Updated October, 2022
You may be wondering, is removing attic insulation complicated? When removing attic insulation, you want to ensure the old insulation is removed safely and cleanly. If attic insulation is not removed correctly, an attic can be left with gaps in the walls that let in air and let out heat. Hiring a professional crawl space company, like Crawl Pros, can help ensure you do the job correctly.
The EPA estimates that homeowners can save up to 15% on energy bill costs by improving their attic insulation, crawl space insulation, and more. Not only do you save energy when you remove old insulation, but you save money on your energy bills when you replace your old insulation with new attic insulation.
Fall is a great time for attic insulation removal and attic insulation installation in preparation for the Winter.
Why You May Need to Remove and Replace Your Attic Insulation
Over time attic insulation underperforms because of a build-up of dirt, dust, and/or moisture.
Insulation underperformance results in energy bills increasing. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that improper or old underperforming attic insulation can increase your heating costs by 10 to 50 percent. With old, worn-out insulation in your attic, your home will not feel as comfortable in both the winter and summer months.
What to Expect When Removing the Most Common Types of Attic Insulation
Cellulose insulation is one of the oldest methods of home insulation and can be applied by either loose fill or blown-in insulation. The small particles form an insulation material that sticks to most surfaces without disturbing their structure or finish. In most cases, cellulose insulation is made from almost 80% recycled newspaper; the remaining 20% is filled up by borax or aluminum sulfate.
In some cases, you can remove the blown-in cellulose insulation yourself, but if you suspect that mold or asbestos has built up, it is best to hire attic insulation professionals who specialize in attic insulation removal.
Removing fiberglass insulation can be even trickier. Fiberglass batt insulation is made up of very fine glass fibers. These fibers can embed in your skin causing you to itch. Further, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) indicates that fiberglass insulation has the potential to be carcinogenic. Additionally warning labels indicate that fiberglass can cause eye, lung, and skin irritation.
Attic Insulation Removal – A Step by Step Process
It is recommended to hire a professional to remove your old attic insulation. However, If you choose the DIY route, here are the steps required to do the job.
Cellulose Insulation Removal
The first step in attic insulation removal is to follow safety precautions such as wearing gloves and a mask for protection from cellulose dust coats. Do not try to move cellulose by hand or other obscure tools; it may cause a mess throughout your attic space and home.
At a minimum, you will need a high-powered 1500 HP-plus bucket vacuum to have adequate suction power to remove the insulation. Spread plastic over furniture and other exposed equipment in your living space. If you don’t have a sizable piece of plastic, you can use a drop cloth.
Gather bags to store the removed cellulose. If you’re using the garbage bag route, you will need many garbage bags to gather the abundance of cellulose. Every bag that you fill with cellulose should be properly squeezed to get all the inside air out before tying it up.
With the proper equipment, professional attic insulation removal can take 8 to 10 hours.
Fiberglass Batt Insulation Removal
Make sure you have long sleeves, goggles, and paper masks before you begin the attic insulation removal.
It’s best to start at the farthest corner of your attic and roll up the batts, or fold them over, as you roll. As you work back toward the attic access point drop the rolled insulation in a large garbage bag. This job can be easy or hard depending on the pitch of your roof and how much space is in your attic opening. It can take 5 to 8 hours to remove fiberglass insulation.
How to Discard the Old Attic Insulation
Now that you have removed all the blown-in cellulose or fiberglass insulation from your attic, you will need to discard it. You will likely have to make a detour to your local waste management authority to see if they can take the insulation materials. In most cases, you will need to drop the insulation on-site and pay a fee. This fee could go up to several hundred dollars depending on where you live.
Advantages to Hiring a Professional for Attic Insulation Removal
Even though it may seem fairly simple to remove your attic insulation, in most cases it is best to call in a professional insulation technician. What may seem like an easy DIY project can cost you time, extra money to buy or rent the correct equipment, and perhaps a large disposal cost.
If you’re not careful, attempting to remove attic insulation yourself can cause health dangers. Some old attic insulation is made from asbestos materials which can cause serious health problems if inhaled or not handled correctly. Blown-in cellulose insulation can be hard to spot in your attic and can lead to injury if one does not move around the attic properly. With a professional insulation contractor, like Crawl Pros, you can be assured the job will be done right!
Professional Attic Insulation Removal From Crawl Pros
In addition to attic insulation removal Crawl Pros performs these jobs to help prepare your attic for its new insulation:
- Clean and remove all large debris and fiberglass batt insulation
- Attic cleanouts
- Check for mold or mildew in the attic. If found, we provide expert mold remediation and mold removal services for your house’s attic
- Inspect the attic to ensure no rodents have taken up residence in your attic. If you happen to find unwanted pests in your attic, Crawl Pros offers rodent exclusion and trapping services
- Seal leaks, cracks, or holes in your attic between the conditioned and unconditioned spaces
- Ensure that your air duct system is clean, dust-free, and free of any obstructions. This ensures your home’s air flows efficiently and ultimately saves money on your utility bills
Contact Crawl Pros Today
Crawl Pros is equipped with experienced and expert technicians that can help your home become more energy efficient, warm and clean this winter. Crawl Pros offers attic insulation removal and attic insulation installation throughout Washington, Oregon, and Boise, Idaho.
For all of your attic insulation removal needs, contact Crawl Pros for your free estimate, or give us a call to learn more today.