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need to cover insulation with paper backing

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27 November 2006, 01:46 PM
peggy1971
need to cover insulation with paper backing
I am finishing off my basement and have insulation with paper backing on the walls. Do I need to cover the insulation with a plastic sheet or anything prior to putting drywall up? Is there any advantage/disadvantage to doing that?
28 November 2006, 03:54 AM
Richard Hetzel
Is this insulation located between studs? Or is it blanket insulation draped over the walls?

Paper-faced insulation can have a vapor retarder built in...does there appear to be a black layer sandwiched in the paper face? If so, that is your vapor retarder, and no additional vapor retarder is recommended

If there does not appear to be a vapor retarder, then it will depend on your region as to whether one should be installed. If you live in a warm climate, perhaps the vapor retarder should be toward the outside; if you live in a cold climate, then the vapor retarder should be on the winter warm side of the wall assembly.


Architect (NY) and Home Designer (PA)
28 November 2006, 07:32 AM
peggy1971
The insulation is put up between the studs. I think there is a black layer like you mentioned as I seem to remember seeing it as I cut the insulation. I live in Wisconsin so the paper backing is on the warmer side, facing the living area. So, I assume that the plastic tarp covring the insulation prior to drywalling isn't necessary.
28 November 2006, 10:40 AM
Richard Hetzel
Coorect. That black layer is the vapor retarder, and it's in the right place in the wall assembly. A plastic film probably would not hurt, beasue it will be right up against the built-in vapor retarder, but I don't see any large advantage to installing plastic film.

Your choice.


Architect (NY) and Home Designer (PA)