How To Dispose Of Insulation (Here's What You Can Do)

Eli Smith
by Eli Smith

Disposing of old insulation can be pretty tricky and is often beyond the scope of many homeowners. While insulation is much easier to install, you must understand the proper method of disposal before going through it. Otherwise, you may end up with a liability on your hands that you can’t handle.

If the insulation is still usable, you can dispose of it through recycling. If the insulation cannot be recycled, you will want to contact the local waste management company. If the waste company says so, you may be able to dispose of it by double-bagging it and putting it with your standard trash.

It is essential to dispose of your waste correctly. If you do not follow the instruction of your local waste people, you are likely to incur a fine. Below, we will dive a little deeper into the process and find out what types of insulation require unique means for disposal.

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How Do I Remove Insulation From My House?

If you are doing this yourself, your first step will be to find a location that is willing to take the insulation from you.

Next, you will want to gather protective gear and ventilate the area. Finally, you need to take the insulation and place them inside of plastic bags, double-bagging them if possible.

What Do I Need To Wear When Removing Insulation?

If choosing the DIY option, you will want to wear the following:

  • Old long-sleeve shirts
  • A mask to keep dust out
  • Old long-sleeve pants
  • A helmet or a hood
  • Eye protection
  • Thick gloves

If insulation comes into contact with any part of your body, it is likely to irritate. You will want to have ample protection before beginning the process.

How Do I Ventilate My Space To Remove Insulation?

You will need to keep all available windows and doors open so that space can air out. If you are in an attic with no windows, you will want to use the walkway used to get up to the attic. Use all available fans to force the old air out of this room.

Many attics often have a vent, which you may want to consider cleaning out before this. You will want to make the air as clean as possible, as removing fiberglass can kick up a great deal of dust and chemicals. It mainly concerns if you have old fiberglass insulation in your house.

Place Your Old Insulation Inside Of Plastic Bags

As you begin the process, you are going to want to contain your insulation inside of durable bags. These may need to be double-bagged to ensure that none of the contents of the insulation seep out. You will use these bags regardless of the insulation being old or new.

You may also wish to move them to a more spacious location once you complete a bag. Insulation is very dusty. The less time it spends in your house, the better off you will be.

Who Should I Contact To Dispose Of Insulation?

If you have newer insulation, you will want to perform some research in your state to see if your city has a program to handle this. If you live in a larger city, you can often look up the government website to find local entities that will take care of it for you.

For example, the city of Denver, Colorado, has a recycling directory that you can find on their website. Many waste management companies also can dispose of or recycle. You may need to pay a handling and disposal fee to get them to do this.

Otherwise, contact your local entities to see if they have a specific process for handling this disposal. You will want to inform them of the type of insulation, as it may affect how you dispose of it.

How Should I Select A Professional Company To Dispose Of My Insulation?

If you live in an older home, it may be safer for you to hire professionals in the removal and disposal of your insulation. Old insulation may contain unwanted chemicals, such as asbestos. If you live in an older home, you may wish to do this anyway as a precaution.

Many construction companies that deal with home improvements may also offer insulation removal. If you wish to find someone to take care of this for you, call around to try and get an idea of the pricing.

You will want to call around to get a good idea of the most competitive price. Typically speaking, you may see this cost $1 to $1.50 per square foot, which can add up quickly in larger spaces. It is likely to cost more with older insulation.

Different Types Of Insulation

There are many different types of insulation that you may expect to remove from a space. Below are a few of the most standard types you can expect.

Type of InsulationMaterials They Are Made Of
Blanket rollsFiberglass, cotton, mineral wool, plastic fibers
Blown-in insulationFiberglass, mineral wool, cellulose
FoamboardPolyurethane, polystyrene,
Reflective or radiant barrierKraft paper, polyethylene bubbles, cardboard, plastic film
Concrete block insulationConcrete, foam board, or beads

Blanket Roll Insulation

Blanket rolls are the most common given their status as the best use for do-it-yourself people. As the name suggests, you see them sold in rolls and stapled to the studs in your house. They are the easiest to install and almost the easiest to remove.

Blown-In Insulation

Blown-in insulation is the easiest to remove. It is because you spray in the material, which means it doesn’t have staples that you need to remove.

Regardless of it coming in rolls or sprays, you will still need to bag up your insulation for proper disposal.

Foam Board Insulation

Foam board is thicker and more rigid, which makes it great for certain types of installs. But it is also harder to remove out of walls as a result.

You will need to cut it out. You can do it with a circular saw followed by a knife, but be careful not to damage any walls.

Reflective Barrier Insulation

Removing reflective barrier insulation is something like peeling tinfoil off of a wall. It takes a bit of time as a result, but it often doesn’t have many of the issues that come with other forms of insulation due to how thin it is.

This type of insulation isn’t known for having many issues. Because of that, don’t expect to have problems disposing of it.

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Concrete Block Insulation

When dealing with concrete, it is likely going to be one of those situations where you need to call in the big guns. Concrete block insulation requires you to have specific skills.

Unless you work for a construction company and have those skills, call out to a professional. In many cases, they are in unfinished walls, so you may be able to put something over them.

Don’t ever put yourself in a situation where you assume a repair will be easy. There is no shame in asking for help on any of these projects.

Eli Smith
Eli Smith

I'm a guy who becomes the expert of whatever I stumble upon, writing-wise. I've written tons about cool home products, home improvement, and smart technology in the home. I'm also the proud father of a kiddo born on new years, making my holidays very busy.

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