Empty and clean attic

Preparing Your Attic for Insulation: Everything You Need to Know

It’s finally happening—after scheduling consultation and gathering quotes on insulation removal, choosing an insulation expert, and picking out your materials, it’s time to prepare for your attic insulation installation.

While you might be excited to reduce your energy bills and keep your home more comfortable, the process isn’t completely hands-off. You’ll need to take steps to make sure your attic and the rest of your home remain safe throughout the process.

In this article, we’ll explore six key steps to take before your insulation experts come knocking.

These tips won’t just make your insulation installer’s life easier—they’ll also give you peace of mind on installation day.

Preparing Your Attic in Three Easy Steps

You might have already added “prepare attic for insulation” to your to-do list—or your partner’s—but what exactly should you do to accomplish that task? Luckily, you can get your attic ready in three easy steps. 

Step 1: Clear it Out

If your spring cleaning ritual includes pretending like your attic doesn’t exist, it’s now time to put that procrastination to bed. Find yourself paralyzed with fear while staring at all of the boxes in your attic? Take it one step at a time:

  1. Don some protective gear – You may be embarrassed by the sheer volume of dust, dirt, and grime in your attic. But you’re close to finally getting rid of it! Put on a dust mask, your yard work clothes, and some latex or nitrile gloves. Even if you’re not afraid of getting dirty, don’t skip the mask—prolonged dust inhalation can damage your lungs.1
  2. Empty your attic – Instead of sitting up in your attic rifling through old Halloween decorations, take all of the boxes down before you start sorting. Your insulation expert doesn’t need all of your photos to be organized by year—they just need your attic to be empty.
  3. Tidy up – While your attic doesn’t have to be sparkling clean—let your insulation professionals handle the old insulation and pest debris—try to sweep most of the dust and dirt out of the area immediately next to the attic entry point. Clear away any remaining tripping hazards and place pest traps in easily visible locations.
  4. Sort, Purge, and Store – Now that you have all of your belongings out of the attic, why not take the opportunity to sort through them? While this step is certainly optional, and all you really have to do is make sure your belongings are stored out of the installers’ way, purging the things you no longer need and organizing your remaining keepsakes will give you a nice dopamine rush.2

Once you’ve cleared out your attic and moved your items to a temporary storage location, you can move on to less daunting tasks.

Step 2: Check the Lights

If you have a lighting system in your attic—or even just a bare light bulb with a pull string—make sure that your lights are in working order before your installation.

There are two main reasons why checking your attic lights is a good idea:

  • Your insulation expert will bring the lighting they need to install your insulation, but any additional light in the attic space will only benefit the installation process. If you have a lot of lighting available in your attic and it’s in working order, your installer could skip their headlamp or flashlight, lightening their load even just a little.
  • If you don’t currently have insulation in your attic, the lights you install and maintain in your attic are much more accessible now than they will be once your attic is full of insulation. Take advantage of the clear walking path and replace incandescent light bulbs with long-lasting LEDs.3

If the light bulb in your attic went out five years ago, now is the perfect opportunity to change those pesky bulbs.

Step 3: Make Sure Your Access Point is Operable

Check that your attic access point is in a safe, operable condition before your insulation team arrives. While they’ll likely bring a ladder just in case, it’ll be much more convenient to use the access hardware on hand. 

If you have a pull-down hatch with stairs, grease the hinges for smooth, quiet operation. If the pull tab on your attic hatch is broken, install a replacement chain. While you might have a secret trick for getting the hatch open without one, you want to make your installers’ lives as easy as possible. 

If you’re a little more old-school and simply have a piece of plywood covering your attic access point, make sure that there isn’t anything obstructing the opening or preventing the plywood from lifting up and away. 

Finally, if your attic access point is unusually small—if you can’t fit the top rungs of a ladder in it, for instance—inform your insulation installer during your consultation. They may have to make special arrangements for hauling their equipment into the attic. 

Preparing the Rest of Your Home

While your attic may be ready for company, the rest of your home may tell a different story.

Take these three steps to ensure that installers have a clear path to the attic, any sensitive belongings are out of sight, and your pets and children don’t get underfoot during the process.

