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I have loose fill attic insulation. It seems to have been moved around and become compact. Is it just as easy as getting in there with a broom and 'fluffing' it up and moving it around, or do I need to just buy some new fill? Do I remove the old fill first if so?

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I know it probably goes without saying but I thought I'd mention it anyway: 1) If the insulation is old, be sure to research whether or not it has asbestos in it. Tests are cheap these days. 2) Be sure to ALWAYS use/wear sufficient safety equipment (e.g. eye protection, appropriate breather mask, gloves, etc). –  Mike B Nov 19 '10 at 16:14
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up vote 5 down vote accepted

I have some in my attic (from a previous owner) and I've found that it's never the same after it's been disturbed. All that "fluffing" will do is create an enormous amount of dust.

I think you need to install new insulation; you shouldn't need to remove the old insulation if you're adding more of the same type. The new will just sit on top of the old insulation. If you do decide to remove some of the old, a shop-vac works well; just be ready for lots of dust.

Personally, I prefer fiberglass batting because you can move it out of the way if you need to, and it will spring back if you compress it. These days, you can get batts that are sheathed in plastic so that they are clean and easy to install: no fiberglass dust! Again, they would just sit on top of the existing insulation.

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I recently had my attic insulated and was told that the blown-in insulation would settle and compact a bit over time. So it may not be a problem for you. I think "fluffing" it would get you nowhere. You may want to instead have a home energy audit performed; with an IR camera, they can look at your ceiling and determine if there's insufficient insulation.

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