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  • Writer's pictureAmerican Insulation

Does Attic Insulation Need to be Removed?


These days, everyone is all about finding ways to save on energy bills. We’re installing new windows, new siding, and adding insulation to our homes, especially in the attic. So, why would we need to think about attic insulation removal? Is removing attic insulation the new “thing” to do, like installing popcorn ceiling texture was? Or is there a logical reason?

If you’re planning to have insulation added to your attic, this article may be of interest to you, answer some questions like, “Should I remove old attic insulation?”. When upgrading your current attic fiberglass insulation to cellulose insulation, it is recommended by professionals to do an attic insulation removal done first. Why remove attic insulation?

Expert contractors that specialize in insulation advise that removing old fiberglass insulation is best before installing new cellulose insulation because of possible mildew, mold, or rodent excrement. Cellulose insulation is made mostly from recycled newspapers ad paper sacks that are treated to make it mold-resistant, fire-resistant, and insect resistant. It is that pretreatment that makes cellulose insulation the better alternative. So, by have attic insulation removal service, you are getting rid of those possible issues.

Is it better to remove old insulation? Or Is it OK to put new insulation over old insulation?

Old attic insulation will settle over time, which is why we need to add to it, or in some cases, attic insulation removal is recommended. If it has been a while since you’ve had the attic insulated, the first thing you’ll notice is the attic floor studs showing. So, yes, this is an indication that your attic needs more insulation, even if the existing old insulation still has some R-value left.

Now, the questions asked here is that old attic insulation removal necessary? Not necessarily, however, as we mentioned above, old fiberglass attic tends to grow mold and attract insects. If there isn’t any water damage or signs of insect or rodent-infestation, you can get by not having attic insulation removal done.

Now, if you see a lot of dust around the air registers in your house or you’re concerned about the air quality, you should have attic insulation removal service performed. Then, have the attic floor sealed before installing new attic insulation.

How Long Does It Take To Remove Insulation From Attic?

The best time of the year to have professional attic insulation removal service is the start of Fall. Consider it the partner to spring cleaning for the attic. Attic insulation removal can be a daunting and foreboding project, which is why most homeowners have a professional service to the job. 

Usually, the same company does both Attic insulation removal and installation services, so it shouldn’t be hard to find a company. The job will take approximately eight to ten hours, depending on the size of the attic and if you have more than one attic. Keep in mind. They have the proper equipment and attire to do proper attic insulation removal. If you choose to tackle this yourself, it could take you a full weekend, following these steps on how to attic insulation removal:

Cellulose Attic Insulation Removal

  • Prepare yourself with gloves and masks. There will be cellulose dust flying around; anyone with breathing issues should stay out of the house until the job is complete.

  • Cover the furniture with drop cloths or plastic tarps on the living space below the attic.

  • Have plenty of big trash bags on hand.

  • Using a bucket vacuum or shop vac, 1500 HP minimum, suck up the cellulose attic insulation and empty into the big trash bags as the vacuum fills.

  • Smash and squeeze each trash bag with each vacuum empty to get as much in each bag then tie off when full.

  • Does Radiant Barrier Affect WIFI?

  • If you are wondering whether or not a new radiant barrier installation will impact your wifi, you are in luck. Generally speaking, if you install a radiant barrier in your attic or on your roof it will not impact your cell phone’s signal. If you already have a weak signal, it may be time for you to upgrade your cell service. This is because installing a radiant barrier may push your connection to the point that you have some reception issues.

Fiberglass Batt Attic Insulation Removal

  • Prepare yourself with gloves and masks. There will be cellulose dust flying around; anyone with breathing issues should stay out of the house until the job is complete. 

  • Starting in the attic farthest corner, roll up the batting, folding as you roll.

  • As you work your way back to the attic entry, drop the rolled batting of insulation into a big garbage bag. Smash and press until the air is out of the bag. 

This attic insulation removal process could take you between five and eight hours, based on the size of your attic. 

Discard the Old Insulation

Once you have completed the attic insulation removal process, you’ll need to dispose of the bags. It is recommended to take them to the local trash center instead of leaving them for your local trash pickup unless you’ve made previous arrangements.

Is rolled insulation better than blown?

The R-value is the concern to focus on when comparing the two types of attic insulation, blown-in insulation, or rolled. Manufacturers have the actual R-value of their product on their packages, which thickness range 2.9 per inch to 3.8 per inch for standard fiberglass rolls and blown-in insulation an R-value measuring 2.2 per inch to 2.7 per inch in fiberglass and cellulose measure 3.2 per inch and 3.8 per inch.


Attic insulation is an essential component to getting most of the heating and cooling in your home without sending your energy bills through the roof, literally. It can also be a source of poor air quality if it becomes wet or infested with insects and rodents. Take the time or budget the expense of having attic insulation removal done before spending money and time having new insulation installed is the best and safest solution.

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