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Ceiling wallboard with vapor barrier?

Posted by orourke (My Page) on
Fri, Oct 9, 09 at 4:08

I removed some ceiling wallboard (to do some structural repair work) and now its time to put up the new wallboard.

The ceiling wallboard on my house has aluminum foil on one side. Is this a vapor barrier? Assuming it is, do I need this vapor barrier on the ceiling? I cannot find any wallboard at Lowes or Home Depot that has a vapor barrier on it.

Please advise.

P.S. I have R-11 old fiberglass matts in the attic. I'm planning to add some more matts or cellulose.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Ceiling wallboard with vapor barrier?

Yes, it's a vapor barrier. Where do you live; is the attic properly vented; is the house air conditioned; are there any unusual sources of moisture in the house?


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RE: Ceiling wallboard with vapor barrier?

I live in central California (dry climate and mild temperatures).
Attic is vented in a rather traditional way, by round holes at eave (holes in the frieze blocks), 3 long narrow ridge vents and a circular 1 ft hole where one of those circular vents that passively spin is mounted.
No air conditioning in house.
No unusual sources of moisture in house. No signs of mold in attic.


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RE: Ceiling wallboard with vapor barrier?

As moisture source, I forgot to mention unvented kitchen gas stove. But I guess that may not be unusual...


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RE: Ceiling wallboard with vapor barrier?

I don't see why you would need a vapor barrier at the ceiling in your climate. Be sure no exhaust fans terminate up there. The original foil-backed board was possibly a radiant-barrier if no insulation was covering it.


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RE: Ceiling wallboard with vapor barrier?

Thanks for the suggestions,

This was a small area (9x4) so, for now, since I needed to proceed, I decided to staple a 6mil clear plastic to the joists, just in case. I figured that if it turns out that it will be doing more harm than good, I can always rip it from the attic side.

I did though already find a drawback. The vinyl prevented me from gluing the ceiling drywall to the joists (I had originally intended to use both glue and fasteners). I did though use drywall screws to secure the drywall, so Im not too worried.


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