Q: I have an open ceiling in my garage that is insulated with paper-backed R-13 batts with the fiberglass exposed and held in place by metal strips. The ceiling has a lot of pipes and wires running over the ceiling joists. I plan to install poly-encapsulated R-19 batts into these spaces. Is it better to remove the old insulation, then install new insulation? Or can I leave the old insulation, remove the metal strips and fit the new insulation into the space? Another option would be to leave the old insulation and use a foil insulation product to enclose the ceiling. A: To put it bluntly, don't do it. Don't install poly-encapsulated R-19 insulation over the existing craft-paper-faced R-13 insulation. "Poly-encapsulated" is fancy term for fiberglass insulation encased in plastic. The plastic cover eliminates glass fibers flying around during installation. Having suffered through our share of the fiberglass "itchies," we understand why you'd want to go the...
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