Removing Blown In Insulation: How It Works

So you’re looking to remove your old blown in insulation. This is a decision many homeowners make each year, particularly those living in older houses. Leaving worn out attic insulation in your home can lead to drafty winters, hot summers, and even pose safety risks in certain situations.

While batting insulation can be rolled up and taken away, blown in—also known as loose fill—insulation is a bit trickier to remove. The job can be done, however, as long as you have the proper equipment, a professional insulation removal team, and take all the necessary safety precautions.

If you’re interested in this process, but want to learn more about it, read on for everything you need to know about removing blown in insulation.

Why Remove Your Blown In Insulation?

Before you commit to an insulation removal, you may be curious about the benefits that come along with this process. 

When insulation is past its prime, its effectiveness and safety are significantly reduced. Some of the biggest reasons homeowners choose to remove their old blown in insulation include:

  • Lower energy bills – When insulation isn’t working to its full capacity, it can cost you a pretty penny in utility bills. This is because proper insulation makes heating and cooling your home much easier and more affordable. When there are gaps in your insulation, outdoor air is able to seep through the walls and affect the temperature inside. It’s no surprise that cranking the heat in the winter and air conditioner in the summer isn’t doing any favors for your wallet. That’s why paying for the removal of old insulation, and installing something more effective will ultimately save you money in the long run.
  • Rodents – Old insulation can pose safety risks when pests are involved. Rodents often burrow into the insulation of older homes, particularly in areas with little traffic—like attics. Additionally, a few rodents can quickly turn into a rodent infestation. Removing infested insulation and replacing it with something more hygienic will prevent these pests from spreading disease and other germs throughout your home.
  • Contamination – In addition to rodents, it’s possible for other contaminants to live inside your insulation, as well. Some of the most common infestations found in blown in insulation are mold and mildew. Contaminated insulation can cause unhealthy indoor air quality throughout your home, and put you at higher risk of leaks and water damage.

The main idea – Removing blown in insulation has quite a few benefits. Ridding your home of worn out or contaminated insulation can improve your energy bills, clear out pests, and improve air quality.

When Should Blown In Insulation Be Replaced?

Understanding when a removal is necessary can be tricky. It’s important to know which key warning signs to look for when examining your insulation, such as:

  • Holes – If you’ve noticed bare spots where your blown in insulation is missing, this is a clear indicator that it needs to be removed and replaced. When your insulation has holes, outside air has a clear entryway to your home, leading to uncomfortable temperature shifts.
  • Moldy spots – When visible mold is growing on the surface of your insulation, it’s time to start fresh. Mold spots may be black, brown, or gray depending on the type of fungi and the severity of the outbreak. Any color inconsistencies are generally a bad sign when it comes to insulation.
  • Droppings – The presence of rodent droppings around insulated areas will be one of the biggest indicators of a pest infestation. Chewed up areas can also signal that vermin are living among the insulation.
  • Temperature – If your home is drafty, hot, or generally uneven in terms of temperature, this may be a sign that your insulation isn’t working properly. Certain parts of your home should not be warmer or cooler than others when insulation is distributed evenly.
  • Color – In addition to discolored spots, the overall hue of your insulation can suggest what condition it’s in. If the bright pink or white color of the material has become pale and dusty looking, this may mean it’s time for a replacement.
  • Leaks – Leaks or moisture in your ceiling can be a sign of damage to insulation, particularly in the attic.

The main idea – There will be many visible signs when your insulation needs replacing, such as dark spots, holes, and faded color. Leaks and temperature inconsistencies in your home may also be related to insulation issues. If you have a rodent problem, insulation is one of the most common places these pests like to hide, which may be another reason for removal.

How Does Removing Blown In Insulation Work?

