Vacuuming Tips

How to Vacuum Loose Insulation from the Attic

Vacuum Loose Insulation from the Attic

Removing the insulation from your attic is no picnic for anyone. It’s not only that it sure takes some time and patience to do it, but it sure needs you to pay attention to many details in order to do it right.

There are quite some many risks to keep in mind when vacuuming loose insulation from the attic and rodent infestations or water damage are some of the most important to consider. You need to keep in mind that wet insulation may develop mold and you definitely don’t want any rodents spreading disease or damaging for good the structure of your attic.

Therefore, mold and rodent are quite a big issue and you need to make sure that contaminants don’t get airborne, spreading throughout your house as you do disturb the insulation for vacuuming it.

Preparation is the key

This is definitely the most important thing to consider when planning vacuuming the insulation from your attic.

  • You should start by checking to see if your insulation contains or not traces of asbestos.

If your house was built somewhere in between 1930 and 1950, you should definitely check for asbestos. Don’t overlook this step and don’t try to remove the insulation until you’re 100% sure about the asbestos.

Get a testing kit from a home improvement store or talk to an inspector that may help you by taking samples of the insulation. He sends if to a lab for testing and if there’s any asbestos, you should get some professional help to remove the insulation and dispose it in safe conditions.

  • Look for the mold or rodent infestation Mold may be toxic, whereas rodents may contaminate insulation with urine, droppings and, why not, decomposing carcasses.

If that’s the case for your attic, only a professional is going to be able to remove the insulation safe and sound. You don’t want any diseases or mold spores to be spread it even more.

A professional would also clean and disinfect the attic before you install the new insulation.

If your attic doesn’t contain any asbestos, rodents or mold, you may safely clean and remove the insulation on your own.

It’s a lot easier if you have blown-in fiberglass or cellulose insulation, so it depends.

How to do it

When you have some blown-in insulations, you do need to start with checking your vacuum.

large capacity shop vacuum

  • You need a high-powered, large capacity shop vacuum. If not, you may also rent a specialized HEPA-filter insulation removal equipment from a tool and equipment rental shop.

As the blown-in insulation is kind of loose, you need to pay attention as it’s going to be messy and difficult to contain. Small airborne particles from this type of insulation may cause respiratory problems and even contact dermatitis.

  • Don’t forget about the protective clothing, goggles and a high quality mask or respirator before you proceed with the cleaning.
  • Get some large rolls of plastic sheeting and prepare the areas of your home to get any particles that get into the air.
  • Attics tend to be small and tight so you may need to get creative to use efficiently the vacuum inside the attic.

You may tie a rope to the vacuum and pull it slowly toward you, sucking gradually the insulation. When you got a nice path that maintains an effective distance from the remaining insulation, it’s better to try the get into the corners and other small crevices.

Move slowly and carefully where the attic space isn’t finished. Be meticulous and use some pieces of scrap wood to make a mobile safe spot to work. You always have to be careful in the attic as chances for a misplaced foot, hand or even the heavy vacuum causing some unfortunate drywall fixing are quite high.

  • Empty the container when it’s full to a larger, rugged trash bag and make sure you seal it tight.

You really don’t want the insulation to get loose and float all around the rest of your house. You’d have to come back to vacuum in the end.

  • Go to a certified trash center for disposing the old insulation. There are local regulations that may restrict when or how you can dispose the cellulose insulation or fiberglass.

You may recycle the fiberglass insulation to make a new one. Check for a fiberglass manufacturer in your area.

As for the cellulose insulation, you may not recycle it because of the fire retardants that are used into the making. Make your research and be sure, where you’re gonna take the insulation after you remove it.

Some final thoughts

Don’t forget about the attic joists. This is going to help you remove the very small pieces of insulation that may infiltrate the air.

For the joists, make sure you begin at the farthest end and work all the way backwards to the attic exit. Last thing you want is to end up stuck in in the corner while vacuuming the insulation. Even if you wear mask or respirator, you’re not completely out of the woods until you’re outside, in fresh air.

Vacuuming Tips

How to Vacuum High Pile Carpet

Vacuuming High Pile Carpet

Great to the eyes and touch as well, high pile rugs, aka “shag rugs” make a nice impression in any room. It may give a touch of elegance to any space and become the center of attention of your room.
As fancy and elegant they may be, they are also a bit challenging to clean and take care of. No matter its fabric, the high pile carpet may get dirt and dust in time and it’s always better to clean them on regular basics. If you’re already able to see the dirt and dust, it means it’s already a bit late for the cleaning.
There’s no easy way to clean a high pile carpet, but sure, there are some ways to do it without climbing up the wall with all the fuss and effort.

Make it a regular habit

Apart from all the tips that you could follow when it comes to taking care of your high pile carpet, this may be the most important one.
It’s essential to vacuum your shag rug once a week, to keep its appearance. If your shag rug is placed in a high-traffic spot, you should do it even daily.
When your shag is in a place you don’t really use, once a month should be enough for vacuuming.

How to vacuum it

Hopefully, you already got yourself a vacuum that is right for your high pile carpet. If not, we’re gonna give you some tips later on.

1. You should set your vacuum’s head to high pile. It’s important to have the feature on the vacuum as the head slides easier around and you get more control over the suction as well.

2. You want the overside exposed to you so you need to flip the rug. Move the head away from you and start vacuuming.

3. It’s better to stand on the edge of the rug so that the rug doesn’t move. it’s also a good way to lose any dirt, dust or debris left over in the fibers.

4. Be meticulous and don’t forget about the floor where you had just vacuum the carpet’s underside. So roll out the carpet and vacuum the floor as well.

5. You may now spread out the rug side up, suction out the dust, debris and dirt. Take your time and…be meticulous again. It may take a while until you’re done. Do it row by row so you don’t miss any spots.

Important tip when vacuuming it

Even though you may fall into temptation of using the power brush head, try to resist it. The power brush head is going to tear and wear unnecessary your high pile carpet and you want your rug to last a bit longer.
You may also use a wet/dry vacuum on your high pile carpet. You don’t really want big, strong vacuum cleaner on your high pile carpet as it may pull and ruin forever the fibers.
What makes a good vacuum cleaner for your high pile carpet?
Using the right vacuum for your high pile carpet is essential so here are some tips to keep in mind when shopping.

1. Easy to wash HEPA filter
Get a vacuum cleaner that has HEPA filter, as they are so efficient for removing all dirt from your shag rag. The HEPA filter is made to capture 99.99% of all dirt, debris, mold and allergens. Who wouldn’t want that for their shag rag?

2. Great suction system
There are many various systems out there that are great to use on your shag rag, and you may choose from dual cyclonic systems, multi-cyclonic system, Cinetic Balls, Allergen-Seals and so on!

3. Good hosing
You should look for a vacuum with the hose system made to vacuum dirt right into the collection receptacle so that it works in conjunction with the suction system, with minimal risk for clogging.

4. Easy to take care of
Vacuum cleaners with dirt collection canisters that are easy to remove and to put back together are the way to go. You want something that works with just a push of the button so that the dirt “falls out” easy peasy.

5. Great brush roll design
You need a vacuum brush roll design that really gets into your high pile carpet, cleaning them completely. Don’t be afraid to make a test and to look for the one that pleases you the most.

The final tips

If your high pile carpet is small, you may always tumbled in the dryer, but only air it. Your rug is going to be all “fluffed” up afterwards, not only clean.
You may also steam clean your shag rag from time to time and even dry shampoo it every now and then. Use a good cleaner to remove any stains or spills and give it time to dry. You don’t want any mold in your high pile carpet.