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deko 11-06-2010 07:36 PM

Installing insulation: side or face staple?
I'm finishing my unfinished garage and have begun to install insulation. My drywall contractor says side staple, but others say face staple.

It sure looks like face stapling would be better for both the vapor barrier and insulating quality of the batts.

How much risk is there to the drywall if the insulation is face stapled?

Will using screws instead of nails reduce this risk if face stapled?

Other considerations?

Side Stapled

Face Stapled

deko 11-06-2010 08:16 PM

I just came across this technical bulletin by CertainTeed:

Apparently side stapling is the way to go--just don't leave too much gap on the sides.

Red Squirrel 11-06-2010 08:19 PM

personally I'd just go with normal bats, then use plastic vapor barrier.

deko 11-07-2010 01:14 PM

Thanks for the reply.

Yes, the most effective vapor retarder is 4 or 6 mil clear plastic sheeting over unfaced batts, as you suggested.

But I've also read that it all depends on your climate.

I found a great article on vapor retarders here:

They define 3 classes of vapor retarders:

Class I: 0.1 perm or less
Class II: 1.0 perm or less and greater than 0.1 perm
Class III: 10 perm or less and greater than 1.0 perm

Kraft-faced batts fall in Class II, which is recommended for my "marine" climate.

I've learned there's a lot more to dealing with moisture in your house than vapor retarders, however. In some climates you may need passive ventilation of walls and/or active ventilation of attics.

There's also a risk of creating indoor air quality problems if you seal your home up too tightly. This is where mechanical ventilation systems are recommended:

I've concluded there are bigger fish to fry than questions about how to staple faced batts. I'm now thinking about active ventilation for the attic and a mechanical ventilation system for living spaces.

Gary in WA 11-08-2010 12:17 AM

I would research the forced attic ventilation more:

Side staples create convective loops degrading your insulation:


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