How to Remove Insulation from Your Attic

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.

  1. Rodent infestations or water damage often require insulation to be removed due to airborne diseases and contaminants.
  2. Wet insulation can breed mold and cause structural problems.
  3. 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 steps to removing insulation from your attic.

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.

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.

Remove Old Insulation

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.
  • Dispose Responsibly

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.

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The Basics of Attic Insulation

Without proper attic insulation, your attic can be a very cold or a very hot space depending on the time of year. This issue can affect the overall energy efficiency of your home, so it really makes sense to have your attic insulation started as soon as possible. There are several types of insulation on the market today, including fiberglass batting insulation, blown in insulation, and vapor barrier insulation—all of which require their own installation technique. One important thing to remember when installing insulation is to never block your attic vents. Watch this informative video to learn more about how attics can be insulated.

Does Your Attic Insulation Need an Upgrade?

You’ll have trouble keeping your indoor and outdoor air separated if you have poor attic insulation, which means you’ll lose efficiency and overwork your HVAC system. If saving money and making your AC and furnace last longer sounds appealing, watch this video on attic insulation upgrades.


Check the depth of your insulation with measuring tape. If it’s not deep enough, you can add cellulose insulation on top. Dump it across and use a leaf rake to spread it. Then you can lay fiberglass pad insulation over the surface, but make sure there’s no paper on it. Don’t store anything directly on the insulation or compress it, as this will make it ineffective.

Proper attic insulation serving San Francisco makes your home much more comfortable and efficient, so call Atticare at 1 (866) 692-5449. We can also help you with duct repair, crawl space insulation, and even rats in the attic.

Top Reasons to Let The Professionals Handle Attic Insulation

You might want to think twice before you decide to tackle attic insulation on your own. You could run into a handful of hazards when installing new insulation in your attic, like a rodent problem or hazardous materials. The experts will know what to do in these situations, so you’ll end up with professional results. Read on for a closer look at why you should leave attic insulation to the pros.

man in green crew neck t-shirt holding smoking pipe

Dealing with Rodents

Even if you choose the perfect type of attic insulation and learn exactly how to install it, you might be in for a surprise when you make it up to the attic. Some homeowners only learn that they have rodent control problems when they attempt to install their attic insulation. If this happens to you and you don’t know how to handle such an issue, you’ll have to call the professionals anyway. It’s best to let the experts take the reigns from the beginning, in case you run into a problem like this.

Handling Hazardous Material

From fiberglass insulation to asbestos, there may be hazardous materials in your attic. It’s easy for homeowners to overlook these materials, as it’s not necessarily second nature for them to be wary of them. Materials like asbestos can be harmless when they’re not disturbed, but you may disturb them when installing your insulation. The professionals will take on the hazard so you don’t have to.


Contact Atticare Today to Get Your Attic Insulation Professionally Installed

Put simply, attic insulation professionals will most likely do a better job of installing your insulation than you will. They have been trained and have held jobs in the industry, and they know what kinds of problems you might encounter. Remember that better installation means better results for your insulation, so talk to your professionals and enjoy your home’s efficiency.

Are you looking for quality professionals to handle attic insulation serving San Francisco? At Atticare, our team of experts can help you with vapor barrier insulation and duct repair in addition to attic insulation. If you have any questions, call us at 1-866-692-5449 or check out our website.



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