Vermiculite Insulation In Older Homes May Contain Asbestos
Vermiculite insulation is often found in older homes during a home inspection. It was often used in attic and wall insulation. While it is an effective insulation material, some vermiculite contains asbestos. It's mined and is a naturally occurring material. Some mines had asbestos contamination and this caused the vermiculite to contain asbestos material. Pure vermiculite does not contain asbestos. Not all vermiculite contains asbestos.
Asbestos is a dangerous material that can cause lung disease and lung cancer when the asbestos fibers are breathed into the lungs. It usually takes long term exposure to cause serious health issues, although it can cause issues with minimal exposure. Asbestos becomes dangerous when asbestos fibers become airborne and can be inhaled into the lungs. Asbestos material that is not disturbed poses very low or no risk.
The only way to know if vermiculite insulation in a home contains asbestos material is to have it tested. This can be expensive and time consuming. If the vermiculite is found to have asbestos it can be very costly to clean up. Since asbestos is considered a hazardous material, it requires special precautions for removal and disposal.
Identifying vermiculite insulation during a home inspection can save a home buyer potential problems and significant costs. At Dairyland Home Inspection we have identified vermiculite insulation in homes on numerous occasions and saved our clients money and time preventing them from potential future problems. Dairyland Home Inspection provides home inspection services in Racine, Milwaukee, Kenosha, Waukesha, and Walworth Counties.
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Bob Carter is a home inspector in Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin. He is the owner of Dairyland Home Inspection.