Can you put hemp insulation in an attic?

Pamella Weatherly-Phillips Published: Aug. 16, 2019, 11:49 a.m.Last updated: Aug. 27, 2019, 8:57 a.m.


I need to pull the cellulose from the attic, I have a radiant barrier on the attic ceiling and floor. I am removing the cellulose, but what non toxic insulation can I use with the radient barrier?  Hemp or wool?  Where can I buy hemp?  Thanks!

Responses (1)

Mike Reynolds Aug. 27, 2019, 8:58 a.m. Reply


Hi Pamella,

You can order Hemp insulation through Ecohome, and hemp is a natural and non-toxic insulation material that will protect the air quality in your home. We will have an order page coming soon, but for the moment you can drop us an email at info@ecohome.net and we can send you hemp product and pricing information.

Wool insulation does exist, but we have yet to find a commercially viable option for this yet, and the only reports we’ve heard about it include mention that if it gets wet at all then your house will smell like an old sheep and it takes a long time to dissipate!

I do have a couple of questions to help us come up with the best solutions for you:

What climate zone do you live in?

Do you have sufficient ventilation in the attic? If not, please see our pages on how to ventilate an attic properly to make sure you don’t get a build up of moisture.

Is the radiant barrier you mention a ‘foil barrier’ on the floor of the attic as well as the underside of the roof deck? That would be a vapor barrier if so, just wondering if you have an air barrier.

If you don’t have a proper air barrier and you are removing all the insulation, then that is really the perfect opportunity to lay one down. Air barriers are essential for durability and stopping heat loss, and if you have a foil barrier you could lay it right on top. I just don’t imagine the foil will do much for stopping air leakage (if that’s what you have) and unless you have an air space between it and the insulation then it won’t work to reflect radiant heat, so I’d treat it as if it wasn’t even there and lay down a 6-mil poly membrane first to prevent and air and vapor movement (assuming you are in a cold climate, but please confirm).

On top of that you could lay down hemp insulation.