Paper Backed Batts

Isn’t the paper backing supposed to be removed when the batts are placed on the roof sheathing for fire safety?

Now that would protect it from fire, but defeat it’s purpose as a vapor barrier. We had inspectors tell us to either remove the paper where exposed, or flip it.


If the vapor barrier is left on it is supposed to face the conditioned space Thomas, ie the attic in this case.
There is not much vapor here so I rarely see any vapor barriers in attics.

Is it a fire hazard as installed and was I correct to call it out?

If you can read the warning, I guess it’s in effect. :wink:


Non habitatable attics, crawlspaces and the like are exempt of having to cover the paper around here.

Non Habitable, thanks Larry. I think I will re word my narrative for the next report. I also think I will continue to call it out as it is written in red on the batts.

Does it say that on the paper?
Manufacturers instructions.

Don’t leave the paper exposed.:smiley:

I have an answer.

I would like to endorse this link and reiforce Brian’s statements and links on this post.

I have undergone the past month on an 8 million dollar Project for Colby College in Waterville, Maine.

An issue came up about a renovation part of the project of the fact that the cathedral ceiling of the 1984 structure had been insulated with r- 38 batt insulation held in place with cold rolled channels with hat shaped channels .

I brought up the issue with the Architect from Pennsylvania, that the insulation had to be covered with a fire resistive material as indicated on the paper of the vapor retarder insulation material.

It has been ongoing now for a month. The owner feels it is existing conditions and I say it is but has to be upgraded due the extensive repairs and renovations, therefore has to be brought up to Code Compliance.

I was, as of this week advised to remove the paper facing on the insulation.

The biggest issue that I brought up is the fact the whole space above the new suspended ceilings to be, was designed as a plenum ceiling.
When I brought that up to the College Architect. He did not know what to say.

I advised him that if you leave that paper on the insulation, it is a fire hazard to today’s Codes, and if you peel the paper off, you are exposing 24 years of dust contamination in your return system. IAQ. What are you going to do when the first employee is going to call in sick due to your air quality.?

Well, the plenum ceiling is now being redesigned as a ducted return system as we speak and the paper is removed off the batt insulation and it is now dangling fibers like stalactites in a cave.

I am still pushing the issue in to removing the insulation , but the money issue would be to finance spraying foam insulation to maintain the Energy Code of R-38 on the steel deck roof. At about $3.50 P.S.F., I would imagine it would bother me too.

Marcel :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

I see this vapor retarder exposed on most of my inspections.

It’s simple…Flip it all so that the vapor retarder is against the warm side of the buildinfg or seal it with drywall. It’s combustible and it should not be left exposed.

Thanks David and Marcel, had a homeowner (FSBO) not too happy with my call. The Fireman husband did not seem to understand what the writing on the batts meant. Specifically not to leave the paper exposed. They sell fire retardant batts.

We call it the conditioned space here David, as the warm side of the building is the outside most of the time.:smiley: 88 today.

Happy birthday Brian and hope you get an other decade of this wonderfull world.

Take care;

Marcel :slight_smile: :stuck_out_tongue: :wink:

Just one more decade??? Yikes.:smiley: :roll:
I kinda planned on four more decades, guess I shouldn’t buy any green bannanas.

What David said. . .





Jeff, was that gas piping used as conduit too?


It is an old steel conduit. . .

The house was built in 1924, with a ton of “modern” upgrades.

Interesting Jeff how both your pictures and my picture captured the warning not to leave the paper backing exposed.

I do that on purpose, and insert that picture into the report. This eliminates the phone call from the seller asking “what does it matter which side is up?”

My seller and her Fireman husband were not that clever.