I'm in the process of converting a 10'x11' bedroom into a master bathroom. I plan on removing the ceiling soon and it will be replaced when the drywallers come in a month or two.

My question is, should I use some sort of a tarp or something to cover the area that the ceiling was? If so, what should I use? How should I fasten it?

Also, should I just allow the insulation to come down with the ceiling when I take it down?

The room that we'll be removing the ceiling from. As you can see, all of the drywall has been removed as well as the carpet and pad so I'm not worried about the mess from the insulation. This is the room that we'll be removing the ceiling from

What the ceiling texture looks like. We hate this texture and we're going to have it scraped by the drywallers but we were told that it would probably be just as cheap for them to put up a new ceiling and texture it plus this would give us good access for running new wiring, plumbing etc... (notice that it's not popcorn texture, but something else) This is what the ceiling texture looks like.

Attic space above the room. Previous owner did some shoddy wiring. Hopefully there's no asbestos in the insulation! Also, notice the old-school TV antenna? This is the attic space above the room.

  • 1
    Your question is unclear. Are you asking how to maintain the insulation when the drywall is removed, or something else? Also, please don't add irrelevant information to your question. Asbestos, wiring, and antennas are all a distraction from the point of your question. Thanks!
    – isherwood
    Commented Jul 6, 2016 at 18:41
  • I'm asking should I cover the area where the ceiling was once I remove it and if so, what should I cover it with? Commented Jul 6, 2016 at 18:50
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    Should you for what purpose? Temporary climate control? Permanent moisture management? Bugs?
    – isherwood
    Commented Jul 6, 2016 at 18:54
  • I guess for temporary climate control, bugs/critters. I'm not sure what you mean by "Permanent moisture management". Commented Jul 6, 2016 at 19:04
  • Normally, drywall is applied over a 4-mil polyethylene vapor barrier. You probably want to look into best practices for your area.
    – isherwood
    Commented Jul 6, 2016 at 19:15

1 Answer 1


There is no reason to be demoing this more than a day before it needs to be done. Demoing the ceiling is a 1 hour job. If they plan on running new electric and you will be demoing it is normal to cut out parts of the ceiling to make your runs - even big parts. We would simply screw the drywall back in where we cut it out with 4-5 screws - doesn't need to be perfect.

Also you should cut out a 2'x2' hole, dump drywall and insulation in large trash bag. Then get in attic and throw all of the insulation in the area in that hole - with a helper this is 20 mins. This will give electrician room and view to do what they need to do. Or you could just move insulation to other parts of attic. But get it out of the way either way before starting to cut drywall as cleaning that up out of everywhere is a waste of time - and if your house is finished it gets everywhere.

So you can in effect have the bathroom cut into 4-5 small sections - effectively demoing it while leaving just the drywall up - just pop out the drywall over the screws using something flat and strong. Yes it will have holes in it and not be optimal but you can still get it back up there. You don't need to buy some special tarp for this. Or you can just take it down an hour before they get there.


  • There is nothing wrong with putting a TV antenna in attic like that. If it works it works. There is absolutely nothing ghetto about this.

  • From your picture there doesn't look to be any significant "shoddy wiring" going on. If you are paying for "shoddy wiring" to be fixed I hope it is a real issue, not just electrician telling you it could be better. But I have seen plenty of attics with "shoddy wiring", this looks pretty tame/clean.

  • There is no indication that the insulation in the picture contains asbestos. It looks like your run of the mill fiberglass blown in insulation from the 60s/early 70s.

  • However while you are at it I would beef up your insulation. Right now you probably are below minimum for your area.

  • Agree with all your points. The insulation looks more like blown cellulose to me (though nearly impossible to tell from these pictures). Cellulose would likely be a more recent retrofit, and is nicer to handle than fiberglass. In any case, I second the suggestion to dispose of or move the insulation, and add more when you're done. Commented Jul 6, 2016 at 20:02
  • In regards to the shoddy wiring, in the picture there is 2 wires that are being secured by just duct tape and there are several places in the attic where wires are joined together with new ones with just wire nuts. No junction box or electrical tape. I plan on doing mostly everything myself except for the drywall work. I only have a couple of hours each night to work on this so it will take a bit longer than normal. Thanks for the input. Commented Jul 6, 2016 at 23:22
  • @bigmike7801 - well for the most part what you need to do is just throw in a couple junction boxes. Make sure that when you do this you screw a "wood post" next to them so that they do get lost in insulation. Your attic looks clean relatively and and really good condition. But maybe not the best time of year to rewire things in an attic - I did some stuff last summer and on hot days I was losing a good 2-3 lbs water weight an hour.
    – DMoore
    Commented Jul 7, 2016 at 1:30

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