Applegate Insulation

Solutions for Construction Conundrums

Insulating Cathedral Ceilings – Properly

Dense-packed, non-ventilated cathedral ceilings are, "nothing more than well insulated exterior walls with insulating sheathing which is sloped," according to a building science study entitled Report On Roof And Wall Details: Upper Canada Post And Beam points out, Applegate has been used for years to dense-pack cathedral ceilings with excellent results, a technique outperforming the ventilated method and now being accepted as the preferred method of installation by building experts across the country.

This technique, not recommended with traditional fiberglass because of the inherent shortcomings of a low-density glass product, is not only viable, but also practical and highly effective because Applegate's natural density is nearly two to four times that of fiberglass.

Therefore, Applegate recommends eliminating ventilation and prohibiting mass amounts of moisture from entering the cavity by having the

  Insulating cathedral ceilings

insulation contractor dense-pack or blow the cathedral ceiling cavity completely full and do away with the need for outside ventilation in nearly every climate.

Read more about the science behind this installation method and the myth about ventilation and roof shingles.

Vapor Barriers Not Included

For many years, cellulose manufacturers and contractors have advised against vapor retarders. We, too, recommend installing Applegate without a vapor retarder, based not only on our personal experience over the last 25 years, but the large body of technical support from building science. For example, researcher J. K. Latta in his report, Vapor Barriers: What are they? Are they effective? Says, "Air leakage is now considered to be the prime cause of most condensation problems in   walls and roof spaces. If, therefore, a building can be made tight against air leakage, it may not need a vapor barrier, as defined." Applegate Insulation's high-density and custom fit application provide a tighter structure with effectively restricted air infiltration and exfiltration. Walls in which the Applegate insulation system are properly installed should be approved by builder and building inspector alike without unnecessary polyethylene.

Housewrap and Building Paper

Housewrap and building paper have two purposes:
  1. to retard airflow through the wall system and 
  2. to act as a drainage plane for bulk water.

When an insulator combines air seal (caulk or foam) with high-density, custom fit Applegate wall-spray, housewrap or building paper is not needed to control air movement through the wall.

  However, this does not at all affect the second purpose that a housewrap or building paper serves: that of a drainage plane. Consideration should still be given to a drainage plane based on the local climate. Some areas of the country receive so much rain that the sheathing beneath the exterior finish will almost certainly become wet. Other areas of the country receive more modest rainfall and have good drying potential. In areas such as these, there is less need for a drainage plane.


Standing water, water intrusion, and mold or mildew in a crawlspace are potentially serious problems and should be corrected by a qualified building professional prior to insulating a crawlspace. The following are current recommendations from the building industry:
  • Good site design.
  • Soil graded to slope away from the foundation.
  • Water-impermeable backfill.
  • Adequate roof over hangs.
  • Properly installed and maintained gutters and downspouts.
  • Perimeter drains that collect subsurface water and move it to a sump or away from the structure.
  • Carefully installed vapor diffusion retarder over the crawlspace floor and up the walls at least six inches.
  • Insulated crawlspace walls, bringing the crawlspace into the conditioned envelope.
  • Seal the crawlspace, do not vent it.
  • Consider providing a small supply duct if the home has a forced air heating and cooling system (This will help maintain a small positive air pressure).

Ice Dams

Massive amounts of ice build-up along the roof edge, ice dams, can indicate inadequate insulation. If not properly addressed, ice dams can result in damage to the structural integrity of any building as well as the insulation within. Many times, batt insulation in existing attics cannot fit carefully into the space where the attic floor meets the angle of the roof. While blown-in insulations may fill in those areas, fiberglass' light-density may not combat the convection of warm air through the insulation that causes the melting and freezing that results in ice dams. Applegate is a high-density insulation solution that can be blown into these areas and deliver effective protection against ice dams.   Ice Dam

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Share Our Experience

When we started out in this business back in 1951, we were an insulation contractor just like many of you, so we have been in your shoes.

For many successful years we promoted the many benefits of cellulose insulation, and in 1978, we started producing premium-quality cellulose insulation, for ourselves and our close friends in the business, out of our hometown—Lansing, Michigan.

With such a unique cellulose product and an application technique different than many regular cellulose installers, we've grown so that we supply Applegate Cellulose to most of the United States.

Read more about Applegate Insulation's history...

Turning yesterday’s news into tomorrow’s insulation.
Applegate Insulation 1000 Highview Drive Webberville, MI 48892 Phone 800 627 7536 Fax 517 521 3597
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