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Hi! My 1953 small rambler in Minnesota has the original fiberglass-looking insulation: very thin (3") and capped with thick, tar-like paper. (Isn't the paper supposed to face the attic floor / decking?)

There may be a similar layer of paper on the bottom-side of the insulation: I've pulled a little up before to check, but I don't recall if there was or not.

My home inspector and realtor both suggested blowing in cellulose over the existing insulation, but researching on the internet, I'm finding that I should NOT have a paper barrier between layers of insulation.

Do I need to tear the old insulation out? That would be nice for air-sealing, regardless =).

Thanks!
 

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retired framer
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Yes the paper should have been down.
So you can remove it, turn it over or just remove the paper.
Sealing all the holes in the ceiling is important. You may need air chutes into the soffet area than the rest of the space there is filled with batts to keep loose fill out of the soffet perhaps you could the old stuff for that
 

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Hi gloves and welcome to the forum,
"Do I need to tear the old insulation out? That would be nice for air-sealing, regardless =)." You are correct and the extra benefit of being able to (easily) do an excellent air sealing job will more than pay for replacing that old itchy insulation.

Be sure your attic ventilation is good and add baffles with flaps to protect the ends of the insulation. Check current guidelines for your area, here are the 09 codes:
https://energycode.pnl.gov/EnergyCodeReqs/?state=Minnesota

But unknown what vintage codes your town has adopted. Looks like r-49, Brrr!

For air sealing here is a link to help.
https://www.energystar.gov/ia/partners/bldrs_lenders_raters/downloads/TBC_Guide_062507.pdf

Bud
 
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