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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    Default Cardboard Behind Knee Wall

    I came across this in a Cape Cod style house behind the knee wall.
    The area would be considered conditioned space as what little insulation is between the rafters. What would you say?

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    Default Re: Cardboard Behind Knee Wall

    Yep, that's a fire hazard and it has to go.
    Recycling is great but creating a death trap with cardboard is not cool.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Default Re: Cardboard Behind Knee Wall

    Won't burn any faster than the facing on that insulation ... ... between the two, that attic ought to up in flames rather quickly.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  4. #4
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    Mar 2007
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    Serving SC & NC
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    Default Re: Cardboard Behind Knee Wall

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    Yep, that's a fire hazard and it has to go.
    Recycling is great but creating a death trap with cardboard is not cool.
    If the cardboard were stacked neatly on the floor of the attic space, would that be OK?

    Joe Funderburk, CBO, CMI
    Alpha & Omega Home Inspections, LLC
    Serving SC & NC

  5. #5
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    Mar 2007
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    Default Re: Cardboard Behind Knee Wall

    Quote Originally Posted by William Kievit View Post
    I came across this in a Cape Cod style house behind the knee wall.
    The area would be considered conditioned space as what little insulation is between the rafters. What would you say?
    I would not consider an attic to be a "conditioned space" unless there were HVAC vents there.

    The walls and ceilings should be appropriately insulated. I recommend removing building materials and insulation from roof sheathing as it limits its inspection and traps heat.

    Joe Funderburk, CBO, CMI
    Alpha & Omega Home Inspections, LLC
    Serving SC & NC

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Cardboard Behind Knee Wall

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Funderburk View Post
    If the cardboard were stacked neatly on the floor of the attic space, would that be OK?
    The walls should be drywalled with taped seams. Minimal air movement. Then some cardboard boxes on the floor are fine.

    That kneewall cavity is closet space unless the hatch is permanently sealed.

    Back in 70's a family I know lost everything they had in about 20 minutes, including their cardboard insulation.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  7. #7
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    Mar 2007
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    Serving SC & NC
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    Default Re: Cardboard Behind Knee Wall

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    The walls should be drywalled with taped seams. Minimal air movement. Then some cardboard boxes on the floor are fine.

    That kneewall cavity is closet space unless the hatch is permanently sealed.

    Back in 70's a family I know lost everything they had in about 20 minutes, including their cardboard insulation.
    1) The cardboard is probably there to to secure insulation to the roof sheathing, which is not a good idea.

    2) IF you want to consider this space a closet, then there should be no ventilation (soffits) and no baffles open to the upper attic.

    3) I'm not aware of any model code requires gypsum board on interior walls (I'm sure the IRC does not). Paneling, hardboard, plaster, or tile would also be acceptable.

    4) There is no requirement (at least in the IRC) to "permanently seal" the hatch or door to a knee wall attic space.

    5) I can find no code that requires interior gypsum to even be taped at the seams with the exception of a garage.

    Joe Funderburk, CBO, CMI
    Alpha & Omega Home Inspections, LLC
    Serving SC & NC

  8. #8
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    Feb 2009
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    Southern Vancouver Island
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    Default Re: Cardboard Behind Knee Wall

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Funderburk View Post
    1) The cardboard is probably there to to secure insulation to the roof sheathing, which is not a good idea.

    2) IF you want to consider this space a closet, then there should be no ventilation (soffits) and no baffles open to the upper attic.

    3) I'm not aware of any model code requires gypsum board on interior walls (I'm sure the IRC does not). Paneling, hardboard, plaster, or tile would also be acceptable.

    4) There is no requirement (at least in the IRC) to "permanently seal" the hatch or door to a knee wall attic space.

    5) I can find no code that requires interior gypsum to even be taped at the seams with the exception of a garage.
    Fair enough. It;s not a code issue, aside from removing the fire hazard.
    I recommend finishing the space to make it a safe and usable closet. You recommend tearing down the insulation and making it an unheated attic space. If so, then the hatch should be insulated as well and screwed shut to keep it sealed.

    Space is limited and there is a hatch in the kneewall. It will be used for storage. The hatches are rarely insulated and weatherstripped properly.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Caledon, Ontario
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    5,005

    Default Re: Cardboard Behind Knee Wall

    Not knowing the age of the house, it is common to see cardboard used in older homes which predate modern codes.

    Would I make a big deal of it? No.


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