How to Remove Old Insulation to Install New Insulation


If insulation becomes damaged or wet, you need to remove it from the wall cavity and install new insulation in its place. Since the insulation is installed behind drywall, you'll have to remove that to gain access to the insulation. Although the act of replacing the insulation should not take much time, you could have a lengthy project ahead of you with the removal of the drywall and then reinstallation of the drywall after the insulation is replaced.

Things You'll Need

  • Drywall saw
  • Pry bar
  • Tape measure
  • Utility knife
  • Stapler
  • Dust mask
  • Safety glasses
  • Heavy work gloves
  • Remove the drywall from the affected wall to gain access to the insulation in the stud spaces. The best way to do this is to make an access hole somewhere in the wall with a drywall saw. Then, use a pry bar to lift the drywall away from the studs. It will likely rip and break off into pieces. Try to remove the largest pieces possible to minimize cleanup.

  • Pull the old insulation out of each stud space. If the insulation is faced, it will likely be stapled to the studs. Simply rip and tear the paper facing off as best as possible. The new facing will cover up any remaining paper.

  • Measure each stud space and cut the new insulation to size with your utility knife.

  • Push the insulation into the stud space. If you are you using faced insulation, it should face the interior of the room. Staple the paper facing to the studs.

  • Push small pieces of insulation into any gaps in your studs or joists with a small screwdriver.

Tips & Warnings

  • Once the new insulation is installed, you will need to re-drywall. If your inexperienced with this, it may be best to hire a contractor to complete this part of the project.
  • Wear safety glasses and a dust mask when using insulation. This will prevent the fibers from irritating your eyes or or entering your airways.

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