Best Way to Remove Old Insulation from Attic

There are many different type of insulation that could have been used to insulate your attic, and there are many different reasons why you would be looking to get rid of the old insulation. It could be that the old insulation is just not doing its job that well anymore and needs replacement. Or it could be that a lot of debris collected in there is impossible to clear out and remove. For whatever reason if want remove old insulation from the attic, we look at some ways that can be used for this:

Consider if you really need to remove the insulation

Suppose your attic has in place some old blown in insulation and you want to replace this with rolled fiber glass insulation. Consider whether you really need to take off the existing insulation. Unless your insulation got wet at some point, it is likely still doing its job.


If the insulation has settled somewhat, it could make sense to have more blown in. or could even also be possible to add new insulation over the existing layer – fiberglass rolls can be added to existing blown in insulation in many cases.

The old rake and garbage bag method

If you do decide to remove your old insulation, you could manually scrape off and remove the old insulation. This can be a long, difficult and tedious process. Be sure that you have plenty of garbage bags on hand – you can keep filling these as you remove more and more of the insulation. Also remember to wear protective clothing (even a painter’s suit that zips up the front may be a good idea). Use gloves and wear a mask to help filter the air you breathe; you don’t want all of those loose fibers getting into your breathing.

Using a shop vacuum

Many DIY types recommend that a shop vacuum (as against a home vacuum) may be useful because of how much more powerful it is. A shop vac can remove dry debri as well as liquids and so is more versatile. Whereas a home vac will suck up dust and fine debris, a shop vac will be able to get much larger bits and pieces as well.

Also give a thought to how you will dispose of the collected debris – speak before hand and arrange to have the debris disposed of properly. And another tip: this is hot work, so don’t wait until summer to get at it!