Insulation vapor barrier is brittle - need advice

Old 11-14-04, 12:46 PM
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Insulation vapor barrier is brittle - need advice

My attic has fiberglass insulation that is wrapped completely with paper, just like the new type of insulation that is completely wrapped in plastic. The house was built in 1961 so the insulation is 43 years old. The problem is that the paper crumbles to the touch. I'd like to add more insulation to the attic but I don't know if I should replace the insulation that is there, or just lay new insulation on top of the old. The old insulation has an R value of 13. Can anyone tell me what is the right course of action here?
Old 11-15-04, 06:25 PM
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Just add unfaced insulation on top of the old insulation. This type of old insulation wrapped in paper is not the vapor barrier. The vapor barrier is a tar like substance that is applied to only one side of the insulation under the paper. So if you were to lift up the insulation and peel back some of the paper underneath the insulation, you will see the tar like substance. Because the crumbling effect with the paper, manufacturers stopped wrapping the insulation some thirty years ago. And just applied it to one side of the insulation with the tar like substance, that we see today.

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