plan to work on attic insulation

please don't shoot me but I'm wondering if someone can give me some general idea about steps to improve my attic insulation
here's the general background. Due to summer heat, I plan on waiting until temps moderate into the low 70's and I would like to do all the work myself. Attic space is about 3-4ft in center where the insulated ducts run and I wanted to add insulation but don't want to use cellulose or fiberglass (blown in) but some type of insulating blankets or radiant barrier.
is it normal to remove the old insulation? I could possibly find a protective suit (one-time use available?) and breathing mask and just start cleaning slowly each sq ft of the attic and once completed, pickup the blankets from home depot or lowes and lay these down.
my desire would be to remove the old stuff as it's about 30 years old and can't have fared too well plus the occasional rodent visit and the house has at least twice undergone a whole roof replacement so there is debris and dust everywhere.
give me some general steps in this, again, I would like to do this myself as I have the time and desire to learn how it's best done.
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This is doable for a novice do-it-yourselfer. So good luck. Do get a suit -- there are cheap semi-disposable suits at hardware type stores, used for everything from painting to insulation work. And definitely wear gloves and mask. And the rodent leftovers are bad for your health of course, but very especially bad for pregnant women (risk of miscarriage due to LCM disease, etc.), so keep that in mind.
I can't say if you should remove your old insulation, but don't remove it just because it is old, or "dusty". Waste of time and money. It would make sense to remove it if it's compacted, full of rodents, etc.
Nina Harris wrote:

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I've gone up in attics where it's fairly flat from having stuff stored on top of it, extreme settling, etc. and just taken a long handle 3 prong garden tool to break and fluff it to get air space back in it. Seems to make sense to do this since that's how insulation works.
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Nina Harris wrote:

Get an estimate for having the existing covered with more blown-in type. Could be cheaper than you buying the bats and installing it yourself.
As Kevin said unless it is compressed or filled with droppings no reason to remove it. The loose fill insulation will do a better job than you will be able to with bats or blankets. You need to fill in between the joists or you are defeating the purpose of the insulation.
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wrote:

It sounds like you may be trying to reinvent the wheel.
I assure you that what you have now is a thousand times better than a radiant barrier.
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No. I could possibly find a protective suit

I'd have to agree. I bought an old house that someone had insulated with wood chips & sawdust. I looked at it as a fire hazard & removed it. It was about 4- 6 inches thick, the house was empty & in bad need of repair. I filled '90' large garbage bags with a scoop shovel & dropped them through the access hole. They completely filled a bedroom floor to ceiling. BTW I could stand in mine for the most part.
In retrospect I'd have been better off busting out the lath & plaster from above & redrywalling.
If you want to be convinced, spend a day fluffing it up. Assuming it is blown in. It has settled. Or blow some more in.
You're living in this place? Forget about it. There's nothing wrong with whats up there now.

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Why don't you want to use blown in cellulose? You and a buddy rent a blower and buy the bags of material. If you buy like 15 bags, HD will waive the rental fee. You can get a lot of additional insullation up there for a fairly small amount of $.
But yes, if you can get an estimate to have it done, it may be close to $ it would cost you since they get materials deeply discounted. And if they step off the truss then they pay to fix it.
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