Tips For Removing Attic Insulation By Hand

Removing your attic’s old insulation is a task many homeowners face at some point. After a while, the materials used to insulate your home can begin to lose their effectiveness. From normal wear and tear, to more serious issues like vermin and contamination—a lot can go wrong in this vulnerable area of your home so you may want to consider attic insulation removal.

If you’re considering an insulation removal by hand, you have the option of doing the job yourself or hiring a trained professional. 

For the differences between these two methods (and everything else you should know about the process) continue reading for some helpful tips on removing attic insulation by hand!

Types of Insulation

Understanding the type of insulation material you have will determine whether or not removal by hand  is possible. Depending on its material and structure, your current insulation will most likely fall into one of these two categories:

  • Insulation that can be removed by hand – Batt and roll insulation—also known as insulation blankets—are strips of insulated material that are shaped to fit between the slats and boards of your home. This is the only type of insulation that can be removed by hand, due to its rigid structure.
  • Insulation that can’t be removed by hand – Some types of insulation that fall into this category include blown-in foam insulation, loose fill fiberglass insulation, and cellulose insulation. Due to the scattered structure of these insulation types, they cannot be efficiently disposed of by hand. Instead, an industrial hose is used to suck up these materials and leave a clean slate for new insulation to be installed.

Can You Remove Batt Insulation Yourself?

The short answer is yes—batts are typically the only type of insulation that homeowners can realistically remove themselves. With that being said, it’s still recommended that most people hire a professional to clear out any type of older insulation.

Why is this? There are a few different reasons that make professional services more beneficial than a DIY removal. Some of the biggest concerns include:

  • Safety – Removing insulation isn’t a risk-free job. Mold, vermin, and hazardous structures can all pose threats to homeowners attempting this task on their own. With a professional, you’ll have the comfort of knowing your home is in good hands. Plus, you won’t risk being exposed to a rodent infestation, unhealthy air quality, or falling through a loose floorboard (yikes!).
  • Better tools – When you remove batt insulation by hand, there’s usually some debris leftover. If your old insulation was contaminated by mold or pests, any remains can be potentially harmful if they aren’t taken care of. A professional removal company will have the tools needed to fully clean up the area—such as a professional vacuum, decontaminating chemicals, rodent-proofing methods and proper trash bags for removing your old attic insulation. 
  • Replacement – If you’re removing your old insulation, it likely was too old or wasn’t the best material for the space. Hiring a professional to remove your existing insulation will allow for a proper inspection of the situation, and give you the option to install a higher quality replacement.

How to Remove Insulation By Hand

Whether you’re determined to brave this task alone, or you’re considering professional help—you may be curious to know how insulation removal is done. 

Removing batt insulation by hand will commonly require a three step process:

  • Preparation – Before your removal can even begin, you’ll want to take some precautions within the attic space. Clear any furniture and other boxes from your attic. This will help create space and avoid any unnecessary damage or contamination of items.
  • Rolling – Batt insulation will typically be rolled up piece by piece and disposed of in secure bags. If you have contaminated insulation in any way, you’ll want to avoid any contact with your skin. Wearing a mask may also reduce the risk of toxic air entering your lungs.
  • Vacuuming – Any leftover debris can be vacuumed up at the end of the process. An industrial hose (similar to those used for blown-in insulation) will be brought in by professionals to ensure the area is completely clear at the end of the job. This step may be difficult for those removing their insulation themselves if they don’t have the proper equipment.

Get The Job Done Right with Attic Construction

While batt insulation can be removed by hand, that doesn’t make it any easy feat. Thoroughly clearing your attic of old insulation will be difficult without the right tools. You may also want some of the additional services a professional can offer you, like rodent proofing, decontaminating, and attic cleaning services

That’s where Attic Construction comes in. Our professional team is trained in everything insulation-related. Book your inspection with us today to get a free estimate on all the services you’re looking for!

Whether you are looking for San Diego, Orange County or Phoenix insulation removal, installation or rodent proofing, we are here to help.


  1. Crawl Pros. A Fool-Proof Formula for Easy Attic Insulation Removal.
  2. Attic Construction. Why Hire a Professional for Insulation Removal. 
  3. Attic Construction. Insulation Removal. 

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