Installing an attic vapor barrier

Vapor barriers are an excellent addition to your attic insulation, as it will help keep damaging agents away from the insulation.

Tools and Materials Needed

  • Foil or plastic sheeting
  • Caulk
  • Putty knife
  • Staple gun and staples
  • Duct tape
  • Board for kneeling on
  • Tape measure
  • Scissors
  • Dustpan and brush


First of all you will need to remove any objects from the attic that can get in your way. Also remove any dust and debris using a vacuum cleaner.

This way you’ll be able to see any cracks and holes that need filling.


To assure proper protection of the vapor barrier, you will need to cover the entire area of the attic. This means also the access hatch.

Blanket insulation

Most of the blanket insulation types have vapor barriers incorporated and can be very effective if installed properly. You will see on which side is the vapor barrier. Read the instructions of the manufacturer on how to install it. Blanket insulation usually comes on rolls. Cut the roll at the exact size of the space between the joists and then fix one end of the roll on one side and then roll and tuck the insulation firmly in place.

Vapor barrier layer

Vapor barriers are especially relevant for loose insulation and blanket styles that do not have a barrier incorporated. Vapor barriers also come in rolls. Start from one corner and staple the barrier in place. If you don’t like using staples, then secure the barrier with duct tape.

Secure it at regular intervals. Try not to let any air between the floor and the barrier. Form an edging lip.

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