I am insulating the metal ceiling of a 1300 sqft barn. I am using
kraft faced fiberglass insulation. The ceiling is 25 feet high.
My first option was unfaced insulation held in place by firring strips
or tiger teeth and a poly vapor barrier. The local contractor doesn't
stock unfaced insulation, and will not order the small quantities I
So I am doing this with kraft faced, but I don't want to leave the
paper exposed for fire hazard reasons. Drywall is too heavy for me to
do on my own, it almost triples the cost of the project, and I am
concerned about weight on the ceiling anyway. Are there any
lightweight options to cover this?
There are no state or county building codes that affect me (please
don't reply about this, I checked thoroughly). I am just trying to
mitigate safety with cost.
Where are you? I am pretty sure that the USA uses the NFPA and the UBC for
construction projects. Or at least documents fairly close to the ones that
are mentioned. Granted your area might choose not to inforce them but
building to anything less than minuim code is a poor idea, at least where I
live. Your insurance policy for your structure could very well be voided if
there were a problem and the structure and construction is not up to min
If drywall is to heavy for the structure then maybe the added weight of the
insulation will be a problem as well.
Actually, there are codes that require fire protection. AFAIK, sheetrock is
the cheapest and easiest in most cases. 25' in the air is not easy for a
DIY though. You can buy a plastic sheeting that would act as a vapor
barrier and has a fire retardant additive, but I doubt it would qualify as
any real protection.
From the Owens Corning web page
Thermal Batt Insulation complies with ICC (International Building Code),
ICBO (Uniform Building Code), BOCA
(National Building Code) and SBCCI (Standard Building Code) model code
requirements for building construction
types listed above.
Kraft and standard foil facing on Thermal Batt Insulation will burn and must
not be left exposed.
The facing must be installed in substantial contact with an approved
interior partition construction material. Protect
facing from open flame of other heat source.
Due to the potential for skin irritation, unfaced Thermal Batt Insulation
should not be used for exposed applications
where it will be subject to human contact.
Let me rephrase the question so this doesn't start a code debate.
I need to cover kraft faced insulation. Drywall is too heavy
(ahem-much heavier than insulation). Anything else I can use that's
suitable, that may or may not meet fire codes?
I am not aware of any product less expensive/lighter than drywall resistive
There are some fire rated foam products, but if you think the drywall is
expensive you REALLY do not want to know about them.
Is there any reason I can't install the kraft face on the "other side".
That is, the paper should be facing the "living" space, but does it
HAVE to? If I install the kraft paper between the ceiling/roof and the
insulation, does this create a problem?
As I said, I would use unfaced, but it's actually more expensive and
not available locally.
Vapor barrier is on the wrong side and it can still burn. I'd be willing
to bet a lot of outbuilding and barns have the paper exposed regardless of
the codes. The paper it self is not going to light up unless something else
starts it. I'd be tempted to just leave it if it is 25' in the air and
nothing near it to start a fire.
There are several manufacturers of foil faced cardboard sheets.
Here is one of the main ones:
The product. Themoply, is meant for exterior sheathing and I do
not know what its fire resistance is, but I have used it to line
shop space and well house. I would do so again.
(top posted for your convenience)
Keep the whole world singing . . . .
DanG (remove the sevens)
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