Blown-in Insulation Removal

Fiberglass Awareness

Page 2

An attic with flex ducts above and near the wall, a wooden floor with some boards removed showing blown in fiberglass insulation and some cardboard boxes.

This is the fiberglass under the attic floor that is leaching out and becoming airborne in the house. There are wires and ductwork that run through this floor, down the walls to the second and first floors and to the basement. The house gets a layer of gray dust all over everything. This insulation below the floor needs to be removed.

A wooden attic floor with one board removed exposing the blown in fiberglass insulation. You can see a wire running inside of the fiberglass. There is a yellow shop vac tube and an orange extension cord on each side of the hole in the floor.

To get to it the floor boards have to be taken up.

A wooden attic floor with one board removed exposing the blown in fiberglass insulation with a white wire running through it.

We have to be careful not to disturb the wires within the insulation or push too hard on the lath bottom or the plaster ceiling could get a hole in it on the second floor ceiling. What a mess that would be.

A hole in a wooden floor with large black flex ducts going down into the floor. There is orange fiberglass at the base of the ducts hanging out from the black plastic cover and loose gray fiberglass around the bottom of them on the floor.

These are flex ducts from a central air unit up in the attic. The ducts go into the floor where they are attached to more ductwork that feeds the second floor. Notice the exposed insulation at the base of them, along with the gray blown in loose fiberglass placed around them.

An AHVC system up in an attic with a long insulated metal duct running out of it and four black flex ducts connected to the long run. There is exposed fiberglass at the base of the flex ducts.

The central air unit

A hole in a wooden floor with large black flex ducts going down into the floor. There is orange fiberglass at the base of the ducts hanging out from the black plastic cover and loose gray fiberglass around the bottom of them on the floor with white wires off to the left and more exposed insulation.

This central air system pulls air from this attic, cools it and blows it out on the second floor. It baffles my mind that people do not consider the air quality when installing these units. I too am guilty of this. It never occurred to me before that fiberglass can be airborne, or that it was even something to worry about. Now that I know my problems were not dust mites but fiberglass, it has become a big 'duh' moment. I could never spend time in this attic. It was not dust mites, but fiberglass dust.

Dusty black flex ducts with batts of yellow and some pink insluation that is exposed to the air.

Flex ducts with more exposed fiberglass insulation in the attic.

Large, dusty black flex ducts with exposed pink fiberglass insluation showing.

The HVAC installers never thought to tape up that exposed insulation.

Large black flex ducts coming from the ceiling down into a central air unit with exposed orange insluation at the base of the ducts.

Large flex ducts going into the central air system. Notice the exposed fiberglass at the base of the ducts.

Large black flex ducts on a wooden floor with white wires going down into the floor, exposed yellow insulation and a 2 x 4 piece of wood holding up one of the ducts.

Wires running into the floor down into the blown in fiberglass.

A white wall under a set of staires with a white wire coming out of the wall.

An example of where insulation would leach out, a wire that was run from the attic coming out of a closet to a light.

A black and yellow shop vac sitting on a hardwood floor in front of a set of stairs. There are two wooden cabents and a swiffer mop behind it.

We bought an asbestos certified, HEPA dustless shop vac to remove the insulation along with asbestos dust masks.

A person holding the end of a shop vac tube that was removed from the vac. There is gray fiberglass all clogged up in the tube and in the unit.

The vac fills up the bags quickly and clogs easily, but is easy to unclog and is getting the job done.

A white full vacuum bag laying on a wooden floor next to a cardboard box.

A bag full of blown in fiberglass. When it is full there is a sticker that goes over the opening of the bag to keep the dust from getting back out.

Inside of a wooden floor cavity half full with blown in loose white fiberglass insulation and a black shop vac tube vacuuming it out.

The amount of the stuff under the floor is rather overwhelming. We are going to need aproxamently 200 vacuum bags to get the job done.

A video posted by Fiberglass Awareness (@fiberglass_awareness) on

Looking down into a hole in a wooden floor with white wires running through it.

An empty floor cavity after the blown in fiberglass insulation was removed.

A view looking down at a wooden floor with floor boards removed showing thick white blown in fiberglass in the floor cavity. There is a cental air unit to the left

The floor boards need to be removed, the loose fiberglass vacuumed out and the boards nailed back in place.

A view from inside of a floor cavity with white thick fiberglass clumped up in the back and scattered about with plaster showing in the cracks.

Inside of the floor cavity with some of the fiberglass insulation removed.

A view inside of a wooden floor cavity showing wires running through it.

This shows a view of one of the places the glass fibers are getting to the lower levels of the home. It is escaping along the path of the wires down to the lower levels, out any crack or hole it can find such as a light socket, electric outlet or wall switch. We are not yet sure how it was getting into the vents themselves, but the gray dust showed itself when I taped them over with clear packing tape. There is also a bathroom vent pipe that runs from both bathrooms below, one on each floor up through that insulation up to the roof where the gray fiberglass material is falling down contaminating both bathrooms. It explains all of the gray dust in the home.

The problem became very apparent after we had a water leak in the third floor attic that dripped down through the second floor ceiling. When fiberglass gets wet it accelerates the break down process, out gases and shatters. We have always had the gray dust in the house, but it was not until the water damage happened that my lungs pitched a total fit, enough to realize something was seriously wrong with the indoor air quality and that it was not just dust mites.

Sharon Maguire - Updated 9-30-2016

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