Why would somebody do this??

This attic has about 14" of fiberglass batt insulation in the floor. It also has about 6" under the roof.

I am curious why somebody would install the insulation in the roof and gable end and leave the paper vapor barrier exposed when the rest of the attic has adequate insulation. The roof has a ridge vent and soffit vent, the roof also has “proper” vent between the insulation and the roof deck to vent to the ridge. The insulation does block some of the ridge vent from allowing the attic space to vent. This part of the attic is a recent addition as a conversion from a garage. The rest of the house does not have the roof insulated but has a gable vent, soffit and ridge venting.

Any thoughts? and comments on the roof being insulated? I do know sometimes sprayfoam insulation is used on the roof, but when it is used it usually is not vented.

When viewing the picture, the black on the paper is ink not mold.




As long as there is proper venting from the soffit to the ridge vent, the roof ventilation is satisfied. The rest just seems to be a lot of over-kill.

But, then…what would I know?? I’m just an old fart trying to get by…

Check out that insulation and read the backing on it. If that is regualr batt roll insulation it is installed wrong. The label on the back side says that the paper must be laid flat against the surface. If not, it will aid in the rapid spread of fire.

is this house near an airport?

I’m guessing that if it is 14" of batt it would be 7" on 7". The bottom batt may well be installed properly–face down.

I don’t think they make 7" roll insulation. They make 5 1/2-inch and 9-inch, which when combined would give approximately 14 inches. The 9-inch may actually be 8 and a fraction.

The top one is installed properly as well. It’s face down. The paper is facing the conditioned space. If you turned it the other way, it would have the wrong side towards the conditioned space and would collect moisture in it which is incorrect.

So, other than the paper being exposed because of the fire hazard this should be fine, right?

I see the paper exposed on many, many jobs. Builders and DIY’s can’t read the manufacturers installation instructions on the product that’s in their face when they install it.

Oh well, I guess it’s job security.

There is no reason to install insulation to the roof decking, unless it is for sound deadening (sp) as suggested before. BUT, why not just install more insulation to the ceiling??? Make sure there are baffles installed for proper air flow to the roof decking.

From the backing on the insulation.

22887 Royal Crown Terr. Boca(Riggio) 012.jpg

I would be concerned about ventilation also. It appears as though the soffit vents are blocked. This will cause excessive moisture in the attic space. Check for mold on the seathing underneath the insulation.

In his first post Scott said there was proper ventilation from the soffit to the ridge. Then the only real concern is the possibility of the barrier not being installed on the conditioned room side. However, when the rafters are insulated, some “experts” consider the attic to be a “conditioned area”. In that case, there would be nothing wrong, depending on whose expert opinion one wants to follow.

I still think it’s just a case of “over-kill”.

It’s not a case of ‘overkill’.

It is a case of wrongly installed insulation in the rafters.

The only insulation that is having any effect on conserving energy in this structure is the attic floor insulation…unless the attic is conditioned (ie. heated/cooled).

Paper facing of insulation in an attic does not need to be covered provided the attic is for intermittant access or storage and not part of a habitable space.

Seems as if the owner ‘planned’ to convert this attic to habitable space and never got around to it.

As long as it remains an ‘attic’ there is no problem…

I don’t think it would ever be used as anything but dead space, the only access is through a 24"x24" scuttle hatch and has about 4’ of head room at the peak.

And again, it is baffeled at the sheathing from soffit to ridge vent and therefor does have adequate ventilation, the ventilation between the roof insulation and ceiling insulation is a different story.

I am still concerned with the paper vapor barrier on the roof as it can hold moisture and allow mold to form in the insulation and on the rafters, also there is a light fixture and switch in this space, so the paper is also a potential fire hazard.

Well, don’t write it up as a problem per se, just write it up as a concern and have them acknowledge that you noted the issue and have addressed it, and recommend that they bring someone in to evaluate the situation and make a recommendation. That way you haven’t committed overkill, you haven’t ignored it, you haven’t inflamed the client and you have protected the safety of your client, the homeowner and yourself as well as your peace of mind.

Don’t know about your part of the country but I write it up and suggest it be removed.

Insulation on the underside of the roof sheathing will cause the shingles to deteriorate very quickly.

Insulation should only be on the attic floor. IMHO


A good read … Cookie

A good read … Cookie

It is a good read, thank you](“http://www.buildingscience.com/documents/digests/bsd-102-understanding-attic-ventilation/view?searchterm=unvented%20attics”)

I had three similar attics: February 2006, October 2006, and March 2007:

[February 2006](http://www.abouthomes.info/pics/attic insul 2.jpg)
[October 2006](http://www.abouthomes.info/pics/attic insul 3.jpg)
[March 2007](http://www.abouthomes.info/pics/attic insul 4.jpg)

In February 2006, I called it out and included that picture in the report, which showed the instructions and a phone number to call. For those who don’t like to click on my pictures ( :wink: ), the facing says:

“The facing on Fiberglass insulation will burn. [That sounds pretty definitive.] Do not leave exposed. [That also sounds pretty definitive.] The facing must be installed in substantial contact with an approved ceiling, wall, or floor construction material. “substantial contact” doesn’t sound very definitive.] Protect facing from any open flame or heat source.”

Note this next paragraph, though:

“For most applications, apply this side [the facing side] toward living space. See package for installation instructions.”

So what does “for most applications” mean?

Well, this installation had been done by the home owner/seller (hereafter, “HOS”), and he was quite upset at me for telling him that he had done it wrong, notwithstanding what the instructions on the facing said. The HOS also had the printed instructions, which said the same thing, but he was claiming that his installation was outside of “most applications.” When I followed up with my Clients at the 10-day mark, they told me that they had, indeed, called the number on the facing and talked with an Owens Corning representative, who told them to follow the instructions on the facing and in the installation guide, so if it says it’s combustible and should not be left exposed, then it is combustible and should not be left exposed. “For most applications,” according to the representative, takes into account those who will insulate the complete attic as my HOS had done. However, as stated, the facing must not be left exposed, so if one is going to insulate the whole attic, then those batts on the attic ceiling will have the facing toward the roof, which is not “living space” and, thusly, is not one of the “most applications” where the facing is towards the living space. In other words, the batts on the attic ceiling had been installed wrongly and needed to be reversed so that the facing was against the underside of the roof, the “not living area” space, so that the facing was not left exposed. She was quite adamant that the facing should not be left exposed under any circumstances.

Just recently (last month), I called [this one](http://www.abouthomes.info/pics/attic insul 5.jpg) out as improper installation as well. :margarit:

The baffles are to keep air flowing on the underside of the sheathing to prevent premature deterioration of the roof covering.