How to Remove Old or Damaged Insulation
Insulation needs to be removed and replace from time to time to ensure that it is working to its full potential. Hiring a contractor for insulation removal is the best way to have this done; however, if you do not have the budget for that, you can learn to do it yourself. There are many reasons why you may need to replace your insulation including roofing system leaks, rodent infestations and other types of contamination. The act of removing the insulation is not too difficult, but the attention to detail that it requires is taxing. If you educate yourself about the type of insulation you have and how to remove it, you should be able to complete this project in about one day.
Always remember to take precautions before starting this project. You’ll want to protect your skin from the fiberglass insulation with long-sleeved shirts, pants and gloves. If you have long hair make sure it is pulled back, or you can cover it with a hat.
The first thing you need to do before diving into this project is to test for asbestos. Asbestos is very dangerous to handle and this step should be taken very seriously, as your health depends on it. You can purchase a at-home asbestos test kit at most hardware stores. Follow the directions provided with the kit carefully. If your insulation tests positive for asbestos, you’ll need to call a qualified professional right away. Exposure to asbestos can cause serious lung problems. If your test comes up negative for asbestos you can move forward with your insulation removal project.
Prepare your work area by laying a tarp or drop cloth down. The cloth will protect your home from insulation residue and debris. If you have a rodent problem you may find carcasses or droppings in the insulation and the drop cloth will help keep any of that nasty, unwanted material from entering your home.
Next you’ll need to identify the type of insulation you have in your home. This is fairly simple to do. The first step is to identify it as blown-in insulation or blanket insulation. If you find blown-in insulation, you’ll need to rent or borrow a high efficiency particulate air vacuum, more commonly known by its acronym, HEPA vacuum. The vacuum will be inserted into the wall to suck the insulation straight out. Blanket insulation can be removed be bagged and removed by hand.
When you are finished make sure to clean up any remaining debris using a high powered vacuum. You want to be sure to remove any bits of insulation and animal refuse before installing any new insulation.