The house was built in the 50's. I would say if the insulation in the attic was redone it would have been 30 years ago. If the old insulation does not need to be removed, do I lay the new insulation the same direction or cross wise?
You don't have to remove anything. If at all possible, why don't you just have somebody come in and blow new insulation over it. If you are going to put batts up there, install them the opposite way they are going and make sure you leave a air space at least 4 inches from the slope of your roof right down to the outside way so you get air circulating through the roof vents and out through the soffits around your house.
When we have a renovation project and are asked to improve the insulation in the ceiling, we look at the age of the existing material and will adding more blown in insulation take the levels to high to provide the proper air flow back into the attic space.
More often than not I suggest we remove the existing. Then we can check for mold or have a look at the wiring that is up there. /better safe than sorry.
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