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Old 05-13-2016, 11:58 AM   #1
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Any Tricks For Working In Blown-In Insulation Attic?


There's about 18" of blown-in insulation in our attic. I have to get up there to do some work but keep procrastinating because I HATE wading through blown-in insulation.

It's a truss roof spaced 24" O.C. so you have to be a monkey to get around. And at the furthest I have to go almost 50' to the other end.

Does anyone have any tips or tricks for getting through this without suffering the wrath of the insulation gods?
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Old 05-13-2016, 12:49 PM   #2
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Re: Any Tricks For Working In Blown-In Insulation Attic?


Just wear proper PPE and get a small leaf rake.

No easy way to work in it except to be sectional and deliberate.
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Old 05-13-2016, 01:37 PM   #3
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Re: Any Tricks For Working In Blown-In Insulation Attic?


Coveralls, boots, gloves. Once you're wearing them, tape the coverall sleeves to your gloves. Tape the coverall legs to your boots.
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Old 05-13-2016, 03:30 PM   #4
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Re: Any Tricks For Working In Blown-In Insulation Attic?


You didn't say what type of blown-in insulation, cellulose or fiberglass or other. The cellulose is far more forgiving about being moved around, but the fiberglass can easily be destroyed, my opinion.

Now, there is no such thing as heading into that attic full of insulation for the last time so consider a center walkway. How you create it depends upon what you have to support the structure. If cross braces for the trusses are close enough together you could bridge them with a 2x6 and place your path on top. In some cases they will use a 2x10 on edge running perpendicular to the floor joist and lay a few boards on top.

My last truss job was over a 16' drop so I didn't want anyone falling. As the trusses went up we used many 2x6 as walking boards and left them there even after the insulation. A lot easier to walk on then just the trusses.

Whatever you choose, try to leave something behind to make the next trip up there easier.

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Old 05-13-2016, 07:48 PM   #5
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Re: Any Tricks For Working In Blown-In Insulation Attic?


Julie, only thing I can add is get a good nights sleep and start when temps are still cool in the morning and have good light.

If your allergic to fiberglass or have allergies or lung conditions, suggest you consider hiring removal out. Quickest job I saw was with huge vacuums sucking it up through coiled duct that ran OUT of the house to the truck downstairs and into an awaiting bags. Nice. Good luck.
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Old 05-14-2016, 07:36 AM   #6
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Re: Any Tricks For Working In Blown-In Insulation Attic?


Bud, I'm pretty sure the insulation is celluose. I think it was installed in 2005.

The camera's flash didn't get past the area above the garage, where the insulation is mostly roll fiberglass but you can see some of the white stuff that is the blown-in.

A few months ago I started installing horizontal bracing on the trusses with 1x12 boards for planking.

I even made a "car" out of 1x12 with small wheels that would help me scoot over the planking and carry materials with me. The planking would get me across to the other side without wading through insulation. But it was so miserable up there I opted to push that project down the road. Now I'm regretting not finishing.

I just went up there now (8:30 AM) to take those pics and the temperature isn't bad at all. I just have a mental block about working in an attic. I've spent too many miserable hours in attics.

Yesterday I cut an access opening on the other end of the house, opposite the attic stairs. That will put me closer to where I need to do some electrical and cable TV work. Still, it's an attic and there's that mental block.

I think I'll pick up one of those disposable coveralls and just do it. Did I mention I hate working in attics?
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Old 05-14-2016, 07:50 AM   #7
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Re: Any Tricks For Working In Blown-In Insulation Attic?


Ya, you should be able to rake that stuff aside to access your work and then fluff it back in place. neatness counts with insulation so do your best. My last big project I installed a 4' wide elevated walk right down the middle of a 50' x 80' building with trusses.

There's a trick you use when you do a good job. Put your right hand on your left shoulder. Then your left hand under your right elbow and push up slightly. Then pat yourself on the back .

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Old 05-14-2016, 08:00 AM   #8
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Re: Any Tricks For Working In Blown-In Insulation Attic?


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Originally Posted by Bud9051 View Post
Ya, you should be able to rake that stuff aside to access your work and then fluff it back in place. neatness counts with insulation so do your best. My last big project I installed a 4' wide elevated walk right down the middle of a 50' x 80' building with trusses.

There's a trick you use when you do a good job. Put your right hand on your left shoulder. Then your left hand under your right elbow and push up slightly. Then pat yourself on the back .

Bud
I'm liking the rake idea. And I have just the right size rake for the job. It's from a pooper scooper rake and shovel set.

As for neat, I have my work cut out for me. Those pictures actually make the attic look good.
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Old 05-14-2016, 10:15 AM   #9
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Re: Any Tricks For Working In Blown-In Insulation Attic?


Looks like blown in fiberglass.

Good coveralls, respirator, gloves, rake, and patience.
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Old 05-22-2016, 02:02 PM   #10
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Re: Any Tricks For Working In Blown-In Insulation Attic?


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Good coveralls, respirator, gloves, rake, and patience.
And a good shower afterward.
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Old 05-27-2016, 04:00 PM   #11
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Re: Any Tricks For Working In Blown-In Insulation Attic?


Start with a good P100 filter/respirator. I've blown insulation in hundreds of homes and it's the most important thing. And don't take if off until you are out of the attic. Remember it's GLASS Fibers!! The older fiberglass has short fibers and itches like crazy. The newer stuff is longer and not that bad to get on your skin. As far as comfort, if you are in the attic once the sun gets up, put a sprinkler on the roof, It will keep it a lot cooler. Or, pop off a duct and blow cold air on yourself - Crack a window in the house to make up for the lost air.
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Old 05-27-2016, 06:14 PM   #12
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Re: Any Tricks For Working In Blown-In Insulation Attic?


screw down any boards . makes for a heck of a fall. I started laying down boards five years ago, have not been up there since.
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