Step 4: Clear a Path

Even if you’re used to avoiding furniture and obstacles in your home, your insulation team isn’t as familiar with your space as you are. So, clear a path for them to walk and haul their equipment to the attic access point as safely and efficiently as possible. 

Some tripping hazards might include:

  • Rugs, even with effective pads underneath
  • Food and water bowls for pets
  • Shoes piled up at the front door
  • Boot brushes, coat racks, and other foyer furniture

If insulation installers will have to climb a set of stairs to reach your attic access point, consider temporarily removing any rugs or treads from your staircase. In addition, make sure your landing is clear of planters, small furniture pieces, or other accouterments. 

While a clear path to the attic access from the front door may be obvious to you, your insulation team may need to take a different route than you expected. So, make sure that any other potential traffic areas are clear, or ensure that they’ll be easy to clear if needed on installation day. 

Step 5: Tidy Up

While your home doesn’t have to look like it’s staged for a real estate photo shoot, you should tidy up your space. Recruit your fellow housemates to help you with:

  • Putting kids’ toys away
  • Returning pet toys to their proper place
  • Picking up throw blankets or pillows around the living room
  • Cleaning up and temporarily storing craft or DIY projects in progress
  • Putting small kitchen appliances away in cabinets
  • Folding and storing laundry

These tips for tidying up aren’t for appearances—home improvement work can get dusty, and installing insulation is no exception. To avoid cleaning a fine layer of dust off of everything you own after the installation team leaves, stow as many things as you can in closets, cabinets, and drawers. 

While you should certainly clean up to ensure a safe working space for your insulation team and their equipment, preventing as much dust buildup as possible will save a lot of time after the installation is complete. 

Step 6: Secure Pets—And Kids

If you have children and pets, keeping them away from the action during your installation is highly encouraged, for both the installers’ safety and their own. 

Even if your pets are generally unbothered by visitors, your typical houseguests probably aren’t toting around heavy equipment or making a ruckus in the attic. Keeping your pets behind a closed door with their food, water, and a few favorite toys will help keep them calm and ensure that they stay out of the way during the installation process. 

If you have kids at home, ask them to stay in their rooms or keep them in a sequestered area where you can supervise them. Supply enough snacks, drinks, toys, or screens to keep them busy throughout the installation, but try to stick to the normal routine as much as possible. 

Keeping your pets and kids secure is a matter of safety for them and your insulation team. If a cat or toddler gets underfoot while the installers are working, they could trip and injure themselves, potentially hurting both parties. Add the extra hazards of operating heavy equipment, electrical hazards in attics, and the hassle of keeping your pets and kids out of the way makes even more sense. 

Step-by-Step Prep Tips from Attic Construction

How to prepare an attic for insulation is pretty straightforward—clear out your attic, replace light bulbs as needed, and make sure the entry point is in working order. But, some extra time spent preparing the rest of your house benefits your family, your pets, and your insulation team.  

If you have a specific question about preparing your own home, ask the experts at Attic Construction. With a decade of experience in the attic repair business, we can give you all the advice you need to make your installation a breeze. 

If you’re ready to add insulation to your attic, but you’re not sure where to start, drop us a line. Our experts will walk you through the whole process, and you’ll be on your way to enjoying a more comfortable home, improved efficiency, and lower energy bills. For even more attic improvement projects like installing flexible ductwork or finding attic services for HOA communities, check out our other blogs! 

Sources: 

  1. Angi. The Whole-House Cleanout Guide: Letting Go Joyfully from Your Attic to Your Basement. https://www.angi.com/articles/whole-house-cleanout-guide-letting-go-joyfully-your-attic-your-basement.htm 
  2. Psychology Today. The Science of Accomplishing Your Goals. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-truisms-wellness/201610/the-science-accomplishing-your-goals 
  3. US Department of Energy. LED Lighting. https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/led-lighting 

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Great work! Our attic went from totally disgusting to pristine.  They are courteous and professional and clean up after themselves.

-Karen L. Santee, CA

Andrew was very informative and helpful during the whole process. Excellent communication and his team did a great job. He came on Sunday and the work was done and completed by Tuesday. Highly recommend to anyone who is looking for a fair prices and great service.

– Joey E. San Diego, CA