Claim: You can vacuum fiberglass batts with an insulation removal vacuum

Fiberglass batt and vaccum

A shapshot of a video showing that a fiberglass batt must be shredded/torn to pieces in order to vacuum.

A common question that comes our way is, “Can your insulation vacuum remove fiberglass batts?” We get this question because of spurious claims by some and a video (on YouTube no longer posted).

First, the video. One video, which is either removed or difficult to find now, showed a person using a 6″ hose, sucking up insulation batt. While it seemed impressive, a close watch of the video showed the remover slicing up the batt into small chunks to remove the fiberglass. The video was brief and did not show the time it takes to remove the batt this way. Certainly, if you slice and dice the batt, small enough, you can remove fiberglass batts with any insulation removal vacuum. The picture above is from another video showing the handful of fiberglass being sent into the vacuum.

Second, some claim that their vacuum can remove fiberglass batt because they have a 8″ hose. We are not about naming names, but the claim is absurd. A 23″ wide, 3.5″ thick batt is too large to vacuum through an 8″ opening. Common sense would recognize that, even a minimal sized (3.5″ x 15″) batt would not fit even a generous 8″ opening.

So, what do we make of this? You certain can vacuum fiberglass batt that is 50 years old. By then, it has degraded to the point where it is virtually dust. For attics with intact fiberglass batts, the simplest and fastest way to remove the batts is by using a garden rake.

This is where the old adage fits, “If it sounds too good to be true, it isn’t.”