When insulating an area of your home, you can either do it yourself or hire experts to carry out the work. Now, if you decide to do it yourself, where do you start? This article will guide you on the steps to follow before installing spray foam.
We have created a checklist of things that you can do before you have spray foam insulation installed into an area of your home or property.
1) Remove old insulation
2) Vacuum and sweep walls
3) Remove all furniture & Cover floors with tarp
4) Ensure the area has ventilation
Let’s take a look at each of the above steps for better understanding.
Removal of Old Insulation
If you’ve always wondered “Does old insulation need to be removed?” then the answer is yes. But how do you go about the process? It depends on the type of old insulation that needs removal. Old insulation is removed when it stops working as it should probably due to deterioration over time.
How to Remove Blown in Insulation
Blown-in insulation can be made of cellulose or tiny fibers. In older homes, the blown-in insulation could contain some elements of asbestos. You want to make sure that you keenly inspect the type of insulation present before you even start removing it. If you notice asbestos, it’s best to hire a professional because you don’t want to get into contact with the materials.
After evaluating the type of blown-in insulation present, you need to gather all necessary equipment. You want to make sure you have protective wear such as long sleeved clothing, pants, respirator, goggles, gloves, and a face mask. The tiny fibers can irritate your skin or even get to your lungs. Other important equipment includes a vacuum and a ladder.
Mark the area with insulation and make sure to cover all other areas. Cover doors, windows, and furniture. You don’t want the particles of the blown-in insulation getting to other areas of the building.
In the next step, place tarps on the ground before aligning trash bags on top. This step is very important because you don’t want any old insulation falling on the ground. You also want to make sure that the trash bags are as close as possible to the working area so that you don’t struggle to access them.
Next, put on your protective gear and get down to work! To remove blown-in insulation, you’ll need your HEPA vacuum to suction the fibers. Keep an eye on your vacuum so that you keep emptying it often. Otherwise, it could get damaged.
Finally, clean up and dispose of the trash bags.
How to remove Fiberglass/Mineral Wool Batts
Another common type of insulation is the fiberglass or mineral wool batts. Here are the steps to follow when removing the insulation from a space.
Fiberglass or mineral wool batts are easy to remove. Before you start the process, you will want to wear some protective gear because the tiny fibers used to make the insulation can be harmful to your skin and lungs. The protective wear should comprise long sleeved pants, goggles, mask, and gloves.
Identify the area where you want to remove old insulation. Start from the furthest corner as you approach the exit. Usually, batts are stapled together during insulation. During the removal process, you’ll only need to roll the batts from one end to the other. When you get to the end of a cavity, throw the batts neatly into the trash bag.
You’ll want to make sure that you have enough trash bags because batts are more bulky compared to blown-in insulation. When you’re done removing all old batts, make sure to dispose of the trash bags correctly because the fibers in mineral wool and fiberglass are harmful even to the environment.
Vacuum and Sweep Walls
After you’ve removed all old insulation, you’ll want to vacuum the walls and sweep them clean. The process helps remove all debris attached to the walls. It’s essential to sweep the walls and vacuum them because it makes sure that the spray foam you’re about to install adheres well on the surfaces.
Remove all Furniture
After you’ve cleaned out the walls, you’ll want to remove your furniture from the insulation area. Spray foam is quite messy and you don’t want any of the foam sticking onto your furniture. Failure to follow this step could make it hard for you to clean the furniture after insulation.
Cover the Floors
As noted above, spray foam is messy, you don’t want your floors covered in foam. You don’t want to incur another cost of replacing the floors after installing the spray foam. For that reason, you need to use appropriate material to cover the floors. Some of the best floor covers are wood planks closely fit together, old newspapers, or nylon papers. You can also cover the floors with tarp.
Ensure Area is ventilated
The last step prior to installing spray foam is ventilating the area. Spray foam emits dangerous fumes that can affect your respiration and that of other members of the family. To prevent the inhalation of these fumes, have in place your fans and blowers. Besides, make sure the doors and windows are also open to allow in fresh air.
If you’re planning to install spray foam insulation, there are some simple steps that you need to follow to achieve the best results. You need to first remove any old insulation, clean the walls, remove all furniture, cover the floors, and ensure the area is well ventilated.