The insulation in my attic has paper backing, and I’d like to add a vapor barrier on top of it. Some people have said this is a good idea while others say it isn’t necessary. I’m confused, what should I do?

– Beth

Hi Beth,

Do NOT add a vapor barrier on top of the insulation in your attic, since the paper facing on the existing insulation IS the vapor barrier. The paper facing contains a layer of impermeable asphalt that prevents water vapor from passing through it.

Attic insulation should always be installed with the paper backing facing toward the living space (the ceiling in this case). This acts as a barrier to keep heated, moist air from rising up into the attic during cold weather.

Adding a second vapor barrier could cause condensation to become trapped in the insulation between the two vapor barriers. Over time this trapped moisture can rot the wood framing in your attic or cause mold and mildew to appear.

If you add more insulation on top of what is already there, be sure to use unfaced batts which do not have a paper backing, or have another layer of insulation blown into your attic on top of the existing insulation.

Good luck with your project,

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Danny Lipford


Danny Lipford is a home improvement expert and television personality who started his remodeling business, Lipford Construction, at the age of 21 in Mobile, Alabama. He gained national recognition as the host of the nationally syndicated television show, Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford, which started as a small cable show in Mobile. Danny's expertise in home improvement has also led him to be a contributor to popular magazines and websites and the go-to source for advice on everything related to the home. He has made over 200 national television appearances and served as the home improvement expert for CBS's The Early Show and The Weather Channel for over a decade. Danny is also the founder of 3 Echoes Content Studio,, and Checking In With Chelsea, a décor and lifestyle blog.

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