Replacing attic insulation can be a messy and dangerous job, so it is important to take proper precautions before starting the job. First and foremost, the installer will need to determine what kind of insulation, if any, is already present in the attic. Then, he or she will need to determine what he or she will be replacing attic insulation with. Prior to starting the project, all tools and necessary materials should be assembled. If the existing insulation is fiberglass, it will need to be stored in plastic bags before it is taken out of the attic to prevent particles from circulating in the air throughout the house.
In some cases, it may not be necessary to remove the old insulation at all. New insulation may be laid over the existing materials, thereby making the process of replacing attic insulation much easier. If, however, the old insulation is moldy, waterlogged, or otherwise damaged, it will need to be removed before installing new materials. Wear appropriate safety equipment at all times when replacing attic insulation; gloves, eye protection, and breathing masks will be necessary. It is a good idea to place a fan in an attic window or vent if one exists to encourage better ventilation. Take frequent brakes to get fresh air, and drink plenty of water, especially if the weather is warm. Avoid touching insulation, new or old, with bare skin.
Once the old insulation is removed, the next step in replacing attic insulation is carefully examining the attic space for potential trouble spots. This may include leakages, bug infestations, rodent infestations, damaged wires, other fire hazards, or plumbing issues. All of these issues will need to be addressed before the new insulation can be laid down. Inspecting pipes and wires carefully is important not only to identify damage to those elements, but also to examine any gaps between pipes and floorboards. Such gaps can lead to heating inefficiency, and they should be sealed whenever possible. It is also a good idea to insulate pipes to prevent them from freezing.
When laying the new insulation, be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions, as the installation procedure can vary depending on the type of insulating materials being used. Fiberglass insulation should feature a paper backing that will be laid face up to prevent excess circulation or fiberglass fibers into the air. This will also help prevent bugs and rodents from burrowing into the material.