Attic Insulation Replacement Vacuum Cleanout


06.21.2006 - I visited my friend Matt in Massachusetts, and he brought me to one of his attic cleanout jobs. This attic was filled with bat droppings, or guano, due to an infestation of Big Brown Bats. It's important to remove the droppings, because they not only smell bad, but can grow mold over time, mold that can cause lung diseases for the inhabitants of the house. The insulation in the attic was also sub-par, so Matt decided to remove all of the droppings and insulation, clean the attic, and add new insulation.

I helped out on the day that we removed the droppings and insulation. In the first photo, to the upper-left, we see Matt using a 4" vacuum hose to vacuum out all of the droppings and insulation. The hose runs through the house and outside to a very powerful industrial strength vacuum unit. The only glitch was the occasional clogging of the hose with BAT insulation paper.

In the middle photo we see Matt and his helpers rolling up the bulk of the insulation, which was easier to remove by hand than with the vacuum hose, which kept clogging. In the photo to the upper-right, we see many bags filled with soiled insulation.

After all of the insulation was removed and the attic was vacuumed clean, the next step is to decontaminate the attic. After that comes the insulation replacement. Matt uses a similar method and machine, but this time it's a long hose that blows insulation into the attic. The blown-in loose fill insulation does a better job of overall coverage than the rolled-out BAT insulation. I wasn't around for the insulation replacement project, but I heard that it went well.

Do it yourself: Visit my Attic Decontamination page for tips and advice.
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You should not kill bats if you find them in your home or around your property. Bat colonies are protected, and attempting to poison them is illegal. Bats will not do much physical damage to your home aside from leaving piles or waste wherever they roost. This accumulation of feces can create a potent smell and will eventually result in the growth of dangerous mold spores. Humans can get a life-threatening infection called Histoplasmosis from animal feces. Despite the issues with bat droppings, bats are very beneficial animals to the environment and do a world of good in controlling the insect population. Disregard the myths about bats being blind and flying into women?s hair. A bat may fly frantically if trapped or confused, but the animal is not going to attack you for no reason. If you have a bat in your home and are not able to easily catch it with a net or a Tupperware container, you should call and have a professional come and remove it. Bats will bite, especially if they are injured or scared. Because of the high incidence of rabies in these creatures, you should never handle one without protective equipment.

If you have had an animal or animals in your attic, you have likely had it or them trapped and removed. You have sealed up your attic, had the large and small feces cleaned out of it, and have likely had it deodorized and cleaned. Now comes a very important step if you want to make sure your home is energy-efficient. Cleaning out your old insulation to install new insulation is a wise choice if the nuisance animals damaged your insulation. If you are wondering about the process and why you should do it, continue reading this article for more information.

Why have your insulation replaced?

Insulation in your attic is one of the most important ways that you can keep your house energy-efficient. As a lot of people know, warm air rises. During the summer and the winter, this can pose problems. Your insulation needs to be in the proper condition for it to provide the optimum amount of efficiency possible. This will save you money, with both heating bills and air conditioning bills. During the winter it will keep warm air in better, and during the summer, the insulation will keep your cold air in your home. When animals destroy the insulation to make their nests, they will tear holes in it, allowing air to go right through.

Another reason you may want to consider having your insulation replaced is if it is stained and has been damaged by animal urine and feces. There can also be mold growing within it, as animal urine and feces encourage mold growth, in addition to bacterial and other fungal growths. Insulation replacement is an important step to keep your home running the way it should.

Insulation replacement is not recommended to be done by anyone other than professionals. There are high chances of being exposed to harmful bacteria, mold, and fiberglass particles. Even if you have the right protective equipment, hiring attic restoration professionals is a more cost-effective and efficient way to get this job done.

Inspection & Method

If you are having the same company do all stages of attic restoration (feces cleanup, deodorization, and fogging), then this company has likely already assessed this part of the restoration process. The process starts with the professionals donning their personal protective equipment and getting up in the attic. Once they have done this, they use a large vacuum to suck out all of the old insulation. This may go quickly or may take time, depending on the size of your attic and the condition of the old insulation. Once the large patches of insulation are done, the restoration experts may take smaller vacuums and clean up any of the spots that have been missed by the large vacuum. Once this is done, the cleanup is over. Once the cleanup is done, new insulation will be installed. You will more than likely be given a choice as to what insulation you want to use. Once you have decided, the attic restoration crew will begin installing new insulation, carefully and effectively. At the end of the process, you will have a house that is much more energy-efficient, saving you money in the long run. You will sleep well knowing your attic is completely fixed from the animal or animals that lived in it at one time.

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