For an attic with rolled fiberglass insulation, what is the proper way to perform work in the attic?

Is it okay to just walk on top of the insulation, stepping where there are beams underneath it? Or is the proper way to roll up the insulation so that you are not walking on it?

Or is there a different method?

The goal is to not reduce the insulating properties of the fiberglass insulation.

UPDATE: I attempted to write this question in a generic way to help as many people as possible, but I can now see that by doing so, I've missed the mark. My apologies. I am not the one who will be performing the work in the attic. It will be contractors who work for a third party (warranty). They claim they can just walk on top of the fiberglass insulation along the beams (and sit on it), and that it won't harm the insulation at all. I have no idea, hence this question.

So although I truly appreciate the answer suggesting cutting up wood to make walking planks, I know the contractors will never be willing to do anything like that. Basically, I'm interesting in knowing if it's fine for them to walk on top of the rolled fiberglass insulation and sit on it while they perform work, or if doing so will reduce the effectiveness of the insulation. This attic gets very extreme temperatures within it.

I don't want to make unrealistic demands of the contractors, but I also don't want the effectiveness of the insulation to be reduced.

  • 1
    Rolling and unrolling fiberglass is a serious pain, and would probably end up with gaps in the coverage. Apr 15, 2016 at 1:13
  • 4
    I'd say the goal is not falling through the ceiling
    – Steven
    Apr 15, 2016 at 20:30
  • 2
    Good update, with good clarity, and a good understanding of what you can and cannot usefully ask contractors to do. Apr 15, 2016 at 21:44
  • 1
    I'd start with "not naked" unless you have an itch fetish.
    – DA01
    Apr 19, 2016 at 15:33

2 Answers 2


Honestly, I would get some sheets of plywood (is OSB stiff enough?) and rip em down to 2x8 or other appropriate size, making a compromise between spanning enough joists and fitting in your car. Float them around as needed to do your work. "Just step on the joists" has a fairly high penalty for error, at the least, refinishing a ceiling.


It's fine to walk on solid wood without moving insulation around. If the batts are super-thick and have compressed markedly from you stepping on them, you can fluff them up a bit on exit. Otherwise, they'll fluff back naturally.

Don't forget the particulate mask when you're around that stuff.

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