Due to its usually out-of-sight location, the attic is hardly ever visited and easily neglected. However, there are occasions that call for insulation removal, whether this be for safety, maintenance or renovation purposes. It is important that you know when attic insulation removal is necessary, and that you adhere to best practices while doing that.

When attic insulation removal is necessary

Attic insulation removal could become important due to many varied factors. For instance, a building which has been exposed to fire may leave the attic with the odor from smoke. Even when smoke does not directly some in contact with your insulation, it might permeate the wall, trapping itself within and polluting the air circulation. With smoke trapped in your insulation, removing the insulation becomes your best option to eliminate the odor.

Other possible factors necessitating insulation removal include:

  • Water damage from a leaky roof
  • Mold removal
  • Removal of asbestos containing vermiculite-based insulation
  • Electrical work
  • Animal infestation
  • Renovation

Insulation removal – Preparation

Before setting off to remove your present loose fill attic insulation, it is important that you first determine what kind of insulation is present in the home. Older homes may likely have asbestos-containing insulation installed. This type of insulation is extremely harmful to your health and should not be handled directly, except by a professional. To be sure, use a test kit to confirm the presence (or otherwise) of asbestos in that insulation. If present, abort and leave to a professional.

As you begin the insulation removal process, pieces of moldy, damaged or mildewed insulation may begin making their way through to the house. To prevent this, keep loose insulation in the attic during the removal process. Close all interior doors, and place a sheet of plastic – secured with tape – over open walkthrough areas.

To safely find your way around the attic, lay large planks no less than 6 inches wide across the joists. This will allow you move around the attic freely. Decide on where would be best to unload the filled garbage bags from the attic, and place a large tarpaulin there. Keep the path from attic to tarp outside completely unobstructed. This will allow you to handle the disposal bags as quickly as possible, having precious little interaction with them.

An important part of your preparation is selecting your attire. Dressing for safety is very important when you have to deal with attic insulation removal. Right from the start of the process all the way to its end, dress with safety in mind. This involves wearing a long sleeve outerwear, long pants, gloves, a dust mask, safety goggles, and a respirator.

Insulation removal – Process

The exact process to follow when removing the attic insulation will depend on your selected equipment.

  • For a wet-dry vacuum, vacuum all of the loose insulation and empty into garbage bags. Next, thoroughly vacuum all attic joists starting from the farthest point and working your way backwards.
  • If you rent an industrial grade vacuum (HEPA filtered vacuum), you will simply have to position the machine to suck up the loose insulation and route the hose directly into a trash can outside – either through a window or vent. This reduces your exposure and improves efficiency.

Contact 4 Weather Insulation today if you need professional advice and service for your attic insulation in Calgary and surrounding areas.

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