Clearing Old Insulation From the Attic

With the warm weather starting to (kind of) arrive, we decided it would be good to start clearing out the attic. We’re planning on having a separate furnace/AC unit up on the second floor, and there will be ductwork running across the house along the attic floor.

Unfortunately, right now, there’s a ton of junky old insulation up there. There’s a lot of dirt, muck, and squirrel poop that’s collected over the years. And it all needs to get removed before we put anything else up there (duct work, as well as new insulation).

I grabbed some gloves, goggles, my knife, respirator, and an old pair of used coveralls from my “Tidy Serial Killer” Halloween costume from 2011.

Ready to go to work! Needless to say, if the neighbors happened to see this… there would be a lot of explaining to do.

Not a great photo, but it was difficult to do much in terms of documentation upstairs. The only light came from two portable lights I brought up, with an extension cord snaking down to the master bedroom.

On almost the entire floor, there was large swaths of insulation.

To get rid of it all, I stuffed as much as I could into trash bags. At first, I started cutting it with my knife. After maybe 20 minutes, I gave up on that and just kind of embraced the fact that I’d be swimming in all the squirrel poop. After I left the “cut the insulation into squares” approach, I just started to stuff as much as I could into each bag.

After a short while, my back started to ache. So I got a small stool to sit on while I stuffed insulation into bag after bag.

It was an odd sensation, sitting up there and pulling all this insulation over my legs. I kept feeling like one of those mall Santa Clause at Christmastime.

You know the guys I’m talking about – the Santas that just sit there, as kids hop on his lap and talk about the gifts they want. It kind of felt like that for me, during this process… but instead of kids sitting on my lap, I had fiberglass insulation. And instead of them telling me about presents, I was stuffing them into garbage ba…

OK. The Santa comparison thing is kind of falling apart right now, but you know what I mean.

A view of the attic, with most all the insulation in bags.

A small alcove to the side, filled with garbage bags. By my count, I think I got about 50 bags in before calling it a day.

What sucks is that after about 4-5 hours, I’m about halfway done with the work up here. While the big stuff is now put away in bags, there’s a ton of loose insulation that needs to get cleaned out of here.

At some point in the past, the previous owners decided that adding packing peanuts to the attic would help with the insulation. This photo marks the exact moment when I was cursing that day in the past, when the prior owners made this terrible decision.

Here’s some better video of the attic, showing the before and after:

A Day at the House: Attic Cleaning, Reinforced Doors, and a Stereoscope Viewer
Halloween Costume: The Tidy Serial Killer

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