There are a number of reasons why you might want to remove old insulation. Rodents can wreak havoc in insulation hidden away behind drywalls and love making their nests in it so you will want to clear it all out and start again for obvious reasons. Damp can get in and cause problems, particularly with cellulose blow in insulation. Incorrect installation can lead to settling of fiberglass which is best done again from scratch and in extreme circumstances there may be fire or flood damage (the insulation we re-install is always fireproof by the way). Whatever the reason for starting over the first stage is to remove what’s left of the old insulating material and replace it with the very best solution on offer. So we start with a clean out.
Often the old insulation is in the stud walls where it fills the cavities and is covered by drywall. Insulation may have been laid as boards, as fiberglass roll, or as blown in or sprayed foam. Often the best way of getting it all out, and ensuring a clean starting point for new insulation to get the best grip is to take off the drywall layer and get in there to clean out the old insulation completely. We are experts at that and not only remove drywall with the minimum of damage but also make good again after ourselves.
We use industrial vacuum cleaners to clear up your old insulation. Forget about the hoovers you use at home, these are powerful industrial machines with HEPA filters to catch all the particles. Gas powered vacuums with electric start are our weapon of choice because we never know where we are going to find ourselves at work and we demand full power to do the job. In some cases, depending on the type of insulation we are removing, it may be possible to remove the old material without dismantling the wall by making a hole for the vacuum to suck out all the old material prior to using spray or blow in techniques to refill cavities with fresh new insulation.
We work to the very highest standards of safety because while most insulation isn’t truly dangerous it can be noxious to inhale and some forms of insulation are irritants to the skin or sensitive areas like the throat. In particular fiberglass sheds its fine fibres very easily although if you heard that fiberglass causes cancer you can relax - it’s a myth. What that does mean though is that we have to be meticulous about first screening off any areas we are working on and then making sure the air is vacuumed out and filtered to catch any irritant or noxious particles.
We don’t just remove the old insulation; we make sure we clean up after ourselves. Before we start work we always clear away delicate furniture, cover surfaces, and screen off the working area so as to keep the rest of the home clean. But we also take pains to clean up after ourselves so that our workspaces look better when we leave than they did when we arrive.