Fall is a great time to finally remove and clean out the old insulation in your attic. Attic insulation removal may seem daunting, almost foreboding, but with the proper preparation, tools and maybe even professional support you can remove your insulation with ease.
Why You May Need to Remove and Replace Your Attic Insulation
Over time attic insulation under performs because of a build-up of dirt, dust and/or moisture.
When this happens your energy bills increase.
The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that improper or old under performing 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 a 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 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. If you choose the DIY route, however, here are the steps required to do the job.
Cellulose Insulation Removal
You will have to adopt a few safety precautions such as wearing gloves and a mask for protection from cellulose dust coats.
Don’t even try removing cellulose by hand or other obscure tools; it will only cause a major mess throughout your home.
At a minimum you will need a high powered 1500 HP-plus bucket vacuum to have the adequate suction power to remove the insulation.
Before starting out, 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.
The old cellulose insulation can cause a mess that will make its way into your home and cover all furniture with dust. You want to make sure all the furniture is safe from the dirt.
You will also need large bags to store the removed cellulose. If you’re using the garbage bag route, you will need hundreds of bags to store the 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 out of your attic, the next dilemma is to get rid of the old insulation.
You will most likely have several dozen bags of loose insulation lying around the place.
Do not expect your local garbage man to pick it up. You more than likely will 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 large fee. This fee could go up to several hundreds of 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 call in a professional insulation contractor.
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.
Attempting to remove attic insulation yourself can cause health dangers if you’re not careful.
Some old attic insulation is made from asbestos materials which can cause serious health problems if inhaled or not handled correctly. Blown-in cellouse 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!
In addition to attic insulation removal Crawl Pros performs these jobs to help prepare your attic for its new insulation:
- Large debris and fiberglass batt insulation is bagged by hand.
- Remaining loose debris and insulation is vacuumed to our waste containers outside your home.
- Perform a general cleaning by removing loose dust and dirt.
- Check for mold or mildew in the attic. If found, we provide expert mold remediation to keep your home safe.
- Check for signs to make sure rodents have not taken up residence in your attic. Roughly a quarter of any rodent infestations are found in your attic.
- IF we find any evidence of rats or mice in your attic we remove any carcasses and droppings, clean urine stains and remove any debris left by the rodents.
- We 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.
Calling Crawl Pros for your attic insulation removal project will save you time and money.
We are licensed and insured to cover any circumstance if the job doesn’t go perfectly.
We invite you to contact Crawl Pros at 1-866 for free in-home attic removal estimate. Not only will we remove your insulation, but we will repair any damage, decontaminate the area and make sure your attic is ready for the best insulation possible.