1930's construction: kraft paper over joists in crawl space
I am installing insulation ofver a living room ceiling in an attempt to reduce ice dam formation. This is the sapce above the windows at the right side of the attached picture. I cut some can-light holes in the blue-board and plaster ceiling and find the tops of the 2x6 ceiling joist to be covered with kraft paper. The paper is rather neatly detailed, having been attached at the ends with furring strips to keep the edges in place and more or less air tight. Was this an early attempt at an air barrier to prevent rampant heat loss to the crawl space? Tapping the paper, it seems to have some junk on it, probably gravel from prior re-roof jobs.
I plan to put plastic-wrapped R-25 batt (CertainTeed EasyTouch) up there, which will take more space (8") than the 2x6 joists, thus displacing the kraft paper barrier. The 84 year old kraft paper is pretty fragile at this point. Any harm in tearing that up?