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Question DetailsAsked on 5/18/2016

I am adding insulation to my attic from the ceiling, not attic. There is existing insulation there, Do I remove t

I am adding insulation to my attic from the ceiling, not attic. There is existing insulation there, Do I remove the old insulation or just add the new insulation underneath it? Is this possible or safe. What do you suggest? And what type of insulation to use if this is possible? Thanks Marlene

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If existing insulation is in decent shape - not moldy or deteriorated, I see no reason not to - though of course if a blown-in product removing and replacing from the top or refluffing it during reapplication would yield a somewhat (maybe 20-40% range) higher insulation factor for that portion.

I am not clear however how you can add insulation from the "bottom" - i.e. from inside the house - unless you are physically pushing the current insulation upwards with the new insulation, because otherwise there will be no space for the new insulation between the joists or trusses. And unless your existing is batt (at least at the bottom) I don't see any practical way to put more in from the bottom without totally removing any existing loose fill insulation because it will cascade down as soon as you open up the ceiling to put more in. What a mess that will make in the houyse - unless this is a torn out house already.

And of course, going to be a trick to hold it in place while doing this unless using an insulation retaining net or heavy vapor barrier with LOTS of staples - maybe. Usually the vapor barrier and ceiling is in place before insulating, so you don't have to worry about holding the insulation up before putting in the ceiling material. Bear in mind that putting up drywall or plank ceiling afterwards will be a *(&^# because the insulation will be sticking out at the bottom and getting across the bottoms of the joists/trusses, causing unevenness in the final drywall surface because of these "lumps" of insulation between it and the joists/trusses. Easier to do with planked ceiling where you can reach in around the edge to push the insulation out of the way as the plank is put up, or do a few rows of planks and then put insulation in over the top of them - though still going to probably be a 2-person job even for that exercise.

Only type insulation I can see this working with is fiberglass batting - and note you are going to probably get a LOT of dust and insulation debris coming down into your house. Basically, unless you are replacing the ceiling for other reasons (like plaster ceilings pulling free or replacing water damaged drywall or such) I can't really see this being economic or practical.

And don't forget if doing that, unlesss your house is in an area where exterior vapor barrier is used (rare, mostly only in very high frequent rainfall or very frequent wet fog areas) then after the insulation is in a new vapor barrier will have to go in before the ceiling material.

Perhaps you would like to describe WHY you want or think you need to do it from the bottom rather than from the attic - use the Answer This Question yellow button (right below your question) to reply back. Then perhaps I can give a better answer once I fully understand your situation.

Answered 4 years ago by LCD

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