Attic insulation removal can be a messy and time consuming job. Good thing you found our post for tips on how to get this done more easily and efficiently. There are many reasons for homeowners to be concerned about the status of their insulation. Here are our top 3 concerns.
- Rodent infestations or water damage often require insulation to be removed due to airborne diseases and contaminants.
- Wet insulation can breed mold and cause structural problems.
- If insulation is altered or damaged, this can cause inefficiencies and cost the homeowner in energy bills
When it comes to safe attic insulation removal, preparation is key. Planning out the process will make the job much easier and save costly mistakes. Below are 3 simple (or not so simple) steps to removing insulation from your attic.
- Clear area of contaminants (asbestos, mold, or rodent waste)
- Thoroughly remove old insulation
- Dispose of insulation responsibly
Clear the Area
The first step to making sure it is safe to remove insulation from your attic is to clear the area of all contaminants, look out for the following:
- Asbestos: According to the U.S. Consumer Product Protection Agency, this is very important if your home contains insulation manufactured between 1930 and 1950. Do not try to remove any insulation until your are absolutely sure there is no asbestos present. You can purchase a testing kit from a home improvement store or contact an inspector. Samples of the insulation may need to be sent to a lab for testing. If asbestos is present, you will have to hire a professional to remove the insulation and ensure it is disposed of properly.
- Mold: With The Mayo Clinic’s findings of nearly all sinus infections being caused by mold, it is a no brainer on why mold needs to be removed from your home.
- Rodents: Contaminate insulation with droppings, urine, and decomposing carcasses.
If you have further questions about possible contaminants, do not be afraid to reach out to one of our specialist at 1.888.743.7243
Remove Old Insulation
Once there is no asbestos, mold, or rodents, it is generally safe to proceed with attic insulation removal yourself. Some insulation is easier to remove than others. Luckily homeowners are more likely to find the easier kind which is blown-in fiberglass or cellulose insulation. Removing rolls or batting is a bit harder, but can be done.
Here is a checklist of things to do when removing the insulation:
- Equipment: We recommend a specialized HEPA-filter rated, high-powered, large capacity vacuum. These can be purchased or rented from a commercial equipment rental facility.
- Make sure you have the right protective clothing, goggles, and a good mask or respirator before you start. Blown-in insulation tends to be more messy and harder to contain than others, be careful.
- Using large rolls of plastic sheeting and taping off areas of your home will help contain any particles getting into the air.
- Some attic spaces are very small and tight, finding creative ways to maneuver the vacuum inside the attic will go a long way. If the attic is not large enough for a person to move around, try tying a rope to the vacuum. Gradually pull the vacuum toward you as it sucks up the insulation.
- Use a few pieces of scrap wood to create a mobile safe spot to work. Allowing you to keep a suitable distance from the remaining insulation, and it can also help you to reach corners and crevices.
- Exercise caution when moving around an unfinished attic space. Often there is nothing between you and your ceiling other than a few rafters. A misplaced foot, hand, or heavy vacuum can require annoying drywall repairs.
- Use a sealable, large heavy-duty trash bags to empty the vacuum into. You do not want the insulation getting loose and floating around the house.
When disposing of old insulation, find a certified recycling or waste management facility. Local regulations may restrict how fiberglass or cellulose insulation can be acceptably disposed of.
- Fiberglass insulation can sometimes be recycled to make new insulation. Check and see if there is a fiberglass manufacturer nearby.
- Cellulose insulation generally cannot be recycled because of the fire retardants used on the product. Be sure to do your research and know where you can take the insulation once it is removed.
Attic insulation removal may seem simple enough at first. However, is not necessarily an easy job and can pose a number of problems for homeowners. Don’t be afraid to call for professional help if the task becomes overwhelming.