How To Walk In An Attic With Blown Insulation: Ways To Work The Problem

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Clemence Herbillon
My name is Clemence and I have a soft spot for tomatoes, fresh flowers, and all living creatures (except spiders. Spiders are my nemesis). I am terribly, indecently, passionately curious. I have a sometimes simple, sometimes complex, and usually self-contradictory personality and an unfortunate tendency to daydream. Oh the lovely things is a catalog of various treasures- objects, ideas, people, works of art. It's the place where I share my love for independent talents and creative people, add pretty wearables to my imaginary wardrobe, get my craft on, and a lot of other random things.


Insulation in the attic isn’t anything unusual. As a matter of fact, the common practice of retaining heat within the doors of your home has become a necessity these days.

You wouldn’t want to be the guy freezing in the winter because of the leaks in your attic, would you?

Despite the popular demand for batts or rolls of fiberglass, blow-in insulations are the emerging trend. It’s simply because of one reason:

An increased delta in the R-value.

And, the common rule of thumb is, the higher the R-value, the better (R-value is the heat resistance for insulation by the way).

While blown-in insulation is becoming more of a commodity, there is a rising problem in the horizon.

How to walk in an attic with blown insulation?

You see, insulating the attic doesn’t just come with comfort. In fact, if you were to conduct any sort of maintenance work, then the discomfort and helplessness will be clear and evident.

Fortunately, this is the problem we will try to address today.

We will try to give you a look into how the problems occur. After that, we will give you some insightful solutions that have worked for many people.

So, let’s get started.

Blown-in insulation (Cellulose): The Advantages

Although the prime suspect of today’s discussion is blown-in insulation, it’s got a few good perks that make it very appealing overall.

But, before diving into the benefits, some background information is needed of course.

First of all, cellulose blown-in insulation is on the top for attic insulation. It’s a combination of woody constituents like cardboard, newspapers, etc.

Before application, it’s processed using various resistive substances (e.g. boric acid).

The rest of the process is kind of interesting. First, they get completely processed cellulose into bags. Then with the help of a mechanical blower, it’s spread on to the surface in the attic. It’s almost like putting foam over a cake!

They are cost-friendly

Cellulose is way cheaper in contrast to fiberglass. You are pretty much looking at a 600 to 800 dollar investment in cellulose insulation in contrast to 1500+ dollars of investment in fiberglass for a 1000-sq. feet of space.

Easy installation with proper insulation

If you are a DIY user, then you will be pretty happy with blown-in insulation. Not only does it offer solid insulation (The R-value can go up to 3.8, which is around 3.6 for Fiberglass), the self-installation efforts are feasible as well.

Blown-in insulation: The drawbacks

There are certain disadvantages to having cellulose insulation. Although the advantages are pretty substantial on paper, the problems it causes aren’t easy to get by.

It will not dry easily

One of the prime problems with cellulose insulation is that it doesn’t dry easily.

And that’s a very extensive problem if you are living in a cold and mushy weather condition. The longer it takes to dry, the more your problems will magnify.

Mold will come to haunt you

Mold is an inevitable issue with loose-fill insulation.

Despite all the processing it goes through, you will probably find yourself paying a contractor to haul out tubs of mold from the attic. The sight isn’t very pleasing. Nor is the investment.

Heat is also a concern

Only when the insulation is around light fixture canisters.

In reality, blown-in insulation can handle a good amount of heat. Still, the canisters can be the source of high to extreme levels of heat. And this can be a concerning factor.

Blowing Insulation Into An Attic

How to walk in an attic with blown insulation: How could you do it?

“My attic isn’t that easy to work on because of the amount of blown-in insulation. And advice on how can I improve my situation?”

It’s a common question in the minds of many folks who don’t really know how to tackle the situation.

In that case, there’s just one solid solution.

Sweeping the insulation from the joists

This is the easy way to do it.

First of all, you’ll need to find suitable boards that are easy to walk on. Just make sure they are straight and don’t wiggle around too much on the plain.

Once you’ve done that, just go to the attic and remove the insulation carefully from the joists. Try and do a clean job here, as it may mess with the overall heat insulation performance.

After you’ve finished your job, carefully place the insulation back to where it was.

So, if we were, to sum up, the whole thing, you’ll be:

  • Finding a suitable work board that stays stable.
  • Remove the insulation with the board before any task in the attic.
  • Get the insulation back to where it was after your job is done.

You could also use a fixed-handle shovel to remove the insulation. There shouldn’t be any issues with it.

Laying down loose walking boards

This solution is far more efficient and will not messy!

The steps you need to take here are as follows:

  1. Find a suitable set of wooden walking boards (planks). In general, many folks like to use 2×6-inch planks. Make sure they are sturdy enough to hold weight properly.
  2. Now there are two things you can do:

a.    You could lay the plywood directly on the insulation.

Now if the insulation is not thick enough, you may lose some insulation efficiency. Also, the possibility of insulation going through the crack underneath is also a possibility.

b.    You could lay them on the joists, building a catwalk like structure.

This is more of a common practice, where the maintenance personnel doesn’t have to go through any hassle. The risk of losing heat also becomes minimal.

Closing thoughts

Our solutions on how to walk in an attic with blown insulation may not be to the liking of many.

Frankly, the human mind is very creative when it comes to solving problems.

And our goal for today was to introduce you to some of the suggestions that work. That much we can guarantee.

But if you do find anything that can be helpful, don’t forget to share it with us. We will be more than happy to convey your message to the readers out there.

Good luck and happy hunting!

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