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 bat 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.