral ceilings by norm pose a difficult challenge when it comes to energy efficiency. In this type of ceiling, the dry wall or plaster is attached directly to the bottom of the rafters that support the roof. There is no attic and there is usually only a few inches clearance between the roof and the sloped ceiling. To make matters worse, some of these roofs are vented.

A typical roof can reach scorching temperatures of up to 150 degrees during the summer, and can get freezing cold during the winter. With only about 8 inches clearance between roof and drywall, a cathedral ceiling needs to be insulated with materials that offer the highest possible R-Value per inch. This helps keep roof temperatures transferring to the interior of the home making it uncomfortable during hot and cold seasons.


Determining and Addressing the Problem

Determining and Addressing the Problem

This homeowner had complaints that this room with cathedral ceilings was either too hot in the summer or too cold in the winter. Since cathedral ceilings are typically not insulated or ventilated properly – these areas of the home have become large energy squanderers, and jeopardize home comfort.

There are several different approaches used to make a cathedral ceiling more energy efficient, some more disruptive than others. In this particular case, the cathedral ceiling was tied to an un-vented roof. Larry Janesky, owner and founder of Dr. Energy Saver, opted for insulating it by injecting Polyurethane Foam into the ceiling cavity.


The Insulation Process

The Insulation Process

The process begins by drilling small holes into the cathedral ceiling to access the rafter bays, which will require patching and painting after the process is complete. Our Dr. Energy Saver crew used the same spray gun we would use to spray foam in open cavities, but instead of a spray tip, we use an injection tube and polyurethane is injected and timed for release.

To monitor the progress of foam-filling the cavity, we use a thermal imaging camera (because foam generates heat as it expands) and then proceed to fill up the entire ceiling, which will air seal and insulate the roof and make a big difference for this homeowner.


The Effects of Polyurethane Foam

The Effects of Polyurethane Foam

Once the cathedral cavities are completely filled with expansive injection foam and the drill holes are patched, the entire ceiling and roof assembly will now be very resistant to heat transfer from the roof and of course, in the winter time, this house will be much warmer than it ever was. If your home has a cathedral ceiling or any other architectural feature that can potentially impact your home's energy efficiency and comfort, call or contact your local Dr. Energy Saver today for a free estimate and evaluation. We can make your home more comfortable, and much more affordable to own!

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