Most homeowners do not even think about their attic, let alone how important your attic insulation plays into the design and energy efficiency of your home. Attic insulation or the lack of attic will have a huge effect your electric bill. If your insulation has been compromised due to a rodent infestation, then you should remove your insulation, have the attic sanitized and add new insulation. Okay, let’s get started.
Why Remove Old Attic Insulation
Easy – Over time, your attic insulation will break down, become less efficient, traps pollen, dust, animal urine, rodent feces and more. Here are the top 4 reasons why you as a homeowner should consider removing your attic insulation.
- Old Insulation. Old attic insulation will break down over time, the insulation becomes less effective at keeping your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Older insulation is very suspectable to breaking down, especially older generations of cellulose.
- The insulation is like a dirty sponge. Surprisingly your home breaths and your attic breaths daily. Your home will have 6-12 air changes per hour and over 15-20 years, your attic insulation will accumulate a lot or dirt and pollen which will eventually make its way into your home’s air which you eventually breath. The older the insulation, the more dirt and pollen your old insulation will have.
- Rat or Rodent Infestation – rats, mice, rodents, possums and even snakes can make their way into your attic. Rodents are especially bad because they can chew through wires, HVAC ducts, wiper pipes and are very destructive. But worse they leave behind diseases, feces and urine which will make your home smell really bad. We have seen homes where we have removed 50-100lbs of rodent feces trapped in your home’s attic insulation. Remember, you are breathing that daily and that can make you sick.
- A dusty home. If your home is dusty, it might be related to old and broken down insulation. Usually the culprit is cheaper or builders grade cellulose insulation. Cellulose insulation is made from recycled newspaper and cardboard and the fibers break down overtime and will make their way into your home. The only way to resolve this is to vacuum all your dirty insulation, air seal your attic and blow fresh attic insulation in.
How to Remove Old Attic Insulation
The best way to remove old attic insulation is a laborious and very difficult, and we think safety first. Here are all the steps to safely remove attic insulation from your home.
- We load up our 23HP, 290lbs vacuums into our insulation removal trailer.
- Each machine is checked daily for oil and a clean air filter.
- Our insulation vacuums use gasoline for power, so we fill up each of the machines with nearly 5 gallons of fuel and fill up our gas cans with extra fuel just incase
- We drive to your home, unload the machines, setup our defenders which catch and protect the fans blades from hitting any heavy metal objects that we may vacuum up.
- We layout and attached 50’ of 6” vacuum hose to 100’ of 4” vacuum hose that we take into the attic.
- The vacuums require 350 gallons vacuum bags, so we set them up for each vacuum and replace the vacuum bags about every 30 minutes or when the get full.
- Safety first, we make sure our vacuums are far from any opening or garage and the machines are gas powered, we never have the exhaust of the vacuum close to any opening near the home.
- Each of our technicians wears safety glasses, gloves, knee pads, headlamp and a K95 double filtration mask.
- When everything is setup, we start the vacuum machines, verify that we have good suction and head into the farthest reach of the attic.
- We can only walk on the trusses and it is very, very, very, important that you do not walk or step onto the drywall ceiling of your home. If you do, you will break or even fall through your ceiling and that would be very bad.
- Removal of attic insulation will easily take 6-12 hours depending on the size of you home. Everything needs to be vacuumed out to the drywall and to the stud.
- Batting Removal – Sometimes homes will have 100% batting or a mixture of batting and blow insulation. Whether you have batting or blow, it needs to come out via the vacuum bags or come out in trash bags.
- For the trash bags, we use commercial grade 95 gallon trash bags to load up all old contaminated insulation into. Once filled up, load those bags into the trailer to be taken away to the county dump.
- Once all the insulation is removed, the old insulation is now in 350 gallon, 200lbs bags that need to be loaded onto the trailer and taken to the county landfill and disposed of. The insulation vacuum bags are large and heavy and will require 2 people for this task.
How Long Does It Take To Remove All the Attic Insulation from an Average 2,000 sq.ft. Home
This is a great question and depends of the thickness of the attic insulation, how compacted the insulation is, how accessible the attic is and if the attic insulation is fiberglass, cellulose or batting. Typically vacuuming time with 3 technicians, it will take between 4 and 8 hours. Since we are in Florida, and the attic temperatures can easily reach 135F, we usually start at 6:30am or 7am. The earlier we get in, the sooner we can properly complete your job.
Now That the Insulation Is Remove – Now What?
Once all the attic insulation has been removed, we need to properly sanitized your attic. We use distilled water and DSV to get your attic properly sanitized. Sanitization usually take 30-60 minutes.It is important that the attic mechanicals are inspected, such as HVAC duct work, dryer ducts and bathroom ducts. If there are any issues with these components, they will have to be fixed.
After we get the go ahead, we will air seal the entire attic to prevent hot attic air from making it into the conditioned space. Once air sealing is completed, we will blow in either R30 or R38 attic insulation.
Hopefully this answers all your questions about removing attic insulation. If you have any questions. Just give me a call at 407-775-2230.