The Blog

How to Handle Insulation Safely

By Chuck Henrichsen on July 7, 2016

Handling insulation safely is not something that we could consider to be innate knowledge. To an untrained eye, classic fiberglass insulation can look quite a bit like a freshly-spun bundle of cotton candy. But unlike cotton candy, fiberglass insulation is not for fun—and it’s certainly dangerous to handle or ingest.

If you’re looking to have an attic insulation cleanout, you may be looking to remove some of the insulation yourself. If this is the case, you’ll want to have the right knowledge in order to handle insulation safely.

attic insulation installation

Why Does it Cause Irritation?

First, let’s talk about why you should be exercising caution during your attic insulation cleaning to begin with.

Fiberglass insulation causes irritation due to the micro glass particles that it contains. Though there is some amount of variety in the different kinds of fiberglass insulation, most all of them contain small grains of sand or glass within the fibers.

What results is an efficient but highly abrasive material. If you run your bare hands over fiberglass insulation, you may experience a burning sensation or itching.

How Do you Handle it?

During any attic insulation installation, you will want to have the right kind of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

For attic insulation cleanouts, you’ll be spending a lot of time around fiberglass insulation and handling it quite a bit. Proper safety equipment includes protective goggles, long socks, boots, long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, and a cap. The more loose, non-constricting clothing that you are wearing, the less chance you have of direct skin contact with fiberglass particles.

At Clean Crawls, the insulation team at our Seattle attic insulation company always wears dust masks. It can be dangerous to be near the attic insulation without a face mask, as some of the fiberglass particles may affect your lungs, which can lead to internal irritation and breathing difficulties.

When you have finished working with the fiberglass insulation, set your clothing aside and wash them in their own individual load. Commonly, fiberglass particles from attic insulation can cling to clothing for several days, but they are easily rinsed out.

What Else Should I Know?

For your attic insulation installation or cleanout, there are a few other tips to keep in mind as you begin working with the insulation.

  • Be careful not to stir up the fiberglass particles into the air
  • Avoid rubbing your eyes, your skin, or your mouth after touching the attic insulation
  • Use power tools with a built-in dust catcher for your attic insulation cleanout
  • Be sure the area is properly ventilated during the entire job

As an attic insulation and installation company, we recommend having professional assistance when tackling the difficult job of removing and cleaning your attic insulation. Even the most successful DIY-ers experience troubles when facing such a complex task.

We’re happy to help with your attic insulation removal or installation project. To learn more about how Clean Crawls can help, contact us directly to speak with one of our insulation specialists.


Chuck Henrichsen
President and CEO of Clean Crawls, Treasurer of E3 World Wide, proud husband and father.

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