How to Vacuum Attic Insulation?

Blown-in insulation made of cellulose and fiberglass is commonplace in older homes and may become dirty over time, as rodents feed, sleep, and leave their droppings behind.

Vacuuming attic insulation can be a highly hazardous task and we advise you to hire professional help for this job. If you decide to tackle it on your own, prepare your work area accordingly and take frequent breaks – 15-minute breaks would be wise!


Equipment needed to vacuum attic insulation includes a commercial-grade insulation removal vacuum powered by a gas engine with 150 feet of hoses, metal connectors, and large industrial waste bags for disposal. You will also require ladder access into the attic as well as HEPA-filtered shop vac, rakes and dustpans, floor and wall coverings, and floor protectors in order to shield your home from debris as it’s removed.

Vacuuming releases airborne toxins from fiberglass and formaldehyde insulation materials, so always wear a respirator and protective gear while vacuuming.

Fiberglass particles may cause skin irritation; in such an instance, do not rub; rinse hands and arms thoroughly in water instead.

Working slowly as you vacuum blown-in cellulose insulation from the far end of the attic towards its access hole, move slowly vacuuming from far to near and pause periodically as necessary to navigate around obstacles or address clogs in your vacuum hose and connectors.

Safety Gear

Before undertaking any attic cleaning task, it’s essential that you equip yourself with appropriate safety gear. Protective gloves, a mask, and disposable coveralls should help to shield eyes, skin, and lungs from irritation caused by dust particles or debris falling from above. Wearing a hard hat could also provide extra protection if the attic ceiling contains protruding nails that might cause injuries.

Utility knives come in handy when cutting through and removing plastic or vapor barriers used to shield attic floors from moisture and debris, and large heavy-duty bags must be available to collect insulation as you vacuum.

If insulation does come into contact with your skin, be sure to wash it off promptly using water rather than rubbing as this will only further penetrate into your pores and cause more harm. Also when collecting it be sure to seal its disposal bags so as to avoid loose particles escaping during vacuuming and potentially creating an unsanitary or health hazard – this is particularly relevant when handling cellulose and fiberglass insulation products.

Work Area

No matter if your attic contains fiberglass, foam board, reflective insulation, or cellulose (sometimes referred to as “blown-in”) insulation, gloves will protect your hands from hazardous materials while a 95-rated respirator will keep dust, mold, and other pollutants out of your lungs.

Be sure to keep your attic space free from boxes or items that could contaminate other parts of your home. Plastic sheeting on both the attic floor and walls will help contain debris while vacuuming insulation.

Alliance technicians remove each piece of rolled-in insulation individually by hand and roll it into insulation removal bags for safe disposal. They then vacuum out the attic, collecting old insulation as well as rodent droppings from between each joist as well and any contaminated waste for offsite disposal before reinsulating with new layers of cellulose and rock wall insulation blown in by our team.


For optimal insulation removal, vacuums provide an effective method. By sucking away old material from your attic into a bag for proper disposal. Large commercial vacuums with long enough hoses to reach all areas of the attic should be preferred for this method of removal.

A broom or dustpan are useful tools for clearing away large debris that might clog your vacuum cleaner or cause it to overflow into living spaces. Your attic should also be properly ventilated; use a respirator as part of this process in order to protect against breathing in any contaminants generated during insulation removal.

Once your equipment is in place, begin vacuuming insulation from the attic. Take breaks every 15 minutes or when your body temperature begins to increase; when finished, empty waste bags into a dumpster outside before cleaning up tools, equipment, and surfaces in your home once all insulation has been removed.

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