Quick Insulation question

While I was messing around in the attic over the garage a few months ago, I pulled out a long strip of fiberglass insulation.
Replacing it yesterday, I wasn't sure whether to push it back in in paper side up or down. At the time, I decided that fiberglass fibers down would make it safer since much of this part of the attic is only sloppily covered with a few loose boards, and fiberglass is known to be "nasty" stuff. After browsing the Internet a bit, I realize now that paper side down is probably "correct". I don't want to incur unnecessary ceiling damage due to moisture. Is it worth flipping it around for the sake of this concern, or isn't it likely to make any difference either way? The width of the piece was much narrower than the space between the joists (so I"m not sure how good a job it could be doing--but it largely filled the space). Between adjacent joists there is loose-fill insualation, so someone probably just included this piece as an afterthought or something.
Most of the attic is frosted with loose-fill insulation, uncovered (probably wool, but I should investigate further...).
For those who are tempted to be critical, everytime I go up there I try to make it a little bit better (safer!). There Were some 10d nails hazardoutsly sticking out (which I have removed), and a 110v duplex cover half broken off leaving exposed terminals and being a risk in itself! I bought a new cover today--with rubber corners! Being slashed by the cover that is there is an ER visit I don't need. I'd be further along if the ladder worked better. As it is, one can go up, but will need help with the ladder when it is time to come down. Based on some reading, I'm going to try WD-40 on the hinges. Was thinking about replacing the ladder, but the opening is only 23.5" and most of the ones I've seen indicate they require a 24" wide opening.
Sorry for making such a boring post.
Bill
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Why?
So, you didn't note the position when you pulled it? Is the garage heated?
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I forget, it was bothering me for some reason (most likely it bothered me that the fiberglass was exposed). I thought I was going to add more, but since then I learned it's not supposed to go all of the way to the end (to the overhangs).

Garage is attached, but not heated. I noted the position when I pulled it out, but that was about 6 months ago : ) I remember after I grabbed it being quite surprised that it was 8 feet long.
Bill
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The paper goes to the heated side. If not heated, insulation makes little difference, but it may block some hot air from the roof in summer from coming down, or is ther a room above the garage that is heated. . Frankly, under the circumstances if no room above I'd probably leave a single strip the way it happens to be now. If it was a heated living space, I'd be sure to have it the right way.
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Thank you! Your explanation is very helpful.
I was concerned that the exposed fiberglass might pose a "health threat" (though it's not a living space, just a storage space).
The garage is attached, so there is no separation between the attic of the garage and that of the house, so I presume some heat/cooling may be lost through the garage ceiling.
Probably both of these concerns are negligible. But I'll probably go up and flip the strip upside down! Time spent up there is not wasted--there is a lot of wiring I would like to understand better. I would like to add protection for some of it too. It's like the previous owner's didn't even care! ; ) Probably hasn't been swept out since it was built 40 years ago. For most of the readers here, an annual attic inspection is probably the minimum level of care and attention given! : )
Bill
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On 4/30/2010 12:55 PM, Bill wrote:

Fiberglass, unless it gets wet and moldy, is not a health threat. If a kid gets in it he'll itch like crazy for a few days and if you tell him that it's the fiberglass that did it he'll learn never to do that again.
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To ease anyone's mind...
-The 8 foot piece of insulation glot flipped.
-I bought a lantern flashlight for $5, and turned off a circuit-breaker to replace a (dangerously) broken duplex cover plate. I think this was "overkill", and i was going to do the replacement relying on Duct Tape as a safety mechanism, but I thought I would try to demonstate good discipline for myself and especially for the sake of the many who have demonstrated concern in the past about my wiring prowess! : )
-Removed another dangerous 14d nail and installed it, basically in the dark, where it might be some good. If you've never hammered nails in the dark, you have to try it at least once! In this case the location was down near the edge of the roof and my face was basically on the attic floor (and I was wearing both a safety helmet and an dust mask). I bent the last half inch over for good measure and covered the sharp part of the exposed head of the nail with two pieces of duct tape!
- Oh, and I virtually fixed the attic ladder by putting a 2by4 under it's feet at the base. Now I can come down it without someone at the bottom straightening it out first!
Currently there is a regular old lamp plugged into the duplex outlet I mentioned. Can I install some sort of light fixture in the attic and plug it into the duplex outlet--and stay within NEC?
I'm reminded of Red Green's comment: If the women don't find you handsome, may they at least find you handy! : )
Bill
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May I suggest one of the LED strap on the head flashlights? I've got the 'eyeglass' kind, but they slip off all the time. if you are wearing goggles, you can get clip on LED flashlights. Have one I use when wearing goggles.
The older I get, the darker things seem!
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Hmmm.. Long ago some of my friends and I used to have lights that strapped to our foreheads that we used when looking for worms on the golf course (I could get more than 20 dozen crawlers in a few hours by myself)..ah, memories. They were probably brighter than LED. Some mechanism along those lines may be handy for some of my current adventures, which are, admittedly, less slimey...
Bill
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The LED flashlights are typically a cluster of 20-30 LEDs and pretty bright. Look for 'LED head lamp' at Amazon. Cheapest in Sports, most expensive in Tools.
We used to stob for night crawlers. Take a stick of wood, ash or hickory are best, pound it a few inches into the ground. Now hold the top of the stick with one hand and rub it with a length of automobile spring iron. The vibration spreads through the ground and the worms come up to see what the heck is going on! Works even in dry weather.
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Interesting. We relied on the sprinkler systems, and had to answer enough questions to security people as it was. The worms were right there for the taking--you just had to sneak up on them Very quietly. Got about 75 cents a dozen from two local tackle shops. I'll include more details if I ever write up my memoirs! ; )
Bill
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On Sat, 1 May 2010 22:24:10 -0700, " Rumple Stiltskin"

helps keep the dust out of my eyes.
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Tell me about it!
I've just been up in our loft installing more insulation. The pitch of the roof is quite shallow and there are criss-crossing timbers linking the joists supporting the ceiling below and the rafters above. Apart from the fibreglass "needles" I've got all sorts of scrapes on my skin and splinters everywhere.
Once the weekend is over I've got to go up and finish off :-(
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wrote:

Yes, indeed, there are lots of splinters to crawl around on...I was thinking that vacuuming them has to be the easiest and smartest thing to take take of next! Congratulations on being almost finished with your insulation project!
Bill
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Bill wrote:

Which was a complete waste of time... :)
A loose section like that w/ no other vapor barrier in an unheated area will have absolutely no effect whether the paper was there or not or if it was/is, which side is up...there's nowhere to trap the moisture if there were any.
--
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Your comments are surely correct. But I learned something from this thread, and in the short time I've owned this attic, no trip to it has ever been a complete waste of time! There always seems to be another "life-threatening hazard" waiting to be discovered! Once I vacuum, it may even be able to go up there wearin' my Sunday-Go-To-Meeting clothes! : )
Bill
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Paper down. And it's only a hazard if you are Working with it on a daily basis. I'd wear a mask if installing the entire ceiling.
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