Now that you understand why you should remove your old blown in insulation, it’s time to learn how this removal is done. The process can be completed in three basic steps

  • Preparation – Preparing the area is crucial to a smooth removal job. These removals can be messy, and having the proper precautions in place will help to keep the rest of your home clean and sanitary when disposing of old insulation. Some preparation steps that your removers will take may include:
  • Laying down plastic sheeting
  • Moving furniture and other personal belongings out of the area
  • Setting up a secure vacuum outside of the home
  • Vacuum removal – Since blown in insulation cannot be removed by hand, a 23 horsepower vacuum is needed to dispose of the old materials. Once the vacuum is stationed in a safe place outside your home, a 6-inch diameter hose is attached and brought into the insulated space. From there, your technicians will begin vacuuming out all the old insulation, including any debris that scatters during the process. The old material will travel through the secure hose and be deposited into insulation removal bags, without tracking any contamination throughout the rest of your home. This process is secure, safe, and hygienic when done correctly by trained professionals.
  • Replacement installation – Once the old insulation is removed, you’ll typically want a replacement installed shortly after. Along with new insulation, you also have the option to get your area rodent proofed and have any entry points sealed off. In terms of replacement, there are two main options for your new insulation:
  • Blown in – For older homes with obstructions and structural inconsistencies, new blown in insulation will typically be recommended for maximum coverage. Using fiberglass blown in insulation will help your replacement last longer than other materials—like cellulose.
  • Batts and rolls – If your space is composed of relatively normal slats and boards, you may want to switch to batt and roll insulation instead Keep in mind that  installing batts and rolls tends to be more expensive and labor intensive. 

The main idea – Removing your old blown insulation is a three-step process. First the area must be prepped. A vacuum is then used to remove all the old insulation materials. Finally, you have the option to get new insulation installed.

Why Should You Get New Insulation Installed After Removal?

Just as old insulation can pose a threat to your home, having no insulation at all is equally risky. Though removal will eradicate any pest and mold infestations, temperature issues can only be resolved with proper replacement of insulation materials. 

With no insulation in your walls or attic, you may run into problems such as:

  • Extreme temperatures indoors
  • Reduced value of your home
  • Increased noise pollution
  • Wasted energy usage 

Taking care of your home’s inner mechanisms is crucial to maintaining it’s equity, as well as your own personal comfort. Rather than waiting to get a replacement down the line, it’s best to have new insulation installed immediately after removal. 

The main idea – Simply removing your old insulation is not a complete fix. Installing a new, high quality replacement will be a necessary next step to take after removal is complete.

Out With the Old, In With the New: Removing Blown In Insulation In a Nutshell

If you live in an older home, it may be time to remove your old blown in insulation. A proper replacement will help lower utility bills, retain the value of your property, and keep you and your family comfortable all year round.

When left untreated, contaminated insulation can also pose health risks, such as rodent infestations and mold outbreaks. If you suspect your home has fallen victim to either of these issues, an insulation removal should be scheduled as soon as possible. Rodent proofing and attic cleaning services can also be added to your replacement installation if desired. These services will help keep your home protected from these pests in the future.

Attic Construction Has You and Your Attic Covered

Are you looking for reliable, professional, and affordable removal services? Look no further than Attic Construction for all your insulating needs.

Here at Attic Construction, we provide top rated attic insulation removal to the Orange County and San Diego areas. Our hardworking team of insulation professionals can provide everything from removals and installations, to cleaning, rodent proofing, even decontaminating your attic or crawl space. 

Stop living with insulation that’s older and less effective, and start taking care of your home by scheduling a insulation removal service today!

Sources:

  1. Attic Solution USA. How to Remove Blown In Insulation From Your Attic in 8 Easy steps. https://www.atticsolutionsusa.com/how-to-remove-blown-in-insulation-from-your-attic-in-8-easy-steps/
  2. Attic Construction. Why Hire a Professional for Insulation Removal. https://atticconstruction.com/blog/why-hire-a-professional-for-insulation-removal/ 
  3. Attic Construction. Insulation Removal. https://atticconstruction.com/locations/oc/insulation-removal/ 

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