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Can I put old removed wood paneling over joist in attic

Can I put old removed wood paneling over joist in attic

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Old 12-14-11, 09:23 PM
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Can I put old removed wood paneling over joist in attic

I'm going to be remodeling my house, and I plan on removing the wood paneling which is only in my living room and dining room. It's 3/4" paneling from 1951. I was planning on buying maybe a dozen plywood sheets to place over some of the areas in my unfinished attic so I could use it for storage space. Instead, can I just recycle the 600sqft of wood paneling I will be removing and lay them over the joists? Is it a bad idea, and why? Maybe I should double up (crisscross) the paneling because they are grooved and might not be able to support people walking on it? Or would that cause a problem because the joist may not be able to support double wood paneling plus the walking on top of every now and then? Any input would be great. Thanks.
 
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Old 12-14-11, 09:39 PM
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Assuming the paneling is grooved 1/4" deep, it would actually have the strength of 1/2" plywood, which could probably be used provided your joists are 16" OC. You would run the long dimension of the plywood perpendicular to the direction of the joists.

The biggest problem with sheeting the joists in your attic is that attics are supposed to have minimum r-values, and sheeting the joists limits the amount of insulation to whatever insulation can fit within the depth of the joist.

The 2nd problem with sheeting attics is overloading. Most ceilings are not framed with additional weight in mind, so adding any weight can potentially exceed the lbs/sq. ft. that the framing was designed to hold. Add to that YOUR weight as you walk around up there and you can potentially end up with cracked drywall ceilings due to movement that formerly had never been a problem. Just putting that out there FWIW.
 
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Old 12-14-11, 09:56 PM
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That's some good advice. Thanks. For some reason I thought that the grooves were 1/2" because that's how they "look". But I measured it just now and it is indeed around 1/4" deep. Right now, I don't have the money to buy more insulation. The house originally had 2 to 3 " of compact (due to age) blown in cloth like insulation. I fluffed at least 90 percent of it, to make it come back to around an average of 4", then I added Certainteed R19 to the whole attic. I know i need a lot more than r23ish, but that's all I had in the budget for this year. So I figure a good trade off is laying some of those panels down here and there (installed like how you said), at least 6 feet apart. Maybe use 6 of the panels up there. They are 7.5' x 4' I believe.
 
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Old 12-15-11, 05:04 AM
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IMO, the last place you want to store things is in the attic. In addition, insulation cannot be abbreviated. I would save money and insulate further to gain what you need in your area and find another place for storage. It gets hot up there, it gets cold up there, so whatever you put up there will go through seasonal changes unlike the outside temperatures as it will be exaggerated in the attic.
 
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Old 12-15-11, 07:54 AM
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Originally Posted by chandler View Post
IMO, the last place you want to store things is in the attic. In addition, insulation cannot be abbreviated. I would save money and insulate further to gain what you need in your area and find another place for storage. It gets hot up there, it gets cold up there, so whatever you put up there will go through seasonal changes unlike the outside temperatures as it will be exaggerated in the attic.
really ? my moms attic has stuff in it from 60 years ago. and other than dusty, it looks like it was put up there yesterday. though i am sure there is some dry rotted stuff i didn't find, that would dry rot no matter where it was stored.
 
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Old 12-15-11, 09:35 AM
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About 1/4 of my attic space is storage. We've stored Christmas stuff up there for 30 years. We also store winter stuff up there in the summer and summer stuff in the winter. As far as I can tell it's none the worse for it. There are things that I would not store in an attic given the wide temperature swings but stuff like cloths, books, bedding etc do just fine.

I used 3/4" plywood across the joists in the storage area. I would be leery about using 60 year old paneling unless I was positive that it could support somebody walking on it.
 
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Old 12-15-11, 09:42 AM
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I don't like the bounce in 1/2" plywood at 16" on center, I'd go 3/4".

That said, you don't have to buy anything so what's the harm in trying?
 
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Old 12-15-11, 10:57 AM
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1" in thickness any less could be too unsafe.

The new building code from IBC requires that catwalks are 1" in thickness any less could be too unsafe. This rule sounds good to follow for the new plywood.

I am wondering, do you feel you may be adding too much weight?
 
 

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