After a few years, your crawlspace insulation will need to be replaced. The crawlspace is a tiny space between your home and the ground where you can access your plumbing, heating, and electrical systems in case a repair job is needed. You add insulation to the crawlspace for the same reason you would in an attic, or in your walls: to keep the heat in and the cold air out. After the crawlspace insulation has been there for a few years, it will begin to show signs of wear.
Step 1 - Get Protective Gear
Insulation is made of tiny fiberglass materials that can cause irritation to your skin. It is not a toxic substance, but there is a lot of ways that the insulation can cause skin problems. Before you crawl under to remove your crawlspace insulation, you will want to put on some protective gear. At the very least you will want to have a mask, protective eye ware, long sleeve shirt, and long gloves.
Step 2 - Start in One Corner
Before you start tearing out the insulation, set yourself up in one corner and begin working your way towards the other end. Carefully pry off the staples and remove the insulation in on piece. Many people will want to start ripping it out in pieces, but that will cause a large mess of pink fiberglass. Work slowly, and carefully to take down all the insulation from the floor joists.
Step 3 - Bag Insulation
There are two ways of disposing the crawlspace insulation. You can roll it back up into batts and dispose of it this way. Check with the town codes to determine the best way to get rid of the old insulation. Sometimes you need to bag it in order to dispose of it. When you are still under the crawlspace, it will help to spread out a plastic bag and gradually feed the insulation into it as you take it down. This will minimize contact with it and decrease the chance of making a mess.
Step 4 - Blast with Air
Once you have all the crawlspace insulation off, then you should use an air hose and carefully blow off the residual insulation. Try to keep the insulation blowing towards the entrance of the crawlspace and away from you. You will be able to control the flow of the insulation and maximize the clean up process.
Step 5 - Disinfect Area
The insulation you are removing may contain odors and moisture that will become trapped in the joists and flooring when the new insulation is put. Take some time and wipe down the joists, water pipes, air ducts, and other places under your home with some disinfectant. This will help to get rid of most of the odors, and germs from the previous insulation.