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How to Remove Old Insulation From the Attic


If you’ve been living under the same roof for several years, you might have noticed that it’s not as warm as it used to be. Plus, the electricity bill might be heftier than ever before. This is a dead giveaway that your attic insulation needs a makeover. But let’s focus on how to remove attic insulation for now.

Removing attic insulation can be a daunting task if you’ve never done it before. Depending on your attic insulation type, you’ll need a set of equipment to keep you safe from all the hazards your attic might be hiding. Also, the entire process can be lengthy, taking up to 20 hours for newcomers.

That said, we understand that many of you want to learn how to remove old insulation from your attic on your own. So, let’s check out what the DIY process looks like.

The Basics of Attic Insulation Removal

Attic insulation removal isn’t as straightforward as it sounds. Sure, you could put on your working boots, climb up to the attic, and try to remove all the old insulation. The hidden dangers to this are countless, though. So, at first, you’ll need to take a quick look at how the situation looks like up there.

Inspecting Your Attic Insulation

Before you take any action regarding your old insulation, you’ll have to inspect it for the following:

  1. Asbestos: Most houses nowadays have no traces of asbestos, a carcinogen. However, if your attic’s insulation dates back to the 30s-50s, there’s a high chance that some asbestos is present. You can either get a testing kit to check for asbestos or call us for a free estimate. But, avoid removing any attic insulation if you suspect that asbestos traces are present.
  2. Mold: Oftentimes, you might have a pipe that’s leaking in the attic, which can cause mold or other water damage. In any case, if any mold is present, you’ll require special attic insulation removal.
  3. Infestation: An old attic insulation is a rodent’s dream house. If you notice any rats roaming around, or any of their excrement, you’ll need to contact a professional team, like ours, to remove any old insulation from the attic.

If you’re 100% sure there’s no asbestos, mold, or an infestation in your attic, it’s time to identify the type of insulation you have.

  • Batt Insulation: If you have fiberglass batt insulation, having special equipment isn’t a must. You can simply roll up every board and dispose of it.
  • Blown-In Insulation: If your attic’s insulation is blown-in, you’ll need an attic insulation removal vacuum machine to get rid of it.

Equipment Needed for Attic Insulation Removal

Once you know what attic insulation type you have, it’s time to pick up all the necessary equipment. Admittedly, some of it can be extremely expensive, so it’s better to rent it than straight up buying it.

Here’s a list of all the equipment you’ll need, no matter what type of attic insulation you have:

  • Protective Gear (Gloves, Goggles, Respirator, Full Hazmat Suit/Coveralls)
  • Headlamp
  • Big Garbage Bags

If you have blown-in attic insulation, you’ll also need the following equipment:

  • High-Powered Insulation Vacuum
  • Gasoline (for the vacuum)
  • Large Hoses
  • Insulation Disposal Bags
  • Lots Of Duct Tape

Now that you’ve secured all the necessary equipment, it’s time to get your hands dirty.

Removing Attic Insulation

The actual process of removing attic insulation is relatively easy in theory. However, it can be extremely time-consuming and tiring, especially if your attic isn’t big enough for you to comfortably fit in.

That said, it’s too late to stop now, so here’s a quick checklist of what you should do to remove old insulation from the attic:

  1. Prepare the attic insulation removal vacuum by filling it with gasoline, connecting the hoses to it, and placing the insulation disposal bags accordingly. Keep in mind that you’ll have to use a lot of duct tape to keep everything nice and tight.
  2. Put on all the necessary protective gear before climbing up the attic. Be sure to call a friend for some extra help if needed.
  3. It’s time for the actual attic insulation removal. Using the vacuum, clear up the attic from all the old insulation.
  4. Remember to change the disposal bags once they fill up. Also, inspect every corner as you’re vacuuming to ensure you don’t pick up any nails or sharp objects. These can damage the disposal bags and release all the old insulation in your backyard.
  5. Once you’ve removed all the old insulation, take a closer look at your attic to ensure it’s all cleared up. And that’s it! You’ve just removed the insulation from your attic.

Attic insulation removal can take several hours, even for experts. While the actual time depends on how big your attic is, don’t expect to spend less than 6-8 hours clearing everything up.

Let Us Handle Your Attic Insulation Removal and Replacement

Taking the DIY approach to removing attic insulation might feel great in the end, but it’s pretty challenging if you’ve never done it before. Whether you don’t know how to remove attic insulation or have the time to spend on attic insulation removal, we’ve got you covered.

At Green Rodent Restoration, we’ll evaluate what approach is needed for your old insulation and take care of attic insulation removal and replacement and its disposal, no matter the case.

Feel free to call us for a free estimate, and we’ll do our best to ensure that you’ll have no issues with your old attic insulation.

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