QUESTION FROM Jim Smith of Stevensville, Maryland

We have a Cape Cod with a steep roof line. Behind the knee walls (second floor), we have insulated both the knee walls (with the Kraft paper toward the wall board) and the roof line. Along the roof line are attic vent-baffles with R-19 over the attic vent-baffles with the Kraft paper facing into the space between the knee walls and the roof line.

We have treated it as dead air space for insulation purposes, but we have stored boxes and Christmas decorations in those spaces.

Insulating both sides has protected plumbing pipes from freezing. Is it a problem to have the kraft paper on the roof side? It is stapled to the joists so it holds the insulation in place, and it also allows us to use the space as storage. We have never considered it a problem because it is just dead air space. Is that Kraft paper a fire hazard? What would you do?

Second Question:
Thank you! How do you remove the Kraft paper?


Good Morning Mr. Smith,  You are correct in assuming that the kraft paper is a problem.  Paper is combustible and would flash (flash is the explanation for flame to instantly cover the whole area).  

I would recommend that you remove the kraft paper from the insulation and install 4-mil visqueen with a fire rating of FSK in place of the paper and over the rafters.  This type of material is not easily available.  Most likely you will have to contact a major contractor supply outlet.  It cannot be purchased at your local box stores.

Hope this helps you to understand the kraft paper as presently installed is a fire hazard for your home.

Answer to Second Question: 

I would suggest taking a utility knife and cutting along-side where you have the insulation stapled leaving the staples where they are.  Then cut 2 or 3 slits in the face of the paper itself.  This will allow you to pull the paper off without pulling large sections of the insulation.  You will find by trial and error the paper will peel off one direction or the other easier.  This depends on which way the roll went through the glue machine. 
Hope this helps.

Bruce Jones
The Insulation Doctor