Do I Need to Remove Vermiculite Insulation?

vermiculite_removalBack in the 1970s and 1980s, there was an insulation product that was used in countless homes and businesses all across North America.  It is called vermiculite insulation, and although you may not have heard of it, it’s important that you learn about it now.

At the time it was being used so heavily, people were singing vermiculite’s praises because it had exceptional fire-resistant properties and was a great insulator.  Unfortunately, many experts have stated that vermiculite has the propensity to release asbestos fibers if it is heated or agitated.

Most people are aware of the health risks associated with asbestos.  When inhaled, the fibers can lodge in your lung tissue and result in life-threatening conditions like lung cancer or mesothelioma. 

How Do I Know If I Have Vermiculite?

Vermiculite actually starts off as a mineral that is mined all over the world.  Vermiculite insulation is made from this mineral through a heating and expansion process.  In your attic, vermiculite insulation resembles popcorn in texture and is often golden or light brown in color.  If you press on vermiculite with your fingers, it has a ‘give’ to it and can be reshaped.  Vermiculite particles might be very fine or up to one-inch in length.

What to Do If You Find It

If you think or know that you have vermiculite insulation in your attic or commercial building, pressing on it and moving it around at all is not a good idea.  The most important thing you should do is just leave it alone and not try to remove it yourself.

The safe bet is to contact a professional asbestos removal company to come in and remove any traces of vermiculite insulation.

This is not an occasion where DIY is acceptable, the removal of Vermiculite insulation in Canada is usually carried out as a Type III process under regulation Ontario 278/05 which requires the removal to be carried out by trained and certified professionals. Contact Ferro Canada for an assessment of your vermiculite removal project.

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