What to Do With Leftover Fiberglass Insulation?
Do you have insulation leftovers that you don’t know what to do with? Read on to find it out
If you make home renovations frequently enough or you tend to change your home insulation yourself regularly, you might have faced a common issue when you have a pile of leftover fiberglass insulation. And you have no idea of what to do with it!
In this case, you start asking yourself: can I throw it away just like that? Can I use it somehow?
If you recognize yourself here, read this article, it will be definitely useful! It will tell you how to dispose of old insulation correctly without causing any damage to the environment and your health. Also, we will explain why proper insulation disposal is necessary and should not be neglected!
How to Dispose Of Fiberglass Insulation?
If you need the fastest and easiest way of disposing of unused and/or leftover fiberglass insulation, opt for a practical approach. Simply try to find where to use it within your home.
In most instances, your house’s attic and the basement will always require some extra protection. By adding some extra insulation, you will make sure those exposed spaces are fully functional.
But using leftover fiberglass insulation in your home is not always a way to go. If this is your case and you don’t consider using insulation leftovers or be a suitable option for you for some reason, don’t worry. There are a few alternative things that can work with your insulation leftovers:
- For example, you can cut insulation into smaller pieces and use it for insulating around objects. This is a very practical way to dispose of it
- Or it can be used in spaces that often have small or awkward voids that need to be filled
- There is another way of fiberglass insulation disposal. Extra insulation can be used around air ducts or piping. It will prevent them from freezing and temperature fluctuations
- You can always sell leftover fiberglass insulation over the internet, but note that it might be difficult to find interested buyers quickly or find them at all!
- Recycling is another way to go if none of the listed above can be used
Finally, if you don’t consider any of the suggested options, there is only one thing you have left to do. Once your home renovation project is finished and there is still leftover insulation, place it in a durable trash bag and drop it off at a specialized waste facility, like a building materials disposal site.
We recommend you visit a local waste management department website in advance for more detail on these facilities. Like that, you will know their location and any associated costs that may come with your insulation disposal.
How to Protect Yourself When Disposing Of Fiberglass Insulation?
If you are going to dispose of fiberglass insulation yourself, we want to warn you that you must be very cautious with it! Before disposing of fiberglass insulation leftovers, it is important to equip yourself properly to make sure you are safe.
- Wear an old shirt with loose long sleeves that you can throw away after you use it
- Put on long pants
- Your head should be covered and no hair sticking out
- Equip yourself with thick work gloves
- Safety glasses or goggles will also be helpful
- Wear a dust mask or an activated charcoal mask
- Make sure the skin all over your body is fully protected
- When working with fiberglass insulation, use old clothes that you don’t mind discarding
- Dispose of those clothes after you are done removing the insulation
Why would you equip yourself like that?
See, if you get in contact with fiberglass insulation, it may lead to irritations of your skin and not only it. This is why remember the rule of thumb: if you get fibers, dust or debris on your skin or in your eyes, don’t rub them!
Instead, wash your skin thoroughly with any mild soap and water, and if particles of insulation get into your eyes, flush your eyes for 15 minutes. Finally, remember to ventilate the area as thoroughly as possible before you begin the process of insulation disposal.
Now you know how you should dispose of fiberglass insulation correctly should you have any leftovers after your home renovation project.
Also, you figured out how you can protect yourself when you are working with this type of insulation. And you are now aware of what possible harm this insulation may bring to you if you are exposed to it.
Now that we have discussed the most common ways of insulation disposal, let’s take a look at the alternative approach that you might find even more appropriate.
How to Recycle Different Types Of Insulation?
Recycling is one of the best and safest ways of disposing of anything including insulation. This method makes sure the thing you are getting rid of is transformed into a safe and reusable stuff.
So if you decide to recycle your leftover insulation, you might want to figure out first how it will be used afterward. Below, you can read about the “destiny” of the most common types of insulation people use in their homes.
Recycling Fiberglass Insulation
Fiberglass is a kind of product that cannot be disposed of in any safe way as it does not decompose. Therefore, the optimal way of getting rid of it is by recycling it.
When fiberglass insulation gets recycled, it is often used for making the fiberglass boards. But besides this area of use, leftover fiberglass can also be utilized to make acoustical fiberglass ceiling tiles.
Also, once it has been used and removed, fiberglass insulation can be ground and used to insulate the spaces between the attic joists. By doing this, you reduce the cost of putting up the building significantly.
Recycling Foam Insulation
The spray foam is used to create an air barrier that also works as a wall sealant, a sealant for the floor or the ceiling. It prevents any air movement and hence maintains the temperature at the required level.
Since this type of insulation contains polystyrene which is a plastic form used in the structural building of houses, it includes cement and post-consumer plastic foam. Those can later be used to make concrete forms that are well insulated.
Recycling Cellulose Insulation
Cellulose insulation materials are often made from recycled materials, mostly paper or recycled clothes. This is why it is the most natural and the least harmful insulation material available.
Anyway, you can also recycle it, using one of the following ways:
- Use it to fit the scraps of woolen wrapping around a tub, particularly in its casing
- Use it for fastening the tub, making it retain its heat each time a warm bath is prepared
- Leftover hemp insulation can be used at the back of the attic hatch to fix any heat-leaking space
- Use some cellulose insulation (e.g. cosywool) leftovers to place them into the kennel of your pet, making it warm during the winter
- Ultrawool can be used to cover the heater to prevent the loss of the temperature from the water
As you can see, by recycling cellulose insulation leftovers, you can easily make some places of your home like your attic more usable and utilize them as rooms instead of just being storage spaces.
In addition, you can use natural insulation leftovers to save on your energy bills by making your home warmer and better protected from temperature fluctuations and warmth leaks!
Why Disposal Of Insulation Is Important?
At this point, some of you may be wondering why you need to know how to dispose of fiberglass insulation correctly and where to do this. See, one reason is that after insulation has been used and removed, it can be difficult to dispose of it. This is because most of the materials it contains cannot be properly decomposed.
Instead, these materials still take in a lot of water that makes them heavier and bulkier to store. In this case, it is more convenient and wiser to reuse leftover insulation materials rather than just throwing them away which will lead to pollution.
However, possible harm to nature and environment is not the only reason why you should consider disposing of leftover fiberglass insulation as soon as possible and do it correctly. Unattended insulation can be dangerous for your health and for the health of your family members!
People who handle or are exposed to this type of insulation material can breathe in tiny bits of glass. After a while, those bits can get stuck in a person’s lungs, leading to respiratory problems.
Fiberglass insulation exposure can also inflame your eyes and skin, making them itchy. But the worst thing about it is that it’s possible that this insulation contributes to various types of cancer!
And if you are working with fiberglass insulation, please be aware that pieces of this material do not only pose danger when inhaled! They can also travel throughout a home via ducts that leak. Moreover, resins this insulation contains can sometimes release trace quantities of vapors that are harmful to inhale. This is why wearing proper full-body protection is mandatory when you are working with fiberglass.
Well, this is it. This is what we were going to tell you about fiberglass insulation disposal.
Now you know how cautious you have to be when dealing with it and why it is so. In addition, you are now aware of all the danger this insulation may pose to humans. Also, we shared a few handy and relatively easy ways of its disposal so that you could choose the one that suits you best of all.
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Frequently Asked Questions
⭐Can you throw away insulation?
No, old insulation can’t be just discarded, especially if it’s fiberglass! You must dispose of it at a special disposal or recycling facility.
⭐Where can I dispose of old insulation?
You should find a local disposal facility that accepts this kind or “trash”.
⭐How soon shall I dispose of fiberglass insulation?
As soon as possible! We recommend you plan in advance where you’ll take it to for this purpose.
Written by Melinda Sherween