Leafblower/shop vac to move blown-in insulation for air sealing
Like most houses, my attic floor is poorly air sealed. The builder/homeowners of years past have tried to compensate for this with lots of blown-in insulation. I’m considering air sealing and adding more blown-in (either fiberglass or cellulose).
The problem, of course, is the existing blown in stuff which is everywhere. I’d really like to avoid removing it all, as theres probably hundreds of dollars of insulation that is “fine” (i.e. some of it is compressed, and plenty of debris — but its there). The blown-in is a mixture of the original dark brown/gray stuff (I believe that is rockwool?) and more modern white fiberglass
I’m considering working in a zone-by-zone fashion, using either a mulching leaf-blower or a shop vac, sucking one area of attic floor clean and dumping the insulation into another part of the attic. Air seal the newly-exposed area (as well as doing some other repairs– mainly installing/fixing soffit baffles), then use the same technique to move the insulation back over this area.
I’ve seen videos of people using dust collectors to fully remove the insulation (i.e. through 30+ feet of hose into a dumpster), but I wouldn’t think I’d need that much horsepower if I’m just moving the insulation several feet over.
I could just manually move it using a rake/my hands, but that sounds pretty awful and this technique would have the added benefit of “re-fluffing” the insulation, which it could sorely use. Plus, the should be relatively clean/dust-free, so spray foam/caulk should adhere better.
Any thoughts? I’m sure I am in for a really miserable job, but I’m already imagining the satisfaction factor! 🙂